5 The Taj Mahal
The TajMahal. A curve ball of an entry, perhaps, as the woman who was to be impressed with the manly feat had the unfortunate impediment of death blocking her from full appreciation of this architectural and artistic masterpiece. But we think a man having this most stunning of buildings created for a woman is pretty damn manly. Especially given that she was already dead, in fact. Shah Jahan employed thousands of workers and spent over two decades creating this masterpiece, which was completed in 1653, many years after the wife for whom it was dedicated had died. Thanks, Emperor Shah Jahan, for making the rest of us men look like jerks.
4 Steven Petrosino
Steven Petrosino. Every day, baby. This gentleman holds the world record for beer chugging, and if you think that alone does not earn him a spot on this list, then just hold your horses. The man chugged a liter of beer – that is 33 ounces, or almost three standard servings, for those who need comparisons to get the picture – in 1.3 seconds. His spot on this list is secure!
3 Counting Coup
Counting Coup? Count me out. Certain tribes of North American Plain Indians realized that far manlier than killing an enemy in battle was the act of totally pissing him off by showing you could have killed him, but instead just slapped him across the face. The practice of making one’s foe apoplectic with rage was known as “Counting Coup,” and it essentially amounted to riding (or running) to within physical striking distance of an enemy and then, rather than killing his ass, merely making contact with him while not being contacted yourself. The victorious brave then returned to his own people having Counted Coup and generally seeming more manly for it. One reason this practice was so crazy? It’s not like there were Geneva Convention rules in place that would bar the afflicted foe from deciding to, as scholars put it, “kill the hell out of you” while you were trying to tap his flanks with your club.
2 The Caber Toss
The Caber Toss. Some displays of manliness manage to be both outright pointless but also undeniably awesome, such as when a group of (kilted) Scottish men gather together with the express purpose of flipping telephone poles through the air.They can call it a Caber tosses, but c’mon, we know what that thing is. Yes, the Caber Toss has a long history, but that doesn’t make it any less nuts. And pointless. But still cool. If you are imagining what it looks like for a burly, tawny-haired Scotsman to bend down, grab a full-sized telephone pole, stumble around and then throw it into the air, thus that it completes at least one full rotation and you are asking yourself “Why?” then you are right… and you’re wrong. (“The English will not allow us to practice with weapons, so we throw these goddamn telephone poles around! Booya!”)
Bull-leaping. Forget Pamplona’s famous “Running of the Bulls” or even the art of bullfighting itself: in those pass-times, the participants are running away from the bulls or are armed, respectively. In bull-leaping? No such quarter is available! In this entirely insane practice, which has its origins many thousands of years ago, as confirmed by ancient frescoes on the wall of Grecian and Cretan palaces, a man (not being sexist; women just don’t leap bulls that often) displays how heavy his attributes are by jumping over a goddamn bull. Yes, it’s that simple. You let the bull charge you, perhaps even charging the bull yourself, and then either grab its horns and flip over it or merely leap into the air and hope that when you land it is behind the raging beast and not atop its horns. If you survive, congratulations. You, sir, are officially manly.