Be a Man

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- On car trips with the family, never ask for directions when you're lost. Just keep driving aimlessly around, searching for the mysterious Lost Street of the Damned. Navigate by the seat of your pants like the great Lewis and Clark explorers of old.

- But it's okay to stop for directions when driving with another guy because he won't sit patiently as you pass the same McDonald's for the third time.

- Inch forward at stoplights to keep up with the guys in the cars on both sides. It's all about who's out in front.

- Even if you don't know a hub cap from a distributor cap, never admit you're a stranger to the male domain of auto mechanics. If your car won't run and you're at a loss for words, try "Could be a cracked ring. Have you checked the compression?"

- A real man doesn't need the instruction sheet to figure out something as simple as programming his new VCR but to cook something as simple as oatmeal, a guy will follow the recipe with the exactitude of a chemical engineer.

- Don't confess that you know little, and could care less, about a particular sport, especially if it's during the finals. "Yeah, that Bo, he's really something. WOW! Did you see that hook shot!"

- Never admit you don't understand a political issue. Opinions are like whiskers. You're not an adult male without them.

- There's no need to consult the TV Guide when there's a remote control handy. Just dive bomb through all 51 channels, evading commercials like flak, in the never-ending search for a suitable landing spot.

- If you spill something on the floor, clean it up with a bath towel. It's unmanly to get down on the floor, so just slop the towel around with your feet.

- Never pay one of your buddies a compliment. Instead say things like, "Where'd you get your haircut, the school for the blind?" or "Who is that awesome blonde I saw you with and what are you going to do for a date once she meets me?" He'll instinctively get the message that this means you value his friendship.

- If a man cuts you with one of those insults, tell your girlfriend that it hurt your feelings, and you'll come off more sensitive than Phil Donahue. But never reveal it to the other guy. For example, "Coach, when you said I was a low life turdbrained doofus for striking out with the bases loaded, it made me feel small and sad."

- Never reveal anything about your true, actual authentic and biological sex life to another guy unless the guy is a urologist.

- A man should make as much as or more money than his girlfriend or wife. He should be as tall or taller, and at least as smart. Naturally, he should be able to outplay her in many activities, from Ping-Pong to chess. Having met these requirements, he should be liberated enough to be unconcerned about such things.

- If there are more than two urinals in a restroom and one is being used, proceed to the farthest available urinal. If a line has formed, maintain proper spacing of at least 3 feet back from the guy using the urinal. Above all, if nothing happens within 30 seconds, don't just stand there like a geek; shake (3 shakes maximum, anymore and the guy next to you will probably ask you for a date), zip up your fly, flush the toilet and walk away.

- If you can't take it, you're not a man (whatever "it" might be). Maybe you're scared of roller coasters, but if your buddies want to go on one, you'd better gird your loins and groan through the zero-Gs or you'll never hear the end of it.

- Ignore or deny physical pain. As comedian Billy Crystal reports, "Mike Tyson once hit Trevor Berbick so hard, Trevor did the dance Ann-Margaret did in Bye Bye, Birdie. Did he hurt you, Trevor? 'I was, ah, stunned, that's all, just stunned.'"

- Never openly display a broken heart or discuss it with other guys. That's between you, your six-pack and your collection of Frank Sinatra records.

- Don't tell another man your deepest hopes or fears. That's like saying, "How do you like my suit of armor - It's only got two weak spots in it - here and here."

- If you want to lose weight, don't even think about giving up Ben & Jerry's Chunky Monkey ice cream. Instead, pull on your running shoes and pound those calories into submission.

- Every guy should be hip about guns. Hand an economics professor a Remington, and even if he's never been within 100 light years of a gun before, he'll work the action, sight down the barrel and generally act like a reincarnation of Daniel Boone or Rambo.

- If your girlfriend is looking on, flip aloofly through that issue of Playboy as if it were a Better Homes and Gardens special issue on Tupperware. In a huddle of your peers, pause regularly to utter appreciative comments like "WOW! Check that out!" and if you're alone, study and quantify each curve like a forensic scientist.

- When shopping with your mate, do not trail her into the women's lingerie department. Stand clear of those racks of silk-and-lace panties like a mechanic would avoid the Whirling Fan blades of Death.

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