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20 Skills every man should be able to do

Make sure you're at your manly best with these 20 essential skills to make you a much better man.

20 Skills every man should be able to do
03 November 2015

Make sure you're at your manly best with these 20 essential skills to make you a much better man.

Hypnotise a dog

Choose an environment that the dog is comfortable in, somewhere without distractions that could excite the canine. Calm the pet by stroking it’s head, back or belly. Sit up tall to achieve a dominate, alpha status and use a soothing voice to talk to the dog, instructing it to relax in your best pantomime hypnotist voice.

As the dog begins to calm and become more and more submissive, move it into a relaxed and comfortable position like on it’s back. If the dog provides resistance, start again. Once the dog is on it’s back continue to stroke it’s belly and lower the volume of your voice until it’s limbs go limp. Continue to hold them until it’s completely docile.

Cook a bloody brilliant bacon sandwich

Find north without a compass

Northern Hemisphere

Wearing an analogue watch, point the hour hand (the smallest one) at the sun. Workout the mid-point between the hour hand and the 12 O’clock mark. The line that goes through the middle of the angle points south, the opposite is north.

Southern Hemisphere

Do the same as above but this time point the 12 O’clock mark at the sun. Take the line that goes through the middle of the angle between 12 and the hour hand as before, only this time it works in the opposite way.

Make an Improvised screwdriver

If you're looking to unscrew a flathead, grab yourself some pliers and a washer that fits the screw lengthwise. Grip the washer in the pliers and you've got yourself a makeshift screwdriver. If dealing with a Phillips style screw, take an old toothbrush and melt the end with a lighter. Push the malleable plastic into the screw until it hardens and use the toothbrush to unscrew. Failing that, elongate one of the cross sections using a hacksaw and use the above pliers method. 

Understand a wine menu

Don’t get flustered if you don’t understand the wine menu by remembering the following tips:

  • In most situations red wine should never be chilled.
  • House wine is for cheapskates, but the second cheapest is for people that want to be ripped off. These two bottles will always have the highest price mark-up and be of lower quality. Go for the third cheapest if you're looking to save money.
  • Red wine, despite what critics will tell you, works excellently with fish, provided it’s the more meaty flavoursome variety.
  • White wine with chicken.
  • Red wine with red meat. Always.

Blag Your Way Into A Nightclub When You're Not On The LIst

Blag your way into a club in three steps:

1 -Dress the part. If you look like you’re supposed to be there in the first place then people will rarely bat an eyelid. Admission is 70 percent down to confidence, and looking right will give you loads.

2 - Be cool and collected and follow. Stroll in on the coattails of other people that are going in, put your shoulders back, acknowledge the bouncers. Be confident. Don’t be alone; a beautiful partner in crime is always a good thing.

3 - Don’t panic. If you’re stopped, be polite, have a good story that doesn’t begin with: ‘Do you know who I am?’, offer to step aside and show you’re patient. Don’t apologise more than once. Accept their feigned annoyance and enter the club.

Iron a shirt without an iron

If you own a dryer, throw your shirt into the dryer on high heat with a few ice cubes. The ice will melt and effectively steam your shirt. Leave for a few minutes then hang or wear immediately. Failing that, hang your shirt outside your shower just before you jump in. Allow the room to fill with hot steam which will remove any stubborn wrinkles. Once you’ve showered hang the shirt immediately to dry out before wearing.

Pack without creases

Fold your clothes as you usually would but instead of packing straight into your case, insert a plastic bag between each fold. The bag will eliminate friction between the fabric and stop your clothes from turning into a creased mess. 

How to use a newspaper for self defence 

Roll four to five sheets of newspaper then begin folding them in half as many times as possible to create the shape of a makeshift cosh. Flatten the end on a hard surface (not somebody's face). You have just made yourself a Millwall Brick – a potentially lethal weapon favoured by football hooligans but ideal for emergency situations where you need to react.

Cook a perfect steak

Choose a good cut of meat that has a decent amount of fat content, this will add to the taste. Ribeye is perfect.

Heat your pan until it’s literally smoking hot, lightly brush your steak on both sides with oil, season with a little salt and pepper. Add to the pan but don’t turn until the cooking side is sufficiently seared. For a cut of meat roughly 2cm thick this would be:

Rare: 1½ minutes each side

Medium rare: Two minutes each side

Medium: 2¼ minutes each side

Medium-well done: 2½ – three minutes each side.

Allow the steak to rest for around two to three mins before serving. Eat, and enjoy. 

