Category Archives: manliness

BadTripe Health Check

gazza

Nowadays it’s considered desirable, fashionable even, to live past the age of 40 without dying of an obesity related illness. Celebrities like Gary Lucy, Abs from 5 and Cristiano Ronaldo have made men more conscious than ever about their physical appearance and fitness and there is now more pressure than ever for men to be able to withstand ever more virulent strains of deadly bacteria without succumbing to death like some sort of pathetic girl.

The author is (apparently) not getting any younger. Although I am often complimented on my youthful good looks so perhaps I have at least succeeded in temporarily arresting the ageing process. Either way there is definitely a picture of me in an attic somewhere which looks absolutely fucking horrendous.*

*That’s what we in the trade call a ‘literary reference’. Look it up luddites.

Anyway, due it being 2016 and all and the author being a man who could reasonably be described as ‘metrosexual’ (by my own father-in-law) I have decided to keep an eye on my health, fitness and general wellbeing and I thought I would share my experiences with my vast readership just in case any of you are considering going on living, for at least a few more years…

Going to the Doctors

dr-cj

Doctors, generally speaking, are perverts. I don’t think there’s any great deal of confusion as to why men are reluctant to visit them. It doesn’t really matter what is wrong with you, they’ll find some way of getting all creepy about it and then interfering with you. I myself have been interfered with by many doctors, for a variety of reasons and I’ve never really thought to question it at the time, like;

‘Why are you doing this to me?’

‘Excuse me?’

‘What is the purpose of this rectal exam you’re giving me?’

‘I’m sorry I don’t quite understand the question. This is a doctors’ surgery, sir and we will proceed with you as we see fit. If you are seeking medical advice then might I suggest the internet? Now kindly stop wasting my time and let’s get on with this.’

It’s all they ever do. Then they just tell you that they don’t know what’s wrong with you (why would they?) but just advise you to take a cocktail of drugs and see if it helps.

Recently though I felt I had an issue which couldn’t be ignored any more. It was causing me a fair bit of pain and discomfort and I needed to get it seen to so I begrudgingly booked an appointment, three and half months hence, to see my GP.

I had a sore wrist.

Not a glamorous, or even an interesting malady but it had been giving me shit for some time so I decided to get it checked out and the conversation went roughly like this;

‘I see Mr White so it’s a bad wrist is that correct?’

‘That’s right doctor.’

‘Indeed. On your dominant hand?’

‘Yep.’

‘Been troubling you for a while has it?’

‘Comes and goes.’

‘May I ask your profession?’

‘Sales. Telecommunications, smashed my targets last 3 quarters.’

(at this point I probably did a gun firing gesture with my strong hand)

‘Is that your company Audi parked downstairs in reception?’

‘Well yes. I didn’t see a parking man so I just drove straight in.’

‘What’s in that bag you’re carrying?’

‘An artisanal grapefruit and a bottle of small batch gin for my afternoon Martini. Where is all this leading may I ask? Just what exactly are you driving at? This is a serious medical issue.’

‘It’s Wanker’s Cramp.’

‘How dare you. I can assure you sir that I have never in my life resorted to onanism, I’m not some sort of depraved chimpanzee.’

‘Don’t worry Mr White this is a doctors’ surgery we see this sort of thing all the time, very common in men such as you.’

‘Now you look here buster. I came here for some tests. Now I want you to pick up your little bag of tools and drain me of every one of my bodily fluids before I….wait, wait that came out wrong. Just give me a fucking blood test. I demand it.’

‘Very well, just bend over. I mean roll up your sleeve.’

And lo and behold, after a fair bit of faffing around I was diagnosed with Haemochromatosis. Now I know what you’re thinking – that would be amazing in Scrabble and you’d be absolutely correct. Not great in life though, as we all know the longer the word, the worse the disease. That’s why children learn that song in school, to help them remember this simple rule. It was certainly one of the first things I learned as a child;

‘Good in Scrabble equals bad in life, 

If your disease has more than 9 letters then you’re probably going to die.’

There are a couple of notable exceptions to this but it’s like ‘I before E except after C’ or that really annoying rhyme about the days of the months where they had to crowbar in a really awkward line about February having 28 days all square, except in every leap yair. So the full song actually goes;

‘Good in Scrabble equals bad in life, 

If your disease has more than 9 letters then you’re probably going to die.

Cancer in Scrabble? Well that’s still alright,

Even in life you can still survive,

But AIDS is absolutely shite.’

