Now, I'd heard of man-caves and man-sheds before but had never been in one. I guess I'd never felt the need. I do realize men need a place of solitude and quietness to connect with themselves and regroup and recharge to go out and face life for another day.
But hey, I can sit at home on the couch in plain view of my good wife and be in a cave all my own. Don't believe me? Just ask Mary, she'll tell you the truth. She's told me that she wishes I would at least grunt now and then, that way she would know that there's a slight chance that I possibly might have heard what she was just saying.
Of course, you would think that grunting would be a strong point of mine, you know, sort of natural-like. Especially since in years past she always said that I looked exactly like a Cro-Magnon man.Now, just so I don't put myself down too much, I will say that I've improved some over the years (although not in looks) and have actually learned a few words which add a nice touch along with the grunts.
I know, I know, I'm always getting sidetracked from getting on with my story, so here goes........
Some years back when I was still logging I needed to cut a tract of timber where the only access was to come thru a neighboring property.
I had never met this man before, (we'll call him Jersey) so I went and talked with him and got permission to come up his driveway and go thru his cow pasture to get to the timber. I told him we would leave his driveway in good condition when we were finished. We did get along well the whole time considering the tract was 100 acres and it took a long time to get it cut. The only time he got a little bit aggravated at me was when I kept leaving the gate open when hauling loads and his cows kept getting out. After that I made a deal with him where I could shut a wire penning them out in the pasture for the day.
When Jersey got home from work he would often ride his four-wheeler down to see what we were doing. It was summer time when we started and he would come riding up shirtless, always with his Bud-Light in hand.
I wonder if the water was bad at his house and maybe all he ever drank was Bud-Light. Anyway, he had the most impressive beer belly I've ever seen. I had to wonder what it would have looked like if he had drank Bud-Heavy instead. I can tell you, it definitely gave me a new appreciation on shirts for men.
And also, Jersey was sort of a big talker, to put it kindly. Whenever he made an especially bold statement he would heist himself up a little on his four wheeler, then secondly heist up his beer belly and proclaim his proclamation. It was fascinating to watch, although you didn't want to stare.
He told me how there was spotlighting going on in the neighbor's field just below his cowpasture, with people shooting deer there at night. He suspicioned that some of the local hunt club rednecks were guilty. He said he went to the hunt club meeting and fussed about it. He said he told them he was going to be down there with his gun and when HE shot, he was going to be aiming for the light.
One day I was looking for Jersey to ask him a question about something and I couldn't find him. I ran into Terry, who was a boyfriend of Jersey's daughter and he said that Jersey was out at "The Man-Shed."
Well, as I said before, I'd never been to one, so my interest perked up right away.
The Man-Shed was an old tobacco barn alongside the driveway that led up to the house. I had seen it plenty of times before without realizing it's significance. From the outside it looked very much still like the old tobacco barn that it was. But there were a few added features on the inside.
One was a fridge. Full of (what else?) Bud-Light. And a radio with which to play music. And a few chairs for sitting. And that's about it. A picture of simplicity, really. (I mean, if this would have been "The Woman-Shed" you would have had to have curtains, rugs on the floor, tablecloths, candles and who knows what else)
But to be honest, I didn't really see much of anything about it that tempted me to get a man-shed of my own. I'd just as soon sit in my house.
To make a long story shorter, when we were just about to finish up the tract of timber, Jersey came riding down to see me. He thought he might want to select-cut a few of the trees on his side of the property line.
I wasn't really that interested in doing it, but I said I would go along and look at what he had in mind.
We walked thru his woods and made our way back to his house.
When we got back his wife met us in the back yard. She glared at Jersey with a gaze that would have withered an Arizona cactus. I looked at Jersey. I felt more than a little sorry for him. Always the big boastful talker, now all of a sudden he turned into the meekest of church mice. He looked embarrassed and had nothing more to say.
She told Jersey in no uncertain terms that their woods was not getting cut in any way, shape, or form. She told me crisply that Jersey would be getting back with me. I took it that meant I was dismissed, so I lost no time in easing on out of the circumstances.
Now I understood. Why some men have a real need for a man-shed. A place where they can be Man Over the Radio and the Chair and the Bud-Light. I'm not a drinking man, and don't recommend it whatsoever, but to be honest, I wouldn't hold it against him too hard if he stocked a little Jack Daniels on The Man-Shed shelf for special occasions. For the times when a six-pack of Bud-Light doesn't quite get you up to Man Level.
Man, when I left from there that day I couldn't WAIT to go home and sit in my man-house with that wife of mine.
Even if she insists that I must grunt every now and again.