You’re taking in a bare-knuckle boxing match or placing an aggressive wager in a clandestine gambling den. The attendees seem to be enjoying themselves, but their mood isn’t even mildly interesting to you. You’re there to take possession of some contraband, or to kill an hour until the cocktail waitress ends her shift. As you reflect on the price you’ve paid for your wasted youth, you light up an unfiltered cigarette and finish the warm dregs of whiskey in the tumbler that’s been sitting by your right elbow. Just when you look around to ask someone where the goddamn waiter is with that drink that you ordered, the guy next to you asks an inane question like, “Are you having an okey time, mac?” And you reply, “Heck, yeah! I’m having an awesome time! What about you?” You look past your right shoulder and notice that you’ve unconsciously raised your hand to offer one of those “high fives” or “fist bumps” that everyone seems to be so fond of these days.
And just like that, it’s gone.
What went wrong? You’ve read Eleven Habits of Highly Imposing Men. You’ve aced the quiz. For the past three months you’ve owned every OTB, speakeasy, and haberdashery within a hundred miles. But now you start second guessing yourself. What if it’s a sham? Maybe you’re the sham. You start loading up on what you think are masculine trappings like pool tables and Harley Davidsons, but you’re not even really sure if you know what a manly possession is anymore. Well, I’m here to tell you to relax, frenchy, it may not as bad as all that.
When I was traveling through Europe on the EH2IM promotional tour, I was approached by a lot of men who had adapted some of the Eleven Habits with varying degrees of success. They would sashay up to me and with their phony, pretentious European accents ask me some version of the same question: “Why don’t you write something that’s fucking useful, frenchy? Sure, I can play dress up and smoke cigarettes, but unless I know what’s inside your fucking skull, I’m just going to be some sort of goddamn poser that my dad would probably spit on if he thought that I was worth it.”
It might have been Berlin. Or maybe Prague. Doesn’t matter where really, but on one of the stops, after I knocked one of these idiots on their ass, I thought to myself, “I’ll bet decent Americans have the same problems as these effete Euro-pansies.” So, one night I sat down with a pint of rye and a cheroot and started to think about how to capitalize on this pathetic, insecure desperation. To be honest, I got too boozed up to think straight, so the next night I put on a pot of coffee, and I was a lot more productive. Here’s what I came up with:
Eleven More Habits of Highly Imposing Men
1. Confidence – This is first for a reason. If you don’t have it, you need to go to the confidence cow and squeeze some of that molten mettle from one of her teats. But how do you do that since the confidence cow is just a sick metaphor? You can only gain confidence through accomplishments. That’s why, in the fifties, all of the U.S. and U.K. World War II veterans were always swaggering around like they owned the fucking planet—they did. They crushed the Nazis—a bunch of sadistic jackoffs who no one liked (mostly because they were insecure). In terms of winning wars, this was a huge achievement. However, the problem is that wars can be dangerous, and if you die in one, it defeats the purpose of you using it to gain confidence. So start smaller and build up. You’re not going to shoot down the Red Baron just because you crack open a pamphlet about flying biplanes. Ease into the program. Maybe paint a picture and enter it in an art contest designed for little kids, or try out for a 135 lb. Pop Warner football league even though you’re tipping the scale at 200. Neither of these things is particularly masculine, but they could launch you on your way. Later, when you are an imposing man, you can worry about tying up the loose ends of your embarrassing origins. The important thing is that you train yourself to be successful. Who knows? Maybe you’ll actually enjoy being the oldest man to ever win the President’s Physical Fitness award at the middle school down the street.
2. Be Daring – Greyson Stone once said, “Fortune favors the bold.” If you’re not out there taking risks, everyone is going to think you’re a giant pussy. Do you want to be the guy who foils the assassination attempt and gets the girl? Or the one saying, “Yeah, I saw the dude with the gun running