1. A black eye. Unless the rim hits your face mid-dunk, your peepers should remain unblemished. You're smart enough to talk your way out of any fight you're going to lose.
No black eyes since I was 18, and that was when I was knocked off my bicycle while doing a century (100 miles) from Colts Neck, NJ, to Washington's Crossing, NJ.
2. A witty e-mail signature. Quotes and song lyrics should be heard during toasts and karaoke performances, respectively. Don't let your electronic correspondence become the digital version of a motivational poster.
Nope. I don't even sign most of my email.
3. An empty refrigerator. Your larder should be amply stocked, your pantry provisioned. Always aim to be ready to create an on-the-fly, three-course dinner for her...along with breakfast in bed.
Typical yuppie bravado, with the implication that somehow you'll find happiness if you can just impress a woman and bed her quickly.
4. PlayStation thumb. When they're relaxing, grown men can behave like children. But if you devolve long enough to cause calluses or button-shaped bruises, you're assuredly missing out on life.
No video games since PacMan in 1982.
5. A key chain with a bottle opener. This bauble is both a gauche reminder of your college days and proof that you don't know how to apply leverage using available, impromptu bottle openers: a lighter, the back end of a fork.
No key chain at all; just a metal loop. As far as the "leveraging" stuff, did plenty of leveraging in Africa. You can open a beer with a knife, if you practice long enough.
6. A lucky shirt. Every shirt is lucky when worn by a man who knows that the harder he works the luckier he'll be.
No duh. But the writer sure got preachy about it.
7. An unstamped passport.
Golly, I guess I better go somewhere when I renew my passport in November. Or keep the other ones around in case I need to impress someone at the last minute.
8. Olympic dreams. Exceptions: curling and archery.
This never even occurred to me. Curling looks fun, but not if you're serious about it.
9. Less than $20 in his wallet. Fiduciary nudity is negligence. A real man should always carry a business card and enough dough to pick up coffee, bagels, and the Sunday paper without whipping out the plastic.
Except everywhere takes plastic these days. There's also an endless recursive loop in this idea ... if you need that last $20, but you can't have less than $20 in your wallet, then you have to take out the plastic, anyway.
10. A name for his penis. Even if it's a really clever name.
TMI — but I've always referred to it by its generic name, or one of the normal alternatives.
11. Any beer that costs less than $20 a case. And no exception for the grand-slam 30-pack that crosses that price threshold.
I'm in recovery. There's no beer in my fridge. And jebus, aren't you a little concerned about what's in the fridge as a manifestation of maturity?
12. The need to quote The Big Lebowski/ Caddyshack/Superbad. Reciting someone else's lines reminds people that you haven't the wit to write your own.
I refuse to distinguish between modes of knowing. (Yes, I stole that line. Tough.)
13. A futon. Sure, beds are for sleeping. But such a meager, slouchy spread has never, in the history of sex, inspired a woman to say, "Take me on your futon."
You can have a futon if it's in the guest bedroom, and there's a bed in that guest bedroom. Then, it's just a spare bed.
14. Code words for ugly women. Actually, code words for anything.
I concur that ugly women should be treated with dignity and respect, and besides, beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Code names in general? Hmm ... I should think of something witty to say, but I'll leave it to the third funniest man in Alabama to come up with a witty retort.
15. A Nerf hoop in his living room. Keep the adolescent accoutrements where they belong: in the rec room or above the wastebasket in someone else's office.
Got a football, a basketball and a wiffle ball on top of the stereo. But that's all.
16. A secret handshake.
You mean the one that only the rich know?
17. Drinking glasses with logos. Especially those kitschy McDonald's Hamburglar ones.
Nope and nope.
18. A recent story with the phrase "So I said to the cop …"
Is two years ago recent?