Nothing says love like 100’ of rope

Published 8:13 am Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Okay guys, I know we’re all (well, at least us manly men) in mourning now that football season ended on Sunday during Super Bowl 49.

However, we can’t sit around and mope, cause if we do then we’ll be caught off-guard by the sudden arrival of National Woman’s Day (aka Feb. 14).

Yep, Valentine’s Day is right around the corner. Don’t forget it….or else you can count on spending roughly the next couple of months as scum of the earth.

But why is Valentine’s Day all about the fairer sex? Why can’t guys benefit from being lavished with gifts as well? And, no, we don’t care for flowers or candy…or even jewelry for that matter.

Buying gifts for men is not nearly as complicated as it is for women. So, with that in mind, this column is for the female readers as here are some shopping hints for that special man in your life.

When in doubt – buy him a cordless drill.  It does not matter if he already has one.  I have a friend who owns 17 and he has yet to complain.  As a man, you can never have too many cordless drills.

If you cannot afford a cordless drill, buy him anything with the word ratchet or socket in it.  Men love saying those two words.  “Hey George, can I borrow your ratchet?”  “OK.  By-the-way, are you through with my 3/8-inch socket yet?”

If you are really, really broke, buy him anything for his car.  A 99-cent ice scraper, a small bottle of deicer or something to hang from his rear view mirror. Men love gifts for their cars.

Do not buy men socks. Do not buy men ties.  And never buy men bathrobes. I was told that if God had wanted men to wear bathrobes, he wouldn’t have invented Jockey shorts.

You can buy men new remote controls to replace the ones they have worn out.  If you have a lot of money, buy your man a big-screen TV with the little picture in the corner.  Watch him go wild as he flips, and flips, and flips.

Do not buy any man industrial-sized canisters of after shave or deodorant.  I’m told they do not stink – they are earthy.

Buy men label makers.  They’re almost as good as cordless drills.  Within a couple of weeks there will be labels absolutely everywhere.  “Socks. Shorts. Cups.  Saucers.  Door.  Lock.  Sink.”  You get the idea.

Never buy a man anything that says “some assembly required” on the box.  It will ruin his day and he will always have parts left over.

Good places to shop for men include Northwest Iron Works, Parr Lumber, Home Depot, John Deere, Outdoor World / Bass Pro Shop, and anywhere that sells tires. NAPA Auto Parts and Sears Clearance Centers are also excellent men’s stores.  It doesn’t matter if he doesn’t know what it is.  “From NAPA Auto…must be something I need.  Hey!  Isn’t this a starter for a ’68 Ford Fairlane?  Wow! Thanks.”

Men enjoy danger.  That’s why they never cook – but they will toss dead animals on a red hot grill. Get him a monster grill with a 100-pound propane tank.  Tell him the gas line leaks.  “Oh the thrill!  The challenge!  Who wants a hamburger?”

Tickets to a sporting event are a smart gift. Baseball season is right around the corner.  However, he will not appreciate tickets to “A Retrospective of 19th Century Quilts.”

It’s hard to beat a really good wheelbarrow or an aluminum extension ladder.  Never buy a real man a step ladder.  It must be an extension ladder.

Rope.  Men love rope.  It takes us back to our cowboy origins, or at least the Boy Scouts.  Nothing says love like a hundred feet of 3/8″ manilla rope.

Happy Valentine’s Day to one and all!

Cal Bryant is Editor of Roanoke-Chowan Publications. He can be contacted at or 252-332-7207.

About Cal Bryant

Cal Bryant, a 40-year veteran of the newspaper industry, serves as the Editor at Roanoke-Chowan Publications, publishers of the Roanoke-Chowan News-Herald, Gates County Index, and Front Porch Living magazine.

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