Men! Not sure what’s expected of you as a twenty-first-century male? Everything and anything. As the Southbank Centre launches its ‘Being a Man’ festival this weekend, the manliest of all Time Out staff * , Alexi Duggins, presents a must-do list for being a man in London.
Take on the Beast Burger challenge
We men like to stuff our faces with needlessly large quantities of food, don’t we? Course we do. We’re bloody blokes. So, every fella should get to Black’s Burger in Croydon and go head-to-head with The Beast, a 7lb burger meal containing 15,000 calories – the equivalent to six days’ of a man’s recommended intake. It’s totally free if you eat it in an hour. Which obviously you will, cos you’re a real man.
Take part in only the manliest of pursuits: punching another man in the face until his teeth rattle around like Tic Tacs. Head to the Islington Boxing Club, where you can enjoy a spot of fisticuffs with some other propah geezers.
Hit the dancefloor
Masculine footwork shouldn’t be all about dodging boxing gloves. A real man should be able to look good on the dance floor. Karen Hardy – Her off ‘Strictly’ – has a dance studio running classes specifically for blokes to learn how to jig. Thus putting you up there with the real bloody men who dance. Think Patrick Swayze! Diversity! Erm… Bruce Forsyth!
If our sisters have to undergo untold agonies to keep their body hair at bay, then out of solidarity, so should we men. Ted Baker’s Grooming Room will sort your facial fuzz and a full-body wax at Strip will leave you as smooth as a baby eel.
Do your homework
This is a man’s world, but it wouldn’t be nothing without a woman. Not our words, but those of James Brown. And you know what James Brown was? A man. If you want to be a raw hulk of masculinity, you need to embrace the power of womanhood (and understand the other sex) . Try Westminster Bridge Road’s Feminist Library, where you’ll find an archive of thousands of enlightening books.
Hack up an animal
When a mouse appears in your homestead, a bloke’s got to stand his ground. Sadly, short of joining Rentokil, there’s no training you can do for killing rodents. But the Ginger Pig offers excellent butchery classes involving whole animals being hacked into chunks. So you can learn how to prep a steak – the manliest of meals – and be so accustomed to animal blood that mousies will no longer make you squeal.
Give up your tube seat…
…because manliness is partly about being generous. But to avoid causing sexist offence, maybe steer clear of giving up your seat to women. Give it to old people. Oh, wait, you shouldn’t be ageist. So, erm, play it safe. Give it to a man of the same age as you. Or is that discriminatory? Oh sod it… get off the tube. Go to an old boozer like the Princess Louise (whose Victorian marble urinals make it a gents’ must-visit) instead. Men like the pub. So do women. And if anything can help the sexes come to some kind of understanding, it’s alcohol.
* He’s got a note from his mummy to prove it.