Six reasons I’m not a real man

did you see the game last night

I recently read with interest a piece on about how one of the writers considered themselves to be a terrible woman. Not a bad woman, just someone who’s terrible at being a proper woman in the conventional sense of the world. This struck a chord with me as, despite being into my third decade as a reasonably functioning human-being, I am in no way a man. The reasons are thus:

1. I know nothing about cars
Like, nothing at all. The only thing I know about cars is that some of them are different shapes and many of them have different colours. There are red ones, blue ones, black ones and quite a lot of silvery ones. However, if you showed me the engine you might as well be directing me to the inside of a human chest and asking me to perform open heart surgery. Oh, and I don’t have a driving license.

2. I do not know how to play poker
Poker is a classic manly pursuit, right? A bunch of blokes sitting around, smoking, drinking and gambling. The problem is that, if, like me, you never learnt to play, you can’t rock up to a poker night and say, “hey dudes, can you teach me how all this works?” without them either mocking you relentlessly or taking all of your money in a terrifyingly short amount of time. I guess I need to spend some serious hours secretly learning the ins and outs of the game at a top online casino (while only gambling small amounts) before hitting the table in real life with the cool confidence of James Bond. For now though, I’m pretty good at Snap, if anyone fancies taking me on…

3. Action movies bore the arse off me
I’m not sure I’ve ever sat through the whole of Die Hard, let alone any of the sequels. I have, however, seen the recent Les Miserables movie six times.

4. I’m rubbish at DIY
That’s not strictly true. I once put up a shelf. I genuinely didn’t have the first idea what I was doing though and the fact that it remained on the wall is, I would guess, 96% luck and 4% handiwork. Make no mistake, if something day-to-day oocurs, like a toilet leaking or a fuse blowing, then the best I can offer is the ability to Google “local plumber/electrician”.

5. I once cried during an episode of Bondi Rescue
Well come on… one of the lifeguards, Drongo or whatever his nickname was, proposed to his girlfriend and it was lovely. It would take someone with a heart of stone not to well up. And talking of the water….

6. I am a pathetic swimmer
You know how a proper man sees a lake/pool/ocean and just dives in, before nailing a few laps without so much as being out of breath? Well, I’m the skinny fellow who timidly descends that little ladder they have at the end of a pool, before gasping my way through one length, frantically splashing around like I am always a millisecond from drowning. When in the ocean, I ease my way into the cold water over the course of about 30 minutes, shivering and whimpering all the while. It’s a sexy look.

Ladies. form an orderly queue…

bobby townsend


Words by Bobby Townsend