Friday, January 2, 2009

Manuary — A Monthlong Celebration by Men, for Men

Uh, OK, sure. Why not?

Manuary—a monthlong celebration by men, for men

In December, men gritted their teeth and were nice to their in-laws. They held purses while their women tried on 20 dresses. And they donned a tie for New Year's Eve.

And now they are rebelling: It's Manuary.

In January, as part of the Manuary movement, men across the country will bypass the razor and grow their beards with abandon. (No trimming allowed!) The truly devoted will boost their red meat and whiskey intake.

Chicago resident Bill Housewright, 31, a filmmaker-turned-science teacher, claims he created Manuary in 2005 to get in touch with his "redneck, ex-country past." He grew up in La Harpe, which he describes as a John Cougar Mellencamp-esque town in west central Illinois.

Housewright is also a 155-pound vegetarian whose friends are more like skinny, punk-rock dudes than buff, calendar-quality firefighters.

On Facebook, almost 2,000 men have joined groups such as "I fully intend to participate in Manuary despite the pleadings of my peers" and "Men of Manuary." The Manuary movement appears to be particularly popular in cold places like Wisconsin and Massachusetts. (Are they just trying to stay warm?)

Housewright and friends will end the monthlong celebration with a Man Olympics. Events include hammering nails while cigarettes dangle from their mouths and doing chin-ups with 16-pound hams hanging from their necks. There's also arm wrestling and, appropriately, a Manwich-eating contest.

"We kind of make fun of what is supposed to be manly," he said. "It's kind of manly, somewhat homoerotic, somewhere in between."

But I ain't growing a beard. Seriously. That would just look bad. Too much northern European blood and not enough hair follicles.

I'm down with the whiskey and red meat, though. Well, only on Saturday nights.

Damn. I suck at this.

1 comment:

Riverwolf, said...

"Manuary"--funny. Don't feel bad. My follicles aren't so manly either. I suppose we might consider hormone shots to beef up the beard--but then, I guess that wouldn't be too manly, right? Damned if you do, damned if you don't.