Sunday, July 25, 2010

The Rules : A Man's Guide to Life - Esquire Magazine

Summary: Deeply buried in the stacks of Esquire's research library is a leather-bound tome engraved with two simple words: The Rules. On the third Tuesday of every month, an Esquire staff member delves into the tome and returns to the office with several wise maxims to offer our faithful readers. The rules run the gamut of the code of human conduct, from things athletic to things epicurean to things feminine and things masculine. Here's a complete collection of this plenitude of wisdom, with a few new ones thrown in, gathered in one authoritative volume.

The rules contained herein are general truths to many facets of a man's life. They provide a way--through advice or humor--to getting through most of it, one rule at a time. (Summary from book - Image from

My Review: I found this book at Goodwill and, since it claims to be “rules that apply to every man’s life,” it should be no surprise that I read most of it out loud to my husband so that I could gauge his reaction. There were times when we were both laughing so hard it was a struggle to finish the “rule,” and others when scratched our heads in dismay. Esquire maintains that they found the original leather-bound, handwritten copy of this book in their research department and that no one knows who wrote it. If the above is true, and not just a publicity stunt, then I’m a little intrigued by who the author might be and how they set about writing these rules. Esquire claims that all the rules are “true” even though it’s fairly obvious they’re being facetious.

Here’s a handful of rules just to give you an idea of what to expect from the book:
  • A relaxed dress code at work does not legitimize the display of leg hair or chest hair.
  • The day that the New York Times referred to Snoop Doggy Dogg on second reference as Mr. Dogg was the day the whole formal news outlet edifice began to crumble.
  • Reaching over to flush another man’s urinal is universally frowned upon.
  • There is no historical basis for Count Chocula.
  • There is no shame in cinnamon toast. There is, however, ample shame in eating a Lean Cuisine entrée at home, alone, pantless, while watching television. Look at yourself, man. Just look at yourself.
  • A complicated coffee order impresses no one.
  • Satan loves parents who give young children rat-tail haircuts.
  • The only thing more important than saying “No, you don’t look fat in that outfit” when she ask you the first time is the deep sincerity with which you must say “Really” when she asks you the second time.
  • The best number is 7, followed closely by 9.
  • Love does not mean never having to say you’re sorry. It means having to say you’re sorry over and over again, in new and different ways, every day, every week, every month, even when you don’t want to, every year, until God grants you his mercy and you finally, blissfully die.

Esquire’s rules are a mish-mash of humor, candid, and bizarre regulations for being a man--many even make alarmingly clever Facebook statuses (Oh, I do intend to use a few). While I won’t say that I would recommend this book because of the profanity and light-minded humor, I’m sure that many less finicky people would enjoy this book.

My Rating: 3 Stars. For the sensitive reader: There is some swearing (including the f-bomb), discussion of sex, and other “guy” humor.

Sum it up: At 517 rules and 185 pages, it’s the kind of book you can read in a single sitting, laugh a bit, and walk away without looking back.

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