Everyone knows that one right?

The Haemochromatosis was completely unrelated to my bad wrist and is in fact an excess of iron in the blood. The doctor had warned me that this was a possibility but I was like, ‘Nah that won’t be it. I’ll check the internet.’ Unfortunately when you Google ‘too much iron in blood’ there is literally only one option which comes up.

The treatment is simple; get a pint of blood drained out of you once a week in order to dilute the iron until your levels return to normal. You make new blood quickly so the iron levels go down. It takes longer to get your haemoglobin levels back up though so you will be walking around like an anaemic zombie for quite a while. Once your iron is back to normal then you just simply keep getting a pint of blood drained out of you but on a less frequent basis, for the rest of your life. Pretty simple really.

There are many symptoms of the disease but they don’t generally present until you’re about 50 years old, by which time the excess iron in your blood has started to deposit itself in various organs, causing irreparable damage. It’s ok if it’s caught early though so it was a good save. BY ME! I demanded the blood tests and diagnosed myself. When I asked my doctor for some advice about the condition, including the possible symptoms the conversation went like this;

‘What are the symptoms?’

‘There are many symptoms but off the top of my head…erectile dysfunction.’

‘How dare you sir! I have never in my life had any trouble, well maybe once or twice, but I will not tolerate…stand up. Stand Up! I will bum you right where you stand, right now as God is my witness so help me.’

‘Please Mr White calm down, there’s every chance you’ll never experience any symptoms as long as it’s kept under control.’

‘Oh right. And I suppose this is where you tell me you can perform a simple test to see if I am capable of achieving an erection and that you’re happy to do it for free am I right?’

‘Well I mean I could.’

‘Good day sir.’

And so there you go. One fucking visit to the doctors got me diagnosed with Wanker’s Cramp and Erectile Dysfunction all in the space of a week. Never, ever, ever again. I’ll just die.

The really annoying thing is that when you look up Haemochromatosis, E.D is like the second fucking thing on the list which is why I generally avoid mentioning it except on this blog which no one reads.

There is a Haemochromatosis Society so I will definitely be running for President of that just as long as I don’t get made in to the face of Erectile Dysfunction. I can do without that thanks very much.

Getting in to Shape

gladiators

Now. The author has a physique which could probably be described as ‘Skinny Chubby’ basically skinny in the arms and legs with a slight paunch around the middle and a massive penis. I’ve always felt that I could just about live with it.

Trouble is that once you go past 30 you do start to notice yourself getting progressively chubbier. You can almost see the pounds begin to pile on as you sit on your nice comfy John Lewis sofa eating Kettle Chips out of a bowl with Moroccan hummus and throwing glass after glass of delicious Pinot Noir down your neck.You realise that something has to be done in order to balance things out. Quite literally.

Men’s Health Magazines all seem to convey the message that health, fitness and an improved physique are easily within our grasp. All of the covers are plastered with seductive promises of a quick fix, something we men all love because no one can really be fucked with doing exercise. They all say; ‘Get the arms you want in just 15 minutes’ or ‘Seven Day Abs; The Secret’. Trouble is that the secret is you have to work out, really hard, for seven hours, seven days a week for at least seven years and then continuously after that, forever.

Like so many poor misguided fools I joined a gym just after Christmas. On my first visit they made me fill in a form and took my bank details. On my second visit they showed me round. Third visit a young, healthy whipper-snapper full of youthful vitality got me in a room and asked me what my goals were. I told him my goals were to be able to walk up a flight of stairs without having a coronary and to not die before I reach the age of 33. He asked me how my self esteem was to which I replied that my wife said I had love handles so how the fuck did he think it was?

He then laughed nervously, told me he was ‘freaking out’ about turning 20 and then asked if I would like to get undressed and let him take pictures of me, to which I politely declined.

Then on my fourth visit I actually used some of the equipment in the gym, I think that was in March.

Having watched all 4 of the proper Rocky films and the car crash of number 5 and 6 and even the latest spin off I was given to understand that my path to fitness would happen quickly. I’d pictured it as a well cut montage sequence set to 80’s music interspersed with some light stretching but it turns out that isn’t necessarily true. I’d got up early to go to the gym for crying out loud! I swam ten lengths of the pool and then had a sauna so why wasn’t I ripped and good at boxing yet? It just didn’t make any sense.

