This site contains affiliate links to products. We may receive a commission for purchases made through these links. Learn more

Do not feel guilty about reclaiming your Man Time

Danny Wallace on why enjoying some quality Man Time is crucial – just don’t fill it with 'banter'

Do not feel guilty about reclaiming your Man Time

Men are absolutely brilliant. They seriously are. Think of the greatest, most inspiring person you’ve ever heard of. There is a 50/50 chance that person was born a man. Well, born male. Only Bear Grylls was born a man.

It’s been a great year so far for men. A man won the men’s final at Wimbledon. Another man won Male Celebrity Spectacle Wearer Of The Year. And for the rest of us, it has become more important than ever that we take the time to sit quietly for a moment and truly appreciate our manhood.

That sounded wrong.

Life is busy. There’s a lot asked of us. Yes, admittedly, we are all amazing at DIY. Yes, each of us can fix a car from scratch. And no, there is not one man in this country from Manchester to Mansfield to the Isle Of Man who is unable to erect scaffolding and lift weights and wrestle a bear while reading a map. That’s who we are. Sue us.

But we need our Man Time.

My Man Time is probably different to your Man Time, because each of us is a unique and pretty gift to the world; a darling butterfly; precious and gentle and tender. We are all special collector’s editions of ourselves. But I bet I’d still enjoy your Man Time, because we’re British men, and there will be things we have in common.

A recent survey said people lose interest in the sentence they’re reading the second they realise it starts with the words ‘a

recent survey said’.

But another recent survey said that in the US, Man Time “includes but is not limited to fishing, hunting and killing a cow with your bare hands”.

They’re quite different to us in the US, aren’t they?

British men do not need to do such basic things with their hands to enjoy Man Time, whether those things are cow-based or not. British men use their minds instead. They use stories and mouths. Our version of Man Time is older than time itself, even though that makes no sense, and our version of Man Time involves storytelling, jokes, and the word that has regrettably bludgeoned its way into modern conversation – banter.

(I hate that word with a passion. Just typing it a moment ago made me lose vast swathes of respect for myself for writing it, and all my respect for you for reading it. But I will defend to my dying day your right to use it. Though of course if you shorten it to ‘bants’ I will have you arrested.)

Sitting down with friends to tell tales is a necessary part of the human experience. The history of mankind and the fabric of manhood is weaved together with the exchange of stories. Evidence uncovered by researchers suggests some of our earliest ancestors sat around fires about 1.9 million years ago, which – in my scientific opinion – is ages.

That kind of bonding makes us happier, better, stronger men. Men who could kill a cow with their bare hands but choose not to.

So do not feel guilty about reclaiming your Man Time tonight, or maybe tomorrow. You are merely doing what evolution tells you to. For you are the very pinnacle of evolution – yes, you, in your top, reading this, looking forward to your cheese and onion sandwich later on. You are, so far, what life on Earth itself has been leading to, and you deserve a break.

So here’s to men. Let’s hope another man nails the Wimbledon men’s final again next year, and we keep that incredible record up. And here’s to Man Time, and 1.9 million years of absolutely classic bants.


I have just placed myself under arrest.