Unless you’ve been living in an actual cave, you’ve probably heard the term “man cave” a lot over the past few years.
In case you have been living in an actual cave, here’s the deal: a man cave is a space set aside specifically for the testicularly-gifted of the household where he can pursue manly things – video games, televised sports, farting – without bothering the rest of the family.
In other words, a man cave is the male equivalent of the ladies’ sewing room, only with cooler toys.
The term is a bit misleading, as it is seldom really a cave. It is usually just a room – maybe a garage apartment, an attic or perhaps a basement. It is seldom an actual hole in the ground – unless you live in a Third World country or maybe West Virginia, in which case a suitable space for pursuing your hobbies is the least of your concerns.
It is only recently that man caves had to be qualified as such. They used to be actual caves, and they used to be the exclusive bailiwick of men. Time marched on and eventually there was the castle. And, since everything belonged to the king, they didn’t have to be qualified as “man castles.”
Castles sound awesome, but they left a lot to be desired. First of all, they’re cold and damp, and who wants to sit around drinking mead with his posse under those conditions?
Also, the entertainment sucked. Back then you wouldn’t have a bad-ass gaming system plugged into your stereo; you’d be lucky to have a jester and a troubadour – and good luck plugging one of those into the other.
At some point we got downgraded from kings to mere guys and, in the process, we lost our castles. Today we make do with man caves.
To help you get the most out of your well-deserved Fortress of Solitude, I’ve assembled some guidelines.
Needless to say, you need a television. The choice of sizes, technologies, features, etc., can be overwhelming, but the main thing to remember is this: size matters. Everything else is secondary to the acreage of your screen. Here’s a good rule of thumb: If you don’t have radiation burns by halftime, it’s not big enough. Man up and get a real television.
Again, bigger is better. And louder is better still (and do I even need to mention bass?) Here’s how to judge your sound system: If the lights in your ‘hood don’t dim when you power up, you need more wattage. And if your wife doesn’t leave the house when you crank up the dubstep, add another subwoofer.
Of course you need a game system. Again, there are several options, and it would be hard to go wrong with any of them. The main thing to remember here is, does it let you blow stuff up? If not, keep shopping; otherwise, you might as well be scrapbooking.
All the amenities in the world don’t mean anything if you don’t have a comfy place to sit – and by “sit,” I mean, “nap.” Invest in a good couch.
A refrigerator is a must for the beer and the … well, OK, the beer.
It’s hard to go wrong with beer signs. Just like all men look like James Bond when they wear a tuxedo, everyone looks good in the golden glow of Corona neon.
Optional but not mandatory
There are lots of options that will make your cave even more manly. A pre-CBS Fender Strat is a nice touch (note: learn at least three chords so you don’t look like a total poser), as is a fully refurbed PacMan machine. A margarita machine is a nice touch but frozen ‘ritas attract the ladies. That’s not a bad thing, but it’s called a man cave for a reason.
So, if you‘ve been looking for a place to call your own, a place where you can enjoy a little “me” time, the man cave may be just what the doctor ordered. And these tips can help you tweak it to its manly best in short order. Now all you have to do tell your wife she has to move her sewing machine.
I’ll wait here.