Preserve your summer mandom

Jul 012008
Authors: J. David McSwane

Each summer, millions of men look deep within themselves for the courage to stand up and fight. This group, of which I consider myself a fervent member, fights for a just and worthy cause, a complex mission that can only be understood by men and men alone.

I call it “man freedom” or for short, “mandom.”

Mandom is the ability to confidently sport a gaping crotch hole in your jean cut-off shorts, to experiment with that almost-full-beard, to eat nothing but steak and cheese for 10 days straight, to drink beer with your Fruity Pebbles, to grill with the guys, to construct an exclusive tree house with a wet bar on a whim . and the list is endless.

Now, I know it’s summer and love is in the air. But all it takes is one pesky relationship to quash your mandom and disrupt your group’s man-force (the delicate balance by which all men find harmony in the presence of their “crew,” “posse” or “homeboys”).

While it’s a sentiment all men share, the allure of the opposite sex inevitably sucks up that once fiery expression of mandom that made you the reigning house beer bong champion.

It’s true. Look to your left. Now, your right. Chances are one of you three is either in or will end up in some sort of oppressive relationship relatively soon (assuming, of course, you’re not an engineering major).

It won’t be easy, but it’s time to smell the barbecue sauce and spend that quality time with those unruly roommates you’ve ignored all year. I know they don’t have trendy hair cuts, those tacky large-framed sunglasses and three different flavors of lip gloss, but at least they laugh at your dick jokes and share your contempt for a 40-hour work week, right? Right.

Unfortunately, CSU offers no club or support group for men united against the oppressive forces of tact, taste and tolerance (the three Ts with which women hope to eradicate mandom and create entropy in the man-force). So I’ve devised a step-by-step guide effective enough to steer even the most cavalier of men back to the TV, just feet away from the fridge.

While those men in relationships are too far along to be saved, the remaining men can preserve their mandom and have a little fun along the way with my “Five Steps to Blissful Mandom or at Least a Funny Story to Tell the Guys Guide:”

Step 1: The Doleful Display. Make an effort to display no valuable qualities in the presence of women (freebie for the engineering majors, start at step 2).

Step 2: The Bodily Functions Approach. If you’ve made eye contact, immediately begin picking your nose and/or fart loudly and ask her to guess what you had for lunch.

Step 3: Tool Time. If she’s still interested, say something stupid like, “My friends say I’m a natural pick-up artist” while flipping your collar (for the engineering majors, say something smart).

Step 4: Share the Wealth. Ask her friends if they can guess what you had for lunch.

Step 5: The Ringer. In the extremely unlikely event that she’s still interested, tell her you work for the Collegian as an occasional columnist and drive a Hyundai.

If this doesn’t repel her, screw mandom. Ask her to marry you; she’s a keeper.

Preserving mandom is never easy. Sometimes it means shamelessly embarrassing ourselves around and for women, constantly striving to learn what makes them unhappy and occasionally falling into a drunken abyss to forget about them.

Excluding the whole hygiene thing, it’s about as much work as a relationship.

And once you think you’ve figured it all out, you find yourself relapsing for the tempting and elusive “summer fling,” known mostly for it’s uncanny ability to ruin action film marathons and to steal the thunder of a burger-without-lettuce meal.

Seriously, it’s been ripping ambiguously gay roommates apart for centuries.

J. David McSwane is a senior journalism major. His column appears occasionally in the Collegian. Letters and feedback can be sent to

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