Why men need caves


Men need caves to be their base-ass selves, to giggle and fart and talk nonsense because that’s what men do best, being men.

I’ve thought about why men prefer pissing in the outdoors, will even go out of their way to piss outside when they could just as easily go in — and I can’t pass it off as a cat/dog thing, I think it’s something perverse.

Like, we live in the suburbs but my friends and I will go around the edges of the property because it’s rural here and you can pretend you’re in the country, though there’s a slight chance you could be seen if the neighbor happened to be looking out, and that’s kind of exciting.

Two weeks to go in our house before we move out and I finally got my man-cave, in the garage: that crude place of music and menthols and the odd bottle wrenched from a dusty corner, this one, a Bols Oude Jenever which is pronounced AUWD YER NEIGHBOR (and who wouldn’t?), comes in a ceramic bottle that weighs like a bowling ball, an aged Dutch gin that runs like syrup when kept in the freezer, bought in one of those shifty Spanish border-towns where everything’s cheap and people are acting like it’s all going to run out any second.

We sit around the generator and the abandoned desk on a carpet that’s being aired out for piss stains and we laugh and probably fart and mumble nonsense that makes us feel whole again.

We close the bay doors because we’re getting sensitive and funny about early evening breezes, mild shifts in temperature (I have to worry about my friends getting cold now, bad circulation) and I’m glad to have the scent of cigarette smoke on us, it feels legitimately dirty, we’ve arrived at being men.

The thing about good friends is how you can be yourself and somehow they’ll accept you — and it gives you the impression you’re not such a bad old twat after all, they choose to be here. You’re there for your best friends even when you’d rather not, you go back because there’s a part of you in them too.

Some men go to caves to hide and be alone with their tools, but I believe the man-cave is a social place, a place for thinking and ruminating, a place to make art, cave-art.

I moved the tractor out because I didn’t want oil spills on the carpet, and Mike got into the CDs. They aren’t organized, except the titles all go the same way, up and down, and they’re set in the shelves real tight and dangerous so you have to jiggle them to get one to come out, use some fingernail.

We play the old five-CD carousel that has a Shuffle option and the player cranks and does a muscle spasm when changing discs, with long pauses in between.

We did this 25 years ago now, playing the CD Shuffle and passing the hacky-sack in the parking lot, each of us picked out a disc for Shuffle.

We commented on the peculiarity of the Shuffle’s choices and what it seemed to favor, the seeming implausibility of the segues — I guess we assigned it some character, gave it attributes, because that made the randomness more interesting.

We made up a character out of the stereo Shuffle function because it lent a spirit of imagination to our otherwise banal, hacky-sack lives, drinking out of Mason jars with Birkenstocks and Ray-Bans.

You really must believe there’s something more to life, worth sketching on the walls. There is no Random despite the shuffle. We men go back to the caves to return to where we belong.



Categories: humor

Tags: , , , , , , ,

13 replies

  1. This is a great piece. Wish I was there.


  2. I totally forgot about Gumout!

    There’s a room in our new house that has become my “cave,” for want of a better word, where I mess around with music. And even though it’s very tastefully decorated and looks like a place where one of any gender could be content, my wife thinks I’ve “manned” it up so bad she doesn’t even want to set foot in it.

    Maybe that’s part of the caving instinct. The old “No GIRLS allowed!” thing.


    • My god, good eye on the Gumout Kevin! Yes, good to have your creative space where you can rock out and noodle and keep your scent there. Something about a tree house and the old boys’ gang, you’re right.


  3. Mm, cave make man strong.

    Those random shuffle functions are never very random. Not even Pandora’s works. At least mine doesn’t.

    We used to hang out on the front porch and piss in the bushes by the window. It felt kind of private but there were houses all around. Nothing rural about it – it was deepest suburbia and we couldn’t be bothered. We were drinking lots and quickly.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Have you cracked the code on the random algorithms? God, that would be like you, with your suction cups and your BASIC. Just spent a couple hours packing up our kitchen – all the extra glassware, cups, etc. You can really pack ’em in there, those cups. I hope you are getting settled in your new home. Need some cups?


      • Well, I would take your cups. That would keep me from having to unpack mine. But I think I know what you’d do. You’d send them to me in boxes. Then I’d have twice as much to unpack. Double the work, you see. And I’m swimming in boxes too. It’s like that warehouse in Raiders of the Lost Ark in here.

        Liked by 1 person

      • I know that it’s Readers of the Lost Arc.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. That picture makes me want a cozy cave all of my own.


  5. Man-caves RULE! If we’re allowed to have them, that is…


  6. When I’m out late, I often piss in the backyard. To piss in the house and flush is to wake a house full of sleeping women.

    We still employ the noisy 5-CD changer in the dining room. Current selection is Sinatra mix, Dusty Springfield’s “Dusty in Memphis,” Bacharach/Dion Warwick collection, Ray Charles Greatest Hits Vol. 2 and The Beatles’ “Help!” That’s how we brainwash the kiddies.

    I got no man cave. All my friends live 500 miles away and I’d feel stupid sitting down there by myself.


    • There may be an argument that it’s better on the environment to piss outside (no wasted water from the flush). There, that works.

      Thank you for sharing the 5 CD-carousel selection, that’s good. On ours, we had Talk Talk Spirt of Eden, Wilco’s Being There, a collection by the band Felt, couple more I can’t recall. But I did find a title by Tom T. Hall, inspired by a post of yours and some banter between you and Ross about it. I’d never heard him, but I had a disc in my collection from my stepdad. It was fun to read what others said about him in the notes (Kurt Vonnegut, Jimmy Carter, etc.). What a neat-sounding guy.


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