With baseball season over (with the worst possible result), we are exploring various winter sports. For this episode, we explore air hockey.
We recently received an air hockey table from our neighbor. The thing has been awesome. We have a ping pong table and a knock hockey set, but neither has ever gotten much traction. Air hockey we play constantly.
When my cousin Sam turned 13, my Aunt Mary threw a hippie “right of passage” ceremony for him. Not sure exactly what it was. I suspect she had hippie friends who did hippie ceremonies for their daughters when they got their first period. But Mary has 2 boys so she had this wacky man ceremony. God only knows with that crew…but my contribution was to send Sam a list of “100 Things You Need to Know Now That You’re a Man.”
#94: Air hockey should always be played with your shirt off.
My brother and I were in the local arcade, Aladdin’s Castle, at the Oakdale mall in our early 20s. We went to play video games but discovered an air hockey table in the back. We played for a solid 30 minutes without shirts on. The guy who worked there came and asked us to put our shirts back on. We said OK, put them on, and then pulled them right back off when he left. He came back, asked again…same result. Third time he asked us to leave.
Fast forward to my home this past week. Me and the boys were playing air hockey with great intensity. I remembered my air hockey rule and said:
“You how the professionals play air hockey? No shirt.”
I tore my shirt off and the boys followed suit. Two minutes later Alex scored a goal on me and then took it up a notch.
“You know how the legends play air hockey…” he smiled.
We spent the next hour playing air hockey in our underwear. I have a photo, but I’m not posting it. Yup…these are my boys. We’re making the best of the offseason.
Here’s the list I sent Sam. I wrote it almost 15 years ago. Most of them hold up:
100 Things You Need to Know Now That You’re a Man
1. You can and should pee everywhere – the front yard, left field, the snow. Think of the world as your urinal.
2. Do not grow a moustache. Gothe, beard and moustache – OK. Just a moustache says, “I have a small penis.”
3. Other ways to say “I have a small penis:” Car stereos that can be heard a block away, motorcycles without mufflers, cigar smoking when not playing cards.
4. Wear a seatbelt, always.
5. Your first beer will taste awful, drink it anyways.
6. Your 50th beer will taste awful, drink it anyways. Trust me, eventually this will make sense.
7. When a man makes fun of homosexuals, deep in his heart, he is terrified that he is gay.
8. When you want a woman’s interest, your impulse will be to be loud, run around, tell jokes and generally try and draw attention to yourself. This is exactly the wrong thing to do. The right thing to do is ignore her. Don’t even look in her direction. If you have to speak with her, don’t be nice. Be short and uninterested. Does this not make sense? Good – neither do women.
9. Wear a condom. Do not break this rule.
10. When faced with a mugger, the heroic thing to do is to slowly and without a word hand over your wallet.
11. When in an argument with someone you love, the one who says “I’m sorry” first has won the argument.
12. By the time you’re 25, you should have visited a minimum of 5 National Parks.
13. “I’m bored” really means “I’m boring.”
14. Do not drink and drive.
15. Fear is not the opposite of bravery.
16. When dealing with people over the phone – electric company, ordering parts, whatever – first thing you do is get the person’s name. Things will go much smoother.
17. When in conversations with a woman you’re attracted to, keyword: listen. If you’re talking, you’re losing. If she’s talking, you’re winning.
18. By the time you’re 25, you should have tried a minimum of 5 ethnic foods.
19. Learn to tie a tie.
20. When you crap and see corn in there, immediately yell, “CORN!” That’s what the professionals do.
21. Treat you mother like a queen. If you won the 50 million dollar lottery and gave it all to her, you still couldn’t pay her back for all she’s given you. What she wants is your time – give it to her. Put your stupid friends off for an hour and sit and talk to her at the kitchen table. Ask her to go get some ice cream – she’ll probably even pay. Write her deliberate, personal letters often. Call her. Tell her you love her every day.
