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How to Iron Your Own Damn Shirt: The Perfect Husband Handbook Featuring Over 50 Foolproof Ways to Win, Woo & Wow Your Wife Paperback – April 26, 2005


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Three Rivers Press (April 26, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1400053625
  • ISBN-13: 978-1400053629
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.5 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (30 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #856,608 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Craig Boreth is a perfect-husband-in-training who lives in Santa Monica, California, with his perfect wife.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

Chapter 1

THE MALE MIND AND BODY
How to Know Your Limitations

“Relax, all right. My old man is a television repairman, he’s got this ultimate set of tools. I can fix it.” —Jeff Spicoli (Sean Penn),Fast Times at Ridgemont High

“Man’s got to know his limitations.” —Harry Callahan (Clint Eastwood),Magnum Force

This book is filled with instructions for things you need to know in order to be the perfect husband. But to start things off, let’s take a moment to figure out how to know when not to do something. You’re faced with a task that you figure is pretty straightforward. Your wife, of course, is skeptical, and happy to let you know it. Do you take a stand, or fold like a cheap map? Sometimes (not nearly as often as your wife would prefer, of course) a real man must admit he’s completely clueless and defer to wiser minds. The question is, how do you know when to go with your gut, dive right in, and let the chips fall where they may, and when to take the mature (i.e., whipped), sensible (i.e., uninspired), and responsible (i.e., boring) path?

The two questions you must ask yourself are:

1.How difficult is this task?

2.What are the consequences if I screw it up?

You must take each factor into consideration when deciding how to proceed. For example, replacing the air filter in your home’s central air-conditioning unit might be a simple maneuver. But if your in-laws are arriving tomorrow for Labor Day weekend, you’d better get a professional in there to guarantee it’s done right.

The difficulty of a task is basically defined by your own familiarity with it, the accessibility of instructions for how to do it, and the number of special tools involved. If you’re pretty sure you know where the air filter goes, and the guy down at Sears can get you the right filter, and all you need is a screwdriver, you’re all set. But if you don’t know the first thing about a project, don’t have any idea where to look for help, and have never even heard of an immersion heater spanner, forget about it.

This brings us to the three areas of disastrous consequence to consider:

1.Exorbitant cost

2.Familial ridicule

3.Bodily harm

If you try to replace your car’s timing belt and screw it up, you’re probably in for a new engine. If you crash the aforementioned air-conditioning, you’ve got a weekend of sweaty in-laws ahead of you, and if you plan a best-of-seven hoops grudge match with your old college roommates, you’ll likely end up hospitalized (or worse). So, here are some guidelines to help you know your limitations:

Ironically, the best way to know your limitations is to never find out what they are. That is, never get close enough to see the light at the end of the tunnel, which invariably will be the anemic fluorescent glow from a hospital room or lawyer's office. So, be honest with yourself. If you’ve got bad mojo around car engines, electricity, or black diamond trails, then just don’t go there.

If you’re seriously considering taking on a new task, follow this rule: If in doubt, hire it out. That means if you are in doubt, not if your wife is in doubt. She’s not yet convinced you can gargle without choking each morning, let alone change the oil or carve a turkey. The key is how you honestly feel about your abilities. If you’re really not sure, then hire a professional the first time (for the turkey carving, that means defer to her father), learn how it’s done, and consider doing it yourself next time. If you’re certain you can do it, there are still some steps to take to ensure that you actually can.

If you’re about to embark on a project you’ve never done before, you’ve got to get your hands on authoritative instructions. That means finding a book on the subject (preferably the one you’re holding in your hands right now), or a friend who knows what he’s doing, or both. The book will tell you how it’s done, the friend will tell you if it’s possible. And all throughout this process, don’t forget to always consider (1) how difficult this undertaking is and (2) what the consequences are. If,after conducting proper research and determining that both the difficulty and consequences are reasonable, only then may you proceed. Otherwise, get professional help.

See “How to Be Handy” (page 96) for some suggestions to help you do the job right. The most important tip is “Use the Correct Tool for the Job.” Nothing will accentuate your ineptitude like hammering nails with a monkey wrench or scraping off putty with a kitchen knife. If you’re stuck on a job because you can’t jury-rig a tile cutter from a circular saw, two pizza boxes, and a garden hose, then you’ve reached your limit. Go out and buy the right tool, and get the job done. But even then you may want to take a moment to make sure your insurance is up to date.

One final thought: Another way to help you determine whether or not to charge forth with a particular endeavor is to think about how your obituary would read if things didn’t work out quite so well. “Tragic spackling accident” is no way for a real man to go.

How to Get a Close Shave

A recent study by a British aftershave maker found that 92 percent of women prefer a clean-shaven man. The study also found that 63 percent of men believed that facial hair made men more attractive. These results suggest an intriguing connubial conundrum. She wants him to shave off the mustache or, more likely, the goatee that he’s had since college (or his most recent midlife crisis). He’d rather not, believing that his facial hair is a babe magnet.