At a party, whilst drunk (FYI – wasn’t my fault, someone spiked me with 19 beers) I started talking to my friend Ian about this dilemma because I know that he does Thai Boxing and I told him that it looked easy and I should be able to do it and that I’d fight him. Besides the fact I am highly capable of losing a fight against a small child or even an inanimate object, I couldn’t even hit anyone properly anyway on account of my misdiagnosed Wanker’s Cramp. My wrist is still fucked with no explanation.

Ian suggested that I go to see his personal trainer Mike and this is where the real pain and suffering began. The first time I went I made it through about 10 minutes before collapsing in a cold sweat and having to go outside to be sick. Second time I put my back out attempting to swing a sledgehammer at a tractor tyre. Third time, nearly sick but just about made it to the end.

Mike, to his eternal credit is in fact teaching me to box and you know if you’ve ever had a dream where you’re trying to fight someone but your punches have no effect whatsoever? That is basically me at boxing but I swear I’m getting better and one day soon I am going to march in to my GP’s office and knock him the fuck out.

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At the end of each session Mike very kindly stretches my muscles out for me which basically involves me, on my back with another man pinning both of my legs behind my head after which I can’t walk properly for about a week.

Just like a visit to the fucking doctor’s then!!!

Boom Boom.

Cheers.

 

 

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the thinking man’s man’s man’s guide to being a man

Tom Selleck

If, like the author, you are incredibly rugged and manly but just choose to express it in more non-conventional ways like having a real soft spot for peonies or not being afraid of a scented candle every once in a while then this guide has been specially designed to help you blend in with basically all the other men you will ever come in to contact with. And when I say ‘contact’ I don’t mean that in any kind of a gay way before you all start.

I have the soft supple hands of a man who in all honesty is more comfortable applying a rejuvenating face mask than sanding down a wall. I can’t grow a beard to save my life, the only real shaving I do is shavings of pecorino on my bucatini all’amatriciana.

‘Oh but pecorino is just a cheap alternative to parmesan’ I hear you luddites cry. Go fuck yourselves.

This is exactly the sort of behaviour that is met with scorn and derision by ‘real men’ like for example my dad who is fond of saying things like, ‘Richard’s never done a proper day’s work in his life.’ Well de-pilling all of my cashmere and merino jumpers wasn’t exactly a fucking walk in the park old man let me tell you.

My brother is certainly more manly than I am. When we were kids he got kicked out of his rugby team for beating the shit out of a bigger boy on his own team and has been my old man’s favourite ever since then. I was busy practicing my one man show, experimenting with using Sun-In on my side parting and wrestling with the typical dilemmas of any young man such as ‘does the colour purple really suit me or am I just lying to myself?’ I’m still undecided.

Inevitably, when I first got a girlfriend my dad made the typical dad quip, ‘well we were worried he was gay for a while.’ Only I don’t think he was actually joking, in any way.

So if any of this rings a bell (not in a gay way, you understand) and you need to learn how to successfully integrate with real men and when I say ‘integrate’ oh fuck it here’s the list…

#1 KNOW YOUR MOTORWAYS

Map-of-Motorways-in-England-UK

This is a really useful tip, you should now commit this image to memory because whenever you drive anywhere there is always likely to be a real man at the end of your trip, your new girlfriend’s dad for example who will immediately ask you what route you took.

I struggle to navigate my way out of my own house and just obey what my Sat Nav tells me to do without question. I’m not even very good at doing what it tells me and I certainly have no idea what any of the roads are actually called. This is not the manly way to go. Real men do not need a Sat Nav, they know every possible route to every possible destination off by heart and they will ask you about it, straight away.

‘Which way did you come? M6, M40, M5?’

‘Yeah.’ Best to just agree, but there’s always a chance it could be a trap…

‘Come off at junction 9?’

‘That’s right, junction 9.’

‘There is no junction 9, I just made it up. Get the fuck out of my house.’

If you’re feeling like you want to play in the big leagues then what you should do is study your route beforehand and pick an obscure road to follow to your destination, make sure it’s real though or you’ll be found out but you’ll get awesome man points when you drop it in to your first conversation.

‘Actually I came off at junction 15 and took the B9000 via Chichester. Saved us about 17 minutes.’

‘Welcome to my family, you ever need anything you come to me.’

So simple, only requires years to perfect and completely pointless due to modern technology but so, so worth it for man points. Next….

