The Compulsive Squire

Where Outstanding Humour Meets Desperate Boredom

5 Manly Topics That Unmanly Guys Can’t Talk About

I’m a guy. I have it under good intelligence that I am a guy. I believe my mother was informed by a qualified medical official after a short session of mild discomfort. After her own inspection (oh, saucy) she came to the same conclusion, and commenced raising me thusly. I was given male clothes, expected to open jars and told that if I held it in my hands, I could pee against a wall (or any vertical surface for that matter). If history is a valid source of evidence (which it is) then for all intents and purposes, I am a guy.

Then male conversation happens. Unexpectedly and sporadically, someone mentions the unparalleled ferocity of their facial hair growth and suddenly I feel like I’m wearing an alternating blazer/blouse combo, hitching my long skirt up higher to not-too subtly show off the new fishnet stockings I got at French Connection. They don’t need to be a Jock with enough strength (and brains) to wrestle the tent into setting itself up and a girlfriend hot enough to start a campfire by licking her lips, but when the conversation shifts to these topics, I may as pick up my Dolly coat from the cloakroom and leave the club while Shania Twain plays ironically in the background.

UK Geography

Sorry if you don’t too hail from the land of crumpets and Adele. If there’s one thing I remember from my mother, it was her saying, “If you’re going to talk, you may as well start with an apology”. Suffice to say, I had a very confidence-stunting childhood. However, continual male commenting on the locations, advantages and current affairs of the 6 closest motorway systems is a pain that’s surely a worldwide familiarity. Like a game of Monopoly with the family.

So you know the 3 best routes from Harrogate to Carlisle via Stevenage? That’s amazing. Huh? Right, so, I am a man, therefore it’s my duty to know the precise distances between Worthing, Portsmouth, Southampton, Poole and Dorchester, and know exactly where Devon ends and Cornwall begins. Sorry? Oh yes, right, evidently I’m a complete idiot for not knowing that the M4 is 1.6 miles longer than the M1. Oh? That’s the wrong way round? Well we should just kidnap and murder my entire family then shouldn’t we. Just because you’ve got a car, and frequently enjoy fighting the Great Giana Sisters rip-off that are motorways, doesn’t make me a woman for liking where I live. And if you found that 3 routes joke funny without referring to a map, you’re one of them.


And we can’t talk travel without mentioning the mechanical beast being reined for such a voyage…or at least the fantasy chariot he’ll one day possess to achieve his pursuits…or he’ll just settle for speculating the precise inverse ratio of the value of the fancy car that just passed, to its driver’s penis size. Women included. I’ve no idea how every man seemingly possesses the skill of Bruno McLaren in a New Zealand car show in diagnosing a car’s manufacturer, class, engine size, serial number, date of construction and shoe size. When everyone was researching the figurative penis enlargers, I must’ve been staring at an empty filing cabinet where the memo should’ve been.

But I know what’s to blame; shows like Top Gear. Although I’ve no idea why I use the phrase, “shows like” since the only other one is the who-really-cares-anymore channel 5’s Fifth Gear. What I never understood is how, in the 2 competitor race to be the best car program, Fifth Gear came 5th? Regardless, a lot of men think that because they’ve had Sunday dinner in front of the TV for the entirety of their increasingly-disappointing lives, and for the last 13 weeks, the 80s perm of Sir Clarkson and minions unashamedly bleach juvenile doom into your retinas for what feels like the length of time it’d take an OAP to successfully locate and activate the clutch in the Batmobile at a green light…does not mean you know everything there is to know about cars. And by the way, if you knew his name was actually Bruce McLaren, you’re one of them.

Gangster films

Very much the subject that sorts the men from the steroid-deluged hell’s angels, which is strange since in order to have a credible opinion on it, one only has to tolerate approximately 10 hours of gunfire, drug abuse and time-accepted racist quips. It’s usually The Godfather and the waning quality of its successors, but other well-known examples include Scarface, Goodfellas and any other Martin Scorsese film ever, and every Guy Richtie film for that matter and that one where he only wanted the doors blown off.

The scenario is normally a gathering of men discussing the size of Sylvester Stallone’s swizzle stick pre- and post- Rocky IV when I say something like, “Is that the one where he kills a man with an exploding tea cup?” The resulting looks returned contain a mixture of outright disgust and sexuality revaluation. The feeling is only comparable to what Vinnie Jones would feel if he awoke in a dirty Thaiwanese motel room to the sound of a naked woman who is peeing stood up in a toilet 2 feet from his face.

There must have been a worldwide “Gentlemen and Gangsters: Racially Estranged Film and Lavishly Explosive Xtravaganza” event (or to call it by its oddly curious acronym “GAG REFLEX”) in which a large portion of the attendees probably drowned in a mixture of sweat, semen and liquid aggression. Not to mention the idiot who snuck a semi automatic into the theatre and begun spraying bullets into blind adoration when Al Pacino brought out his little friend. And if you thought of that scene from The Specialist when I mentioned Sylvester Stallone’s tea cup, you’re one of them.


So we’re never pulling out of Iraq, I think we all know this. The army’s Middle Eastern timeshare is old news to everyone, old news to everyone except the news channels; whom love keeping chatter of military-weapons-budget-this and still-looking-for-fictional-WMDs-that alive in society. Gun enthusiasts love hearing it, but I hate hearing them. The latest Nicolas Cage excursion could be the topic of conversation, regardless out comes the phrase, “yeah, I’d rather stick my silencer on a Barrett M82 and shoot him straight in the fucking face.” It’s not the vulgarity that’s offending, but the notion that he assumes I’m fascinated by guns enough to know what a Barrett M82 is.

And the Xbox 360, pedalling out FPS like Billie the Kid on speed, is the one to blame. While the Crips and Bloods (Halo & Gears of War) settled their turf wars, and other titles like Call of Duty, Medal of Honor and Battlefield were working their way up the barracks, each of these teaching kids whole catalogues of glorified party poppers, firing out confetti of death between 46,527,830 and 46,527,832 rounds per second.

Now the average 14 year old, at any time, can choose to blast away some Nazis or Zombies or Zombie Nazis with a Mosin–Nagant military rifle rather than…say…play with a pair of breasts? And there’s a greater possibility that they’d be able to identify the former rather than the latter. 50 years ago, if you knew as much about guns as the average teenage boy does today, you were considered unsuitable for society…or American. And if you laughed because you knew a Barrett M82 can’t physically have a silencer attachment, guess what, you’re one of them.


The staple of all manhood, and the go to topic that every man supposedly has an opinion on. (Like hell.) It’s one of those notions still hanging around from the 50s like the idea that a lesbian would burst into flames upon entering a church and a child underneath the age of 14 knows nothing about sex.

I don’t find football interesting enough to put even the minimal amount of effort required to get into it, so thankfully the 21st century male image is changing enough so that I don’t have to. But during the social pressure pot of the early teenage years, I developed and tested conversation techniques that essentially allows you to blag your way through dialogue and avoid looking like you have less clues than Wayne Rooney in a Scooby Doo cartoon.

It largely involves carefully listening out to the scores of the recent game, the team your recipients support lies with, and giving vague, positive comments until you blag enough credibility for the conversation to end. Moreover, the bigger teams that you’ve heard of, you’ve heard about them for a reason, because they are better than the ones I haven’t heard of. Bigger cities tend to win matches against smaller areas (except London based clubs like Arsenal, Chelsea, Aston Villa etc.) And England based ones tend to beat the rest of the UK (although be wary of Cardiff & Swansea). And if you were just questioning that Aston Villa wasn’t a London-based club, surprise, surprise, you’re one of them.

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