I like to tell myself that I don't read stuff like this, but Esquire's got a pretty excellent list of "75 skills every man should master".
33. Hit a jump shot in pool. It's not something you use a lot, but when you hit a jump shot, it marks you as a player and briefly impresses women. Make the angle of your cue steeper, aim for the bottommost fraction of the ball, and drive the cue smoothly six inches past the contact point, making steady, downward contact with the felt. Illustration: Leif Parsons.
There are some good, less predictable skills: 5. Name a book that matters; 21. Argue with a European without getting xenophobic or insulting soccer; 52. Step into a job no one wants to do.And then there are the predictable things:
Drinking-related stuff: 17. Make one drink, in large batches, very well; 24. Know his poison, without standing there, pondering like a dope; 32. Describe a glass of wine in one sentence without using the terms nutty, fruity, oaky, finish, or kick.Outdoors-related stuff: 14. Chop down a tree; 26. Cast a fishing rod without shrieking or sighing or otherwise admitting defeat; 51. Build a campfire; 55. Point to the north at any time; 68. Find his way out of the woods if lost; 69. Tie a knot; 74. Know some birds.Sports-related stuff: 4. Score a baseball game; 11. Swim three different strokes; 65–67. Throw a baseball over-hand with some snap. Throw a football with a tight spiral. Shoot a 12-foot jump shot reliably.
I would think that Esquire has made lists like this in the past, and if so I think it would be interesting to compare lists across time. For instance, there's nothing explicitly sports-knowledge-related or steak-knowledge-related — "Have a favorite team," "Know the difference between a New York Strip and a T‑Bone" or something like that — all of which seem like they'd be requirements in the past. It would also be interesting to know if lists like this are recent developments. Would the Esquire magazine of Norman Mailer's era craft a list like this? Probably not, actually. Or, if they did craft lists, they'd be one-item lists: "1. F*** lists."Via BuzzFeed.