#2 BEER. YOU WANT A BEER

That_Is_One_Large_Beer

Remember, if you’re in the company of real men and someone asks you what you want to drink, you want a pint of non-specific beer. If you are asked to further elaborate on this you should have some stock answers to hand such as ‘Stella’ (real men call it ‘Wife Beater’), ‘Carling’ or ‘Fosters’ actually I think that last one might even be slightly frowned upon. You definitely can’t go wrong with a pint of wife beater though so stick to that. I think Peroni might be OK but it’s not on tap everywhere so there’s always the danger that they don’t have it and then you’ve singled yourself out as the effeminate metrosexual who wanted a Peroni because he can’t drink Stella. Then if you’re ever in the company of these extended family members/work colleagues/girlfriend’s friends boyfriends again they’ll always ask you if you want a Peroni and laugh at the hilarious time you made a tit out of yourself by requesting a Peroni, you fucking nonce.

Just don’t draw attention to yourself, go with the herd. Whatever you do don’t order a dry martini (not dry as a bone dry, but dry) and then change your mind when you find out they’ve got no grapefruits for the twist. And don’t then order a glass of Pinot Grigio but send it back because it’s not cold enough and just say to the bewildered waitress, ‘Just bring me a glass of the coldest white wine you have, as long as it’s not Chardonnay.’

I didn’t do both of those things at once by the way, I’m not that bad. It was two separate incidents.

#3 DON’T URINATE, EVER.

Not really sure why but real men retain water like fucking camels. And when I say water I of course mean Stella. They’ll down 8 pints in the airport and make it all the way to the hotel in Benidorm without even a twinge in the bladder.

Train yourself, God knows how, you figure it out.

#4 DON’T ASK QUESTIONS WHEN ORDERING FOOD

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Steak. Medium. That’s what you want. You’re not this fucking clown off the telly so don’t start trying to show off.

Regular readers will know that this is a particularly problematic area for the author. I just can’t help being a dick in these situations anyway but with a group of proper lads it is never going to end well. If you’re with a group of real men then just order the exact same steak as the guy next to you, which he wanted medium, no doubt. If you must have a sauce then peppercorn is acceptable but you’re better off just asking for some ketchup. Don’t start faffing around asking if the gnocchi is homemade on the premises that day or if the chef leaves the roe on the scallop. Don’t be that guy. And don’t, for the love of God start trying to change bits and bobs off the menu, giving it all;

‘Yeah can I have that with linguine instead of rigatoni, I just feel like I’m in more of a twirley mood?’

The only questions you should ask are pervy, creepy ones like ‘What time do you knock off love, we’re hitting Vodka Rev’s later?’ or better yet don’t ask questions at all as these could illicit a stinging erudite response. Just stick to vaguely offensive comments like, ‘pop your phone number on the bill darling.’ or ‘I bet you enjoy a nice healthy portion don’t you sweetheart?’ Then just eat your dull overcooked steak in absolute silence, occasionally looking up and shouting ‘Oi. Pal. Ketchup’ at that fucking poof of a waiter and that’s pretty much dining out all covered.

You can always go back the following week on your own if needs be so that you can finally enjoy those gnocchi that were described as ‘little heavenly pillows’ on Trip Advisor, man they sounded good. Nice Chablis Grand Cru to wash it down, good lad.

#5 GET YOURSELF SOME TOOLS

tools

Any proper man’s man knows how to handle a big tool (not in a gay way). You will need to invest in at least a basic set. If you move in with your sweet lady and need some minor repairs doing around the house then the inevitable moment will arrive when she invites her dad over to carry out the job and the first thing he’ll say is, ‘I bet you haven’t even got a spanner have you lad?’ with a condescending laugh. ‘No but I’ve got a pasta rolling machine and a fucking potato ricer so whether you want tortellini or gnocchi I’ve got us well covered you old fuck’ is not a suitable comeback.

Just out tool the old prick. Get a fucking angle grinder out to chop down that dodgy shower rail. Put up that generic Ikea print using a pneumatic drill, it doesn’t really matter seeing as no one really knows how to use tools anyway it’s all just posturing and everything can be solved by giving it a good whack on the end with a hammer (totally not gay). Plus, the older man will always take responsibility for any DIY jobs, that’s just hard-wired in to real men so as long as you have some tools you’ll probably never be called upon to use them, until you get old and have to condescend to some poor young fool as if that was never you to begin with. That’s the circle of life my good friends, Hakuna Matata.

Cheers

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