She has two options: Force him to shave, and risk him shacking up with a gaggle of nubile young coeds. Or leave him hairy, and rest assured that no young chippie is going to come along and steal him away. Given that the odds of the former scenario occurring are zero on a good day, I’m guessing she’ll take her chances with a clean-shaven husband.

Salvation for the hirsute hubby lies in his learning how to get the smoothest shave with the least irritation, chafing, and blood loss.

Getting a close shave is actually quite easy, but for some reason men have been misinformed over the generations and have suffered needlessly. Actually, since we’re incapable of asking for help, just like our fathers and their fathers before them, we’re pretty much using the same technique employed by our great-great-grandfathers back in the old shtetl in Minsk. It’s time to update things a bit.

First of all, modernizing does not necessarily mean new technology. I’ve never known those electric shavers to work. They look pretty good in the commercials, but as I’m told, commercials are not the most accurate reflection of reality (who knew?). So, get your hands on a good disposable razor, with at least two blades. I’m partial to the Gillette Sensor, but I’ll use whatever higher-end razor they’ve got at Costco that day.

Now, next time your wife drags you to one of those big department stores, head straight for the men’s grooming section. Tell them you want a good shave cream and aftershave (and, if you really want to take the plunge, invest in a badger-hair brush, and then buy shave cream designed for use with it). Specialty brands like Kiehl’s will make all the difference over the products you’ve been using, by taking care of your skin and setting you up for a great shave.

Timing is the key to a close shave. You always want to shave after you shower. The steam and hot water from the shower will open up your pores and soften your beard. When you get out of the shower, crank up the hot water in the sink, as hot as you can stand it. If you’ve ever wondered why anyone would ever need a washcloth, here’s your answer: Soak that sucker with hot water, apply it to your face, and hold it there for a few seconds. Before applying the shave cream, you may want to try using a facial scrub to exfoliate your skin. Kiehl’s sells a Pineapple Papaya Facial Scrub that works wonders.

Next apply the shave cream. Forget about those foams and gels you’ve been using. It's time to get a real cream that you apply by hand or with a brush. If you’ve got sensitive skin, be sure to use a cream with mint or chamomile to soothe your skin. Kiehl’s Green Eagle Shave Cream works great. Forget about lathering up, all you want is a barely visible film, enough to protect your face but not clog up your razor. Using your fingertips or a shaving brush, massage the shave cream into your beard in tight, circular motions, starting with an upward motion (against the grain). When you’re done, get the hot water running again, wash off your hands, place your razor in the sink, and cover it with hot water. This gives you a little time to admire your manly physique before the metal meets the mug.

Start your shave with the least sensitive parts of your face, usually the cheeks. Use smooth, steady downward strokes, rinsing the razor thoroughly after every few strokes. For most men, the neck is the most sensitive part, so we’ll leave that for last and do the chin and upper lip next. This gives the moisturizer in the shave cream the maximum possible time to soften up your beard. When you get to the neck, keep in mind that you want to keep shaving with the grain, which in some cases may not be downward but sort of sideways toward your throat. Just follow the grain on your face and you’ll be all right.

When you’re done, check for any missed spots (especially along the jawline), then rinse your face with warm water and pat dry with a towel (don’t wipe your face–it can irritate freshly shaven skin). Then apply just a little bit of alcohol-free moisturizing aftershave.

There you go, nothing but smooth shaving from now on. And, by the way, about those nubile young coeds? It ain’t gonna happen, beard or no beard, so get over it.

How to Eliminate Gas

Like peeing in the shower or testing a nine-volt battery on your tongue, recognizing the intrinsic humor in flatulence clearly distinguishes men from women. From SBDs to Dutch ovens, we have created our own little stinky ecosystem around our love of farting. And yet, since women still refuse to recognize the humor in it, the perfection-seeking husband must find a way to tame his boisterous bowels.

There are many things a man can do to stifle his nether wind. None of these solutions are permanent, so if you’ve got a fishing weekend with the boys coming up, rest assured that you can easily fire up the big guns again with just a flew slices of pepperoni pizza and a six-pack.

First, identify foods that give you the most gas, and avoid them. Most likely offenders include beans, broccoli, onions, spicy food, dairy products, high-fiber foods, ice cream, soda, and beer. Except for the beer, you can probably live without most of those. But unfortunately, fried foods and fatty foods are also on the list. And, no, fried fatty foods don’t somehow cancel each other out and make both acceptable. Nice try, though. You may want to try eliminating one food at a time, and see if that makes a difference. It may just be that only one or two foods bring the vapors, and everything else is fine.

