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Things every man should own

Take the work gloves. They allow us to hold things that we could not otherwise comfortably hold. They protect. They enable. Mainly because they prevent blisters, but, still, we are enabled by them. They make us better than we actually are.

The things a man should own are mostly simple things that work in simple ways. And sometimes loudly. And often with a lot of grease. They function simply.
Yet they confer greatness.

Or at least competence. Because the things men own represent knowledge and skill. If we own it, we need to know how to wield it. We make that contract with our families, our neighbors, ourselves. Our fathers. Our stuff is impressive not because it has been purchased but because it has been used. Part of being a man is knowing how to exploit very simple things, the things we own — a collection of objects that should include the following.


Valid Passport

You can't even go to the UK anymore without one. Not having a passport is like not having money.


Card Holder

To be placed in the breast pocket of your jacket.


Multipurpose Tool

It's not that it's better than any of the seventeen individual implements it contains. It's that its seventeen implements are good enough that you don't have to carry any of them individually.


Waiter's Corkscrew/Bottle Opener/Knife

Corkscrews should not be expensive. Or require instruction manuals.



Because you need something to make firewood out of the tree that fell across your driveway.



If only for the door hinges. A man's house should involve no squeaking.


Weekend Shoulder Bag

Which should fit the following: a cotton blazer, jeans, khaki shorts, swim trunks, two T-shirts, a button-down, flip-flops, white sneakers, a leather belt, two pairs underwear, two pairs socks, one Dopp kit.


Giant Wool Blanket Never Removed from the Trunk of the Car

Because you could freeze to death without one. Also, it's good for a picnic.


Chain Saw

Because you need something to prepare the tree for the ax.

Work Gloves

Without a good pair of work gloves, you blister in five minutes of picking up an ax or a chain saw. You need two pairs: rubber-coated for winter, leather for summer.


Jumper Cables

Not so much for you but for the stranger stuck in the parking lot.


Charcoal Grill

Gas grills are nice. We like the gas grill. But the metal kettle is crucial. Not because charcoal makes food taste better than a gas grill (it probably does, a little) but because with a charcoal grill you can smoke things. And smoking things can kill two, three, four hours. Hours of drinking and basting. Beautiful.


€1,000 Hidden in Your House

Because €500 is too little and €2,000 is too much.


LED Flashlight

LED flashlights are blindingly bright, shockproof, and, maybe best of all, run for a hundred hours on four AA batteries, which is at least seventy more hours than an incandescent bulb.


Money Clip

To be placed in the front pocket of your pants.



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