101 Uses For a Man

From The Times
July 9, 2009
101 uses for a man

Scientists can now grow synthetic sperm, so do we need men any more? Well, there are a few things they're still good for.

1 Whistling at you in the street on your 41st birthday (this should be a state-funded initiative).

2 Model railways, the running and maintenance of.

3 Pigeon fancying.

4 Particle physics.

5 Eating up the elderly tub of coleslaw in the back of the fridge after an evening at the pub.

6 Opening all those terrifying brown envelopes that the bank will insist on sending you.

7 Catching spiders.

8 Bringing you tea in bed in the mornings.

9 Forgetting your anniversary, but then wildly overcompensating with a completely over-the-top gesture, preferably involving diamonds.

10 Making your limited capacity for grooving look positively Madonna-esque by dancing around you wildly, arms and legs jerking like a demented puppet.

11 Lending you (often without knowing it) a razor.

12 Parking.

13 Ensuring that the children learn to play happily on their own by applying special male method of childcare, namely sitting on the sofa reading the paper while they set fire to the house.

14 Keeping Coleen Rooney in handbags by continuous funding of endless, dreary football games.

15 Explaining the rules of cricket, slowly and in words of one syllable, every two years.

16 Baring his bottom on stag nights.

17 Helping to keep you fit and supple by generously leaving towels, socks and other items of personal attire dotted around the floor for you to pick up.

18 Supporting the luxury car market with the purchase, on his 50th birthday, of a meno-Porsche.

19 Patronising you at parties.

20 Being the Pope.

21 Cartography, and all its many delights.

22 Trying very hard to distract you in the delivery room by telling you about the time he got really badly constipated and had to go to hospital and, you know, the consultant said that sometimes the pain can be almost as bad as the agony of labour . . .

23 Using the last drop of milk before, very helpfully, putting the empty carton back in the fridge.

24 Looking nice in a dinner suit. Every man has an inner James Bond.

25 Stocking the iPod with obscure (albeit largely unlistenable) punk music from the 1970s, even though he went to a nice grammar school and has never even owned a pair of DMs, let alone used them to stamp on a hippy’s head.

26 Driving up very close behind you on the motorway and flashing his lights repeatedly. So sweet to notice your new highlights . . .

27 Being a rock star. Florence and the Machine is all very well, but no match for, say, the raw guitar strut of Caleb out of Kings of Leon (silly name, silly beard, very sexy boy whichever way you cut it).

28 Loading all the glasses the wrong way up in the dishwasher.

29 Overfeeding the dog.

30 Saying, “Oh, so that explains it” in a cryptic voice the day you get your period.

31 Making the inventor of the electric nose-hair clipper very, very rich.

32 Doing lots of very important pointing and shouting.

33 Hunting — and gathering — on the wild Burgundian plains.

34 Catching man-flu.

35 Feeding your children raw barbecue sausages (“It’ll build up their immune systems!”).

36 Removing dead mice from the house.

37 Losing the keys for the roofbox.

38 Blaming you for losing the keys to the roofbox — then finding them in his coat pocket.

39 Making sure that every last pot and pan in the kitchen gets used to its full potential when cooking special Daddy spagbol for Sunday lunch.

40 Building large, pointy metal tubes, filling them with explosives and firing them into the air.

41 Encouraging Britain’s thriving shed manufacturing industry.

42 Insisting that only he can be trusted to drive on the right-hand side of the road in a foreign country and then going the wrong way round the roundabout at the exit from the airport, careering into an oncoming Fiat Panda, arguing furiously with the police and ensuring that the first night of your Italian holiday is spent in a Sicilian jail.

43 Not calling when he says he will.

44 Doing those really strange man-bonding handshakes.

45 Alphabetising your record collection.

46 Being able to wear the same pair of shoes for 25 years before buying a new pair.

47 Accidentally stroking your bottom while directing you to your chair.

48 Codpieces, the wearing of.

49 Eating full-size Mars bars.

50 Inventing Prog Rock.

51 Drinking warm fermented hops.

52 Listening to Wagner.

53 Being a murderous despot (go on, name a female murderous despot).

54 Letting the lawn grow free and wild. It’s not a lawn, it’s an eco-meadow!

55 Warming the bed.

56 Making those trips to Ikea such a stress-free delight.

57 Reading, and actually understanding, instruction manuals for small electrical devices.

58 If not exactly fixing the car, then at least looking purposeful until the AA turns up.

59 Ordering a lovely big bowl of chips in a restaurant which you then eat most of — without, of course, having actually ordered any yourself.

60 Mixing the perfect gin and tonic.

61 Remembering the rules to Canasta.

62 Standing behind you for emotional support as you creep downstairs to investigate those strange noises . . .

63 Remembering the relevance of minor characters in The Sopranos

64 Constructing your son’s 10,000-piece Lego Death Star.

65 Doing price comparisons for car insurance.

66 Setting the sat-nav.

67 Finishing off that glass of wine you poured an hour ago but never got round to drinking.

68 Having more hair on his legs than you.

69 Working out how to fold up the wretched double buggy.

70 Doing up the zip on your dress.

71 Keeping the local Indian takeaway in business.

72 Eating the children’s leftovers (it makes the eco-wash on the dishwasher much more effective).

73 Sky Plus-ing The Wire.

74 Making sure there’s always enough party ice in the freezer.

75 Sweetly buying you size 12 underwear when in actual fact you’re at least a size 16.

76 Helping the children with their trigonometry homework.

77 Always having at least three glasses of water in the vicinity of the bedside table – even if two of those glasses are at least a week old.

78 Going to the dump.

79 Eating cornichons.

80 Delivering a rip-roaring best man speech.

81 Leaving all the drawers and cupboard doors in the house very slightly open.

82 Being Father Christmas, and beards in general.

83 Opening jars (as loosened by you).

84 Regularly contracting obscure and incurable tropical diseases (as diagnosed on Google), only to recover miraculously just in time for the cricket.

85 Snoring.

86 Carving.

87 Watering the toilet seat. What is it, a plant?

88 Doing the Atkins diet. Fried eggs, sausages, lard: what’s not to like?

89 Wearing comedy swimming trucks.

90 Loving his mummy.

91 Making fire.

92 Putting things very helpfully in the general vicinity of the washing machine – but never switching it on (or hanging the stuff out afterwards).

93 Managing to ruin a perfectly plumped-up sofa within precisely three seconds.

94 Keeping all those lovely old gentlemen-only clubs from going under.

95 Going up into the loft.

96 Making sure there are at least four radios in the house that are tuned to John Humphrys at any given time.

97 Presenting Top Gear.

98 Doing air guitar.

99 Suddenly remembering a very pressing telephone call whenever there’s even the whiff of a dirty nappy.

100 Diving, in exotic destinations.

101 Never (or only very occasionally) wanting to borrow your favourite dress.

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