Next, address the way you eat. Try eating five or six small meals throughout the day, rather than two or three huge meals. Just be careful that you don’t end up eating five or six huge meals. While you’re eating, be sure to eat slowly, take small bites, and chew your food thoroughly. Try to relax when you’re eating, and avoid eating meals in your car or on the run. Also, eating with your mouth open or talking while you eat increases your chances of getting gas. Finally, try a cup of peppermint tea at the end of a meal; it can calm your digestion. At this point, all you’d have to do is extend your pinky while sipping your tea to become the veritable Eliza Doolittle of perfect husbands.

If you’re still not having any luck, you can try an antigas product such as Beano, which must be taken with your first bite of food, or other products like Lactaid, to help with lactose digestion, or acidophilus, to replenish beneficial digestive bacteria.

If all else fails, you can try Under-Ease antiflatulence underwear, which filters out the unpleasant smell of “bad human gas (malodorous flatus).” According to their website, Under-Ease is a “revolutionary new underwear for offensive gas” from “the leader in odor suppressant technology for flatulence.” Can’t argue with that!

I realize that with each stifled fart the world becomes a slightly less happy place, and in these troubled times we need all the laughter we can get. But that’s the price of perfection.

Customer Reviews

3.3 out of 5 stars
5 star
50%
4 star
10%
3 star
0%
2 star
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1 star
40%
See all 30 customer reviews
This book has some funny stuff, but i only made it to page 70 something.
a&k forever
I look forward to reading any book Craig Boreth writes because he also completely understands the female psyche and his wit and comedic timing is perfect.
Rebecca of Amazon
A perfect gift for husbands, brothers, best friends, and their groomsmen.
Talie Katt

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Lindsey H on November 7, 2014
Format: Paperback
Shameful, really. Women don't want a man who lies, hides things, says one thing while thinking another...this is a crap book and the men who follow its "advice" are just going to further damage their relationships by sinking deeper into laziness, crassness, and immaturity. Lying about anything will never ever help a relationship. Above all, women want honesty and loyalty- this book has none of that. I'd say leave it on the shelf at the library, but it really belongs in the trash for all it's worth.
Take a look at all the other reviews. The five stars are written quite immaturely by people who find lying and deception funny. The one stars seem to have much more depth and experience behind them. Be wise and follow after experience- you'll have much less heartache that way.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By a&k forever on July 9, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book has some funny stuff, but i only made it to page 70 something. I am not the husband who is more into drinking beer and watching sports than spending time with my family. This book is good for husbands who like to do the following

1.stare at other women
2.watch porn
3.just want to make her think you are into her, instead of being genuine
4.more concerned with sports than your wife

I was expecting something funny yet not slimy, well i was wrong. i got a little funny and pretty slimy. o well, the book just went in the trash. I ordered another book too which is genuine.

One of the little chapters was " how to pretend to not look at other women" .... really?
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Camilla J. Davies on November 6, 2014
Format: Paperback
This book is horrible! "How to hide porn from your wife", "how to fake it in your relationship". I am appalled the someone would take the time to wrote a book training the man on how to fake a real relationship. Women don't want men to fake it. Women want a real relationship. With no hidden porn!
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By mark mackay on November 6, 2014
Format: Paperback
Wow. Seriously? You think lying to your wife is the way to woo her? Maybe if you're trying to woo her into a divorce. Nothing sincerely woos a woman more than genuine emotional intimacy, which can not exist is a relationship in which a man is hiding his porn and looking at other women. One star might be too many.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Teri on November 6, 2014
Format: Paperback
Where do I even begin to describe my disgust at this book? Why would I want a man who was pretending to be something he isn't. There should never be anything hidden in marriage…especially not porn or lust. Please don't read this if you really want a genuinely loving marriage.
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Format: Paperback
How to Destroy Your Own Darn Life: The Dishonorable Husband Handbook Featuring Over 50 Foolproof Ways to Worry, Wither & Wreck Your Wife

Personally, I prefer to have a genuine, honest, honorable, loving, respectful relationship with my wife.... rather than the phony, dishonest, dishonorable, fake, disrespectful marital relationship that Mr. Boreth advocates.

Buy this book if you need a foolproof way to speed through marriage straight to divorce. I wish I would've looked at the table of contents before I purchased this divorce manual based only on the witty cover; I like being married so this was a terrible waste of my money.

Too bad I'm forced to give it one star in order to post my review.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Rebecca on November 4, 2014
Format: Paperback
Ridiculous book. Wish I could give it zero stars.
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Susan on November 6, 2014
Format: Paperback
I hate that its about making your wife think you're an awesome husband not actually being an awesome husband. Hiding porn? Hiding anything in a relationship is destructive and porn kills love. Checking out other women without getting caught? Lust. Also destructive to a loving marriage.
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