There are some games that just make a man, feel like a man (I guess that'd be the opposite to Shania Twain's former hit song).
For the really manly men, those 'games' likely include high intensity sports like mixed martial arts, boxing, or Russian roulette (I'm guessing you sweat enough whilst playing Russian roulette that it can be classified as sport).
But for those of us who aren't quite in the “really manly man” category (or, perhaps, those of us who value having a face with symmetrical measurements and bodies that don't resemble Rocky Balboa's face after Rocky I, II, III, IV or V – he musta figured his stuff out later on because in the sixth one he didn't look too bad at fight's end) there's always the “manly games” that come with substantially less pain – Risk (for the “manly nerd”) and paintballing (for the “manly warrior at heart”).
Play one of them successfully and you'll feel like a man.
Play them both within a week (as did I last week), and you'll be as full of testosterone as Lance Armstrong is full of steroids, and the cast of Jersey Shore is full of themselves (or the exact opposite of how full of hair my head is).
Let's start with Risk. One of only a few games where you could put next-to-anything on the television in the background (take that comment as you will) but keep a group of men fully entranced by miniature pieces either being decimated at a turtle-like pace roll-by-roll, or moving across the board at a speed seemingly slower than possible as your male counterpart strategises his next move with a face intensity not dissimilar to one often used by 'kings' on their 'thrones' (that's not a reference to medieval times).
So what's the “draw” for men to Risk.
Perhaps it's simply the opportunity to outwit your opponent (usually a close friend), or perhaps the opportunity to stab someone in the back (you know who you are) or simply the chance to think you could be a brilliant tactician (Pinky and the Brain comes to mind), but whatever the case, it's one of few games where the winner could be near at 11 p.m. and then be the second-last person eliminated five hours later (good luck getting a group of men to be so focussed for six hours anywhere/anyhow else).
And then there's paintballing.
The draw there is as straighforwardly neanderthal as anything – “man hurt man, man happy”. Give a man an opportunity to rapid fire bullets that will sufficiently pain but not permanently ruin another man, and 9 of 10 times he'll chomp at the bits for the opportunity (the 10th guy just has some 'royal' business to attend to first).
But if there's anything learned by a man paintballing, it's that you can't trust a thing from the big screen.
Try to pull a Rambo (apparently today's column is sprinkled with a Stallone-like influence) and sprint out rapid firing or stand confidently in the open shooting bullets into the abyss and you're only guaranteeing you will be tagged more times than something in a window in the red light district.
Also, if you're moving tactically, taking cover behind shelters and wondering why you're still always the first one being hit each round, maybe you should take off the bright orange hat (not pointing fingers at anyone, person whose name rhymes with lobby and whose father cuts down both hair and crime).
So, to make a long story short, this isn't a sexist column. Women can play Risk (although likely not as well)(my conscience says to take that antagonistic remark out, but my fingers aren't hitting the delete button) and they can dominate at paintball, too (I've witnessed that one).
It's just that sometimes a man has to feel like a man.
Anyway, until next time when I've been given an ample amount of slapsgivings for my second-to-last paranthesized comment, keep a smile on your face for the week and I'll be sure to do the same.