Entry 161: Cave Men

Evidently there is a basic cable channel called the DIY Network.

I have never come across it, not even when surfing through every channel on my TV. Or maybe I did and wasn’t tempted to stop; there may not be another channel less likely to be airing something of interest to me, and that includes the religious channel that seems to always be showing a talk show featuring nuns.

“DIY,” of course, stands for Do It Yourself, and it’s a really stupid acronym because you can’t pronounce it. “Do-ey?” “Di-i-i?” I mean, saying the acronym is only one syllable shorter than saying the whole thing! And, anyway, shouldn’t it be “Do It Myself?” “Do It Yourself” is how my household operates; whenever a project needs to be done, we call someone and say, “You do it.”       

Where was I?

Oh, right…the DIY (but should be DIM) Network. Most of the shows on the DIY Network have similar themes. They have “Kitchen Crashers,” “Bath Crashers.” “Yard Crashers” and “House Crashers.” Here is the official description of “House Crashers:”

Host and contractor Josh Temple stalks a big-box home improvement store looking for unsuspecting weekend warriors, then follows them home with a large crew of experts in tow. Watch as stunned homeowners who journeyed into the store to fix a simple leaky faucet end up winning the remodeling lottery with dramatic, eye-popping room transformations.

I want to see the episode where the “stunned homeowner” comes out of his house with a submachine gun to defend his family against the hordes of hulking home repair experts who stalked him through Home Depot® and then followed him home. You’d see some eye-popping transformations then, I bet.

Today, however, I want to discuss a DIY show of a completely different kind. It’s called Man Caves,” and it’s hosted by Tony Siragusa, a former football player who now paces the sidelines doing color commentary during Fox NFL telecasts, although you just know what he’s really doing is waiting for one of the coaches to let him play.

Tony is a man’s man. In fact, he is large enough to be several men’s man. Looking at him, it is possible that his man cave is an actual cave.

A man cave, in case you’re not familiar with the term, is a room which is designed solely for the use of the man of the house. It is his den, his lair, his domain. It is outfitted exactly the way he wants, without any unwanted “woman’s touches” such as crumb-free upholstery.  Judging from the photos I found on the DIY Network website, most men want the following three things: a pool table, a TV the size of a drive-in movie screen, and an elaborate bar set-up that would be more appropriate in, well, a bar.

The photo below exhibits these three foundational components of a man cave, although a more manly choice of movie characters might be recommended.

Once these three man cave basics are installed, the man is free to decorate his cave according to his personal taste, which, more often than not, is non-existent. Design motifs tend to gravitate toward themes like “Early Cleveland Browns” and frequently involve framed sports memorabilia and pieces of old cars turned into furniture. (“Yes, Tony, that carburetor makes a fine sofa!”)

I get the whole man cave concept. Certainly, a man should have a place where he can be alone with his thought, where he and his man friends can spend an evening drinking beer, eating unhealthy snack foods, and watching the game in mind-numbing Surround Sound that makes you feel like you’re at the stadium, especially since, when you are at the stadium, you end up watching most of the game on a Megatron screen roughly the same size.

But can’t a man cave be more civilized? Instead of installing a huge display case filled with autographed baseball jerseys and wallpapering the room by gluing coasters from “taverns I’ve been to” directly onto the wall, how about some sort of non-sports-related art?  Even rapper Snoop Dog* has art in his man cave, although it’s a huge painting of him with penis-shaped smoke coming out of his mouth.

My brother-in-law Gary has a man cave. He has the three basic furniture groups: big TV, pool table, bar. He also has the prerequisite sports memorabilia and a rack of shot glasses from around the world. But there are also indications in the room that someone fairly high up on the evolutionary chart resides there. Book shelves, for instance. With volumes other than The Baseball Encyclopedia and bound collections of Sports Illustrated swimsuit issues.

I don’t have a man cave. My wife Barbara gives me enough grief over a single “man chair” which is, admittedly, so large the movers needed to plot out a game plan to get it into the room.

But if I did have a man cave, I think it would be more subdued than the ones they have on DIY Network. A top-notch sound system, plush leather chairs, sound-proofing.  It would feel more like a British men’s club than a sports bar. It would be set up so that a few guys could spend an evening drinking brandy and discussing serious topics of social and political importance.

It would probably only need one chair.

See you soon.

*Snoop Dog, apparently, has changed his name to Snoop Lion, or Puff Doggy, or the Artist Formerly Known as Snoop, or something like that.

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One Response to Entry 161: Cave Men

  1. Vinny Bond says:

    I want one, but would have to build an extension onto the house to accomodate it and well..that seems like way too much work

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