Check It Out: ‘Manventions’ tools every happy guy needs



Well, it’s officially Manch. Oops, I mean March. A little slip of the keys, there. Or was it? Read on to find out why I’ve been a bit addled lately.

How are men and women different? Let me count the ways. When I think of spring, these things come to mind: longer days, flowers, robins, and Easter candy (thanks to my pre-teen side of the brain). When my husband thinks of spring, he has a slightly different list: power tools, barbecues, power tools, and mowing the lawn with his John Deere tractor. If we decide to watch a DVD, my first choice is usually a film heavy on feelings and relationships, preferably British and set somewhere around the early 20th century. His first choice will involve one or all of the following: big guns, fighting, crude humor, big guns, and gladiators.

I suppose it is one of the great eternal questions: what makes the opposite sex tick? Thanks to brave souls like author Bobby Mercer, some of the mystery — about men, that is — is cleared up. Using straightforward, albeit sometimes earthy language, Mercer writes about a gamut of manventions. These are defined as “amazing hair-curling, bicep-building, adrenaline-pumping inventions for men by people who know what men want.” In other words, many members of the male sex will completely relate to this mantastic tome.

As I read through this compendium of “inventions every man’s man should know about,” I found myself nodding in agreement over and over. The author must know my husband! Right there in Chapter 8 (Tools and Household Gadgets) is a tribute to gas-powered leaf blowers and weed whackers, aka “loud power tools essential to my husband’s happiness.” And how about the three-page homage to the remote control, one of the “definitive manventions of the last one hundred years”? I’ve lost count of how many remote controls currently reside in our home. Then there are Barcaloungers, cargo pants, flat-screen televisions, pickup trucks, pressure washers, Stihl chain saws, and Wi-Fi — all indispensable components of my husband’s life.

If your “man’s man” decides to spend some time with this week’s book, don’t be alarmed if you notice some vigorous chest-pounding taking place. If, however, he breaks into song — “I am man, hear me ROAR UP my leaf blower/pressure washer/wood chipper!” — perhaps encouraging him to read just one chapter a day of this testosterone-filled title would be prudent.

Jan Johnston is the Collection Development Coordinator for the Fort Vancouver Regional Library District. Email her at