22. When you’re doing something and you’re scared, it’s usually an indication that you’re doing the right thing.
23. You cousin Mike DID NOT FAINT.
24. Pick up things for no reason and spike them on the ground.
25. Learn to love to read. Once you do this, you’re never bored again.
26. Be very loud when playing video games.
27. The word “shit” is pronounced with no “t” at the end.
28. But yourself a Rolling Stones album and play it until you understand why I made you buy it.
29. Say “please” and “thank you.” It opens many doors.
30. When leaving a local bar, carry your empty glasses up to the bar on your way out.
31. Lights, whites, colors, darks, delicates, cold wash – it’s all a plot to sell more soap. Throw it all in together.
32. Jump up and hit things.
33. If you’re in a relationship and don’t hang out with your friends much anymore, it’s usually the sign of a bad relationship.
34. If you and a friend are looking for something to do, try this: Go to the supermarket, buy a box of sweet cereal and a carton of milk, go home, sit at the table and eat the entire thing.
35. When you’ve had your first love and it all comes crashing down in devastating heartbreak, say out loud, “Well, I’m glad I got that outta the way.”
36. Putting a can of tuna fish into mac & cheese really makes a difference.
37. Do not put the seat down.
38. Go to college and graduate. Not for the education or the better job prospects, but because it’s a lot of fun and you don’t want to miss it.
39. Do not spend your college summer breaks at home in a stupid job.
40. Sports and crying do not mix.
41. Take things apart and try and put them back together.
42. California has a total of 19 good drivers. Try and be #20.
43. Make a list of the “Top 100 Things I’d Like to do Before I Die.” (Meet the President, Climb Mt. Everest, Learn to Play Guitar, etc.) It probably won’t be 100, but don’t worry about that. Maintain this list throughout your life.
44. The remote control – that is your property.
45. Never throw away a pair of underwear without a fight.
46. When you streak, do it with your shoes on.
47. The toll-free number to get on the Victoria’s Secret mailing list is: 1-800-888-1500.
48. Do not try the McRibs.
49. If you’ve never seen Die Hard, rent it stat.
50. Learn to change a tire, jump start a battery and check your oil.
51. It is far better to be seen naked than wearing only underwear and shoes.
52. In a pinch, a sock can double as toilet paper.
53. There is not right answer to “Do I look fat?” Leave the room and pour yourself a shot.
54. When a buddy is drunk an flirting with an ugly chick, as his friend it is your duty to make fun of him the next morning.
55. Happy wife = happy life.
56. Don’t ever find yourself saying, “farts aren’t funny, they’re gross.” Farts are hysterical – it’s your butthole making noise for God’s sakes. Farts are funny because they’re gross.
57. Eyes forward at the urinal.
58. Pleasant, wonderful and delightful are no longer words in your vocabulary.
59. When a woman asks you if you want to go shopping, your answer in NO!
60. That date on the milk, don’t worry about that. That’s just the sell-by date.
61. If you have paid more that $11 for a haircut, you have been ripped off.
62. Always double down on 11.
63. Never be without duct tape or a hammer.
64. For a first date, ask women out to breakfast. It catches them off guard sometimes.
65. The food at Hooters is delicious.
66. When a Michael Bolton song comes on, change the station.
67. Do not wear Speedos.
68. This one will be long, but it’s important. You need to know about the word “fine”.
When a man says “fine” he means fine. How’s the car run? Fine. Does this shirt look OK? Fine.
When a woman says “fine,” it’s a death sentence. Ask a woman if she’s all right and she says “fine,” what’s she’s really saying is: “I am not fine. Something is wrong.”
So now you’re expected to plead and cajole her into telling you what’s wrong, thus she has shuffled responsibility onto you, allowing her to be able to say that she tried not to make it a problem or complain.
Here is my thought, my revolution: If we men all got together and did not play the game. It we simply took fine to mean fine, maybe women would stop messing around with all this “fine” crap and just tell us what the hell’s wrong. Let’s us men get together and stop being losers.
69. We men – we’re losers.
70. If you don’t have a toothpick, you can use the mail.
71. Your cousin Mike DID NOT FAINT.
72. A great way to meet chicks: volunteering. You meet nice women and the ratio is about 4 girls to every guy. And 2 out of 3 of the guys are gay.
73. When you make reservations at a restaurant or hotel, your name: Phil McCracken.
74. Never ride a bike with a basket on it.
76. Do not litter. Imbeciles litter.
77. Whenever you camp or hike, you should leave the wilderness cleaner than how you found it.
78. Do not get married until you are 24 and until you’re dated for at least 15 months.
79. The difference between a man and a boy is that a man takes responsibility for his life and actions.
80. #1 profession for meeting girls: bartender.
81. #1 location at a party for meeting girls: near the bathroom.
82. The Chris Nuckols Psych-out Method for Darts:
When people throw darts, after each throw, they look away to the same spot. Find that spot and stand there, so after every throw, your opponent finds himself looking at you, making eye contact. This will shake most people pretty badly.
83. Learn to type.
84. If you’ve done car repairs yourself and then bring the car into a repair shop, blame it on a buddy.
85. Get regular oil changes for your car.
86. The key to a live-in relationship: the dishes.
87. A burp is not something to be ashamed of – display it with pride.
88. When the question comes about: “Should I jump in the water?” Ask yourself this: “Tomorrow I’ll be dry – but tomorrow, will I know what that water was like?”
89. For some reason, women like you more when your clothes are clean. Keep it in mind.
90. If you’re in a wedding party, one of your jobs is to have breath mints at the ready.
91. If it itches, then scratch it by Golly.
92. If you hate your job, you should quit. If you hate where you live, you should move. This may seem obvious, but to most people it is not.
93. Call her up and ask her out – right now.
94. Air hockey should always be played with your shirt off.
95. Very often “I don’t like…” means “I haven’t tried…”
96. A strong smell is the sign of a strong man.
97. The bigger they are, the harder they hit.
98. Notice sunsets and pay attention to your sense of smell.
99. Say “yes” out loud very often. Say it for no reason at all, in response to no one. Yes yes yes yes yes!
100. Laugh loud, dance like a lunatic, take spontaneous road trips, be nice to people, love with every ounce you’ve got. Breathe deep, it’s good to be a man.
7 thoughts on “Winter Sports: Man Laws of Air Hockey”
This does hold up pretty well. Except for the peeing everywhere, and the burping, farting and using a sock as toilet paper, I think your mom would be proud.
Mike, you are a good man. I know that Jack and Alex will love this when they are that age. Oooh, it won’t be long.
This made me miss you very very much.
Do you still have the Lifetime Goals List that we made back in ’93?
Top 100 or so list
A=Actively working on
C=Will continuously work on for life
1. Get sprayed by a skunk
2. Get published A
3. Be a great dad AC
4. Constantly rededicate myself to my marriage AC
5. Sky dive D
6. Scuba dive D
7. Make the perfect home fries D
8. Help sustainability AC
9. Do meaningful volunteer work C
10. Comversatio morem AC
11. Live in NYC D
12. Roadtrip the US properly D
13. Win the Kelly Cup A
14. Learn Spanish
15. Learn to play guitar
16. Travel Steinbeck country
17. Travel the world D
18. Travel again long term
19. Do a lot of great hikes AC
20. Ramble AC
21. Win long stringy out D
22. Win a Pulitzer
23. Win the Nobel prize
24. Have a train that runs on the ceiling
25. Stay/get in shape AC
26. Visit every state in the US
27. Visit every ballpark with the boys A
28. Have a show put up on NYC D
29. Start a theater company D
30. Have a beach steam bake
31. Read the Bible from cover to cover D
32. Read many, many books AC
33. Have a studio
34. Don’t miss church AC
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