What Qualities Make a Man?

Since the early Greek philosophers started blogging about 2500 years ago, there has been much written on the concept of manhood and what it means to be a man. Is it the beard on his face? The truck he drives? The size of his bar soap? No, it’s none of these things. Recently, a couple of the fellows in the office got together with a fifth of premium bourbon to discuss this very important topic. What resulted was, we believe, the most definitive tome to answer the question of what truly defines a man.

Men are obnoxiously possessive of their grills.

If you give a dog a rawhide in the presence of another dog, he will become possessive, agitated, and perhaps even aggressive in his defense of his property. Men are like that with grills, but with less growling. Though decorum dictates that one man ask another man if he needs help on the grill, data suggests that actual help has been accepted in less than 2% of occasions. Scientists have uncovered a section of a man’s occipital lobe, about the size of a small filet, responsible for this irrational desire to do grill everything “by myself,” even in situations where help would actually yield a better food product.  

Men have an irrational appreciation for high-definition.

Ask any married father born before 1982 about the most important days of his life, and he’ll mention his wedding, the day(s) of his children’s birth, and the day he discovered high-definition TV. In the early days of high-definition, men were often seen spending hours at their local Circuit City staring in disbelief at broadcasts of a Rangers/Devils game played three weeks earlier or shots taken from a helicopter flying over the Napali coast in Hawaii. All of this behavior was explained in 2008 when the Human Genome Project mapped the exact gene responsible for man’s irrational proclivity for HDTV, Zoobaz pants, and paintings of dogs playing poker.  

Men have a unique moral code when it comes to parking.

Some scientists estimate that men, on average, deal with 12 times as much “parking rage” as females do. This is because men have inadvertently created and applied a complex and strict set of social mores that guide the ancient ritual of parking. A fellow parking too close to your vehicle is akin to trespassing on your property. Taking too long to exit one’s space when another fellow is waiting in a crowded lot is tantamount to blasphemy. Not trying to find a space just a few yards closer to the door is just sheer laziness. This rigid construct, unique to men, has often been cited as the reason women live about 4 years longer than men on average.  

men are wired with a remarkably precise sense of microwave timing.

The next time you see a fellow throw a Hot Pocket in the office microwave, take note of the exact time he punches into the key pad. While the box may suggest an even 2:00, that fellow more likely punched in 1:57 or 2:04. Why? Because man has an innate sense of exactly how many fewer or extra seconds are required to achieve the precise level of frozen food perfection. Scientists will argue whether this is a function of nature (our DNA) or nurture (years of practice since high school), but no one can debate man’s preternatural ability to achieve advanced levels of microwave precision.

Men are 23 times more likely to pay attention to taco bell ads.

Recently, marketing researchers at University of Wisconsin (River Falls) conducted studies to understand the level of advertising recall among men. Surprisingly, 9 of the last 10 ads the average man could recall were for Taco Bell, with the 10th being a hilarious ESPN ad from 2012. Scientists conclude that the average male brain is uniquely wired to find visual and auditory pleasure when a traditional burrito is made with Fritos chips, or when a soft shell is plastered to the outside of a hard shell using refried beans as some sort of delicious mortar. Combine this with man’s inherent desire to eat lunch for less than $5, and it’s no wonder Taco Bell ads result in above average levels of synaptic connection.