Friday, July 22, 2011

Man Chat

This week I am invoking what I call The My Blog, My Rules Clause.

I’ve had some people ask me how I go about choosing a topic each week. Here’s my high-tech system:

I write all the suggestions I get onto little slips of paper and stick them in a cup that features Rapunzel, Disney’s latest princess. So earlier this week, I drew out a slip that read, “The history of advertising.” I’d been looking forward to this one, since it was something I knew absolutely nothing about. I googled books on the history of advertising, and then on Monday I stopped by Barnes & Noble to see if they had the books. They had one, so I left and made plans to come back on Wednesday and dig into the research. Remember, I promised you more than just regurgitating Wikipedia.

But on Wednesday, my plans were foiled. I got to Barnes & Noble, set up shop in a corner, and cracked open the book.

It was completely useless. I frantically scanned the rest of the shelves in the business section, but it was filled with how-to books and individual biographies of successful business.

What was I going to do? I briefly considered making something up, but figured my business-minded friends would catch on. I then thought about reading Wikipedia and whipping something out, but I couldn’t bring myself to settle. Finally, I thought about what I would want my theoretical high school English students to do when faced with a similar situation. I’d want them to ask me for help. So I asked me for help, and I told myself, “Write about something else this week, and keep researching advertising for next week.”

My Blog, My Rules, right? Today I will use the rest of my 500-something words to answer a question that has been plaguing four young men who attend Regent’s Park College, University of Oxford.

For next week—does anyone have books on advertising I could borrow? And, as always, you can leave challenges/ideas/questions/suggestions in the comments box.

And now, without further ado, Man Chat’s controversial debate:

Cuddle, Marry, Tranquilize, Dress up like Little Bo-Peep. William Barns-Graham, Ross Jones-Morris, Oliver Sheerin and Oli Watson. Choices and why.

These guys were some of my best friends during my year in Oxford. They’re some of the funniest people I’ve ever known, even when their cutting remarks are aimed at me and my accent. For reasons still unclear to me, they dubbed me an honorary member of Man Chat. Every so often, we’d go to the pub around the corner, drink Guinness, and chat. It was an uproarious good time.

Cuddle: Ollie Sheerin.
Reasons: He’s tall. He has good banter. He owns snuggly sweaters/jumpers.
Marry: Oli Watson.
Reasons: I want to live on a farm, with nine ginger children hanging about my person as I try to carry on the day’s work.

Tranquilize: Ross Jones-Morris.
Reasons: He can’t ask for his shirt back if he’s unconscious.

Dress up like Little Bo Peep: William Barns-Graham.
Reasons: It wouldn’t be the first time I’ve seen Beej dressed as a woman, and I suspect his nails may already be prepared for the occasion.

Want more Man Chat? I highly recommend TheModernCultureBlog—written by more than one of the founding members of Man Chat—where you can read their fantastically written reviews of, well, modern culture.

Beej and Ollie
Rojo and Oli


  1. This is outrageous. Why does nobody ever want to cuddle me?

  2. This is brilliant. ---Liz

  3. Yes!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Definitely my favorite one so far!! Good chat. Banter. --Jessi

  4. Write 500 words on a brooding high schooler who falls in love with a sparkly vampire.

  5. Fantastic. Love that you included pictures so as to clearly and properly visualize the unconscious, the cuddled, the husband...the costumed...etc. :)