Ditch your double chin

Cut back on the amount of pillows you sleep with, sleeping with multiple contracts your neck and contributes to chin pile-ups. Drink tea instead of fizzy drinks at work. Caffeine is a natural diuretic and can prevent water retention. Avoid high salt foods that encourage bloating and water retention. 

Do this exercise when nobody is looking:

Tilt back your head and stick out your chin. Open and close your mouth as far as possible until you can feel the muscles in your jaw stretching. Slowly release. Do this multiple times a day during the week to tone the muscles in your jaw.

Get sunglasses that fit your face

Big Nose?

Avoid sunnies with a high bridge, it’ll make your snout look longer.

Round face?

Avoid round frames, it’ll make you look like a football. Opt for rectangular or oval frames to add width to your face dial.

Square face?

An aviator style frame with the top edges tapered inwards towards your forehead. This will slim your face and stop you from looking like a puppet.

Long face?

Go for sunglasses with depth but don’t overdo it on width. Something like a classic Ray Ban Clubmaster will round-off your face without making you look like a Muppets character.

Temporarily fix a leaky tap

It won’t fix the leak completely (you should probably get a plumber to really sort that out if tightening doesn’t suffice) but it will stop the annoying dripping that’s keeping you awake at night. Tie a piece of string around the end of the tap, leading right down towards the plughole. The water will run down the length of the string as opposed to dripping all night. Noise cancelled.

Make new jeans look old

Wear the jeans without washing them for a week or so (two weeks if possible) to create natural creases around your joints, pockets and fly areas. Once the creases are beginning to appear, take some sandpaper and lightly rub along key areas like pockets and seams. Don’t overdo it, just enough to cause a natural looking distress. Wear the jeans for another week, then wash in cold water and hang to dry to bring out your new distressed look.

Teach a dog to fetch

Get your dog a frisbee. Start by letting the mutt get familiar with the frisbee by allowing it to take the disc from your hand. Everytime your pooch does this, provide a treat. Keep doing this until your dog consistently takes the frisbee from you.

Once the dog is used to holding the frisbee in it’s jaws, initiate games of tug-of-war to make the dog increasingly comfortable. Slowly but surely begin rolling the frisbee to your dog on the ground, encouraging it to pick it up. Provide treats each time it’s successful, build this until you’re doing serious throws. 

Beat the heat and stay cool

Start by popping open a few buttons if you’re wearing a shirt (no more than two, you’re not an exhibitionist) and rolling your sleeves. At some point excuse yourself to the bathroom and run the cold tap along the inside of your wrist, or if maneuverable, your elbows. Do this until you start to feel a little less like a pizza oven.

Remove a broken light bulb from a socket

Make sure the light is now turned off so that you don’t electrocute yourself. Slice a potato in half then press the now flat end of the spud into the broken lightbulb, use force if needed. The jagged edges of the bulb will embed themselves in the potato allowing you to use it as a turning handle. Unscrew the lightbulb. Don’t eat the potato. 

Throw A Knockout Punch

Obviously it should always be a last resort but everyone should know how to throw a punch in self-defense. The punch needs to drive through your entire body, starting in your heels and carrying straight through, maximising the quick-release energy so you're using your entire body when the fist connects.

Keep your fist tight and your wrist straight, your shoulders should be low with your lats nice and tense. When you connect, you should aim for a centre point such as the nose. If you don't knock your attacker out on impact you'll at least stand a chance of getting them on the ground. Make sure your punch comes out straight, horizontally and doesn't go vertical as this will leave you open to a counter attack.


Win at scrabble

Follow a strict strategy that aims to the following:

Words that get rid of vowels e.g.  AITU (4pts), INIA (4pts).

Words that get rid of tricky letters e.g. XENIA (12pts), ZOEA (13pts)

Words that freak people out e.g. OXYPHENBUTAZONE (Up to 1,778 - if played across three triple word scores) 

Concentrating on the first two options in particular, get yourself a working knowledge of words that fit these categories then take home the spelling bacon.

Find water in the wilderness

Need: A cup, plastic sheet or bag, something to dig with.

How: Dig a small hole that’s deeper than your cup, place your drinking vessel in the centre and cover the entire hole with the plastic sheet (an open plastic plastic bag will do). Weigh down the edges of the sheet around the hole with rocks so that it forms a canopy, then weigh down the centre of the sheet with smaller rocks. This should be directly above the cup. Wait. Condensation will eventually begin to run down the sheet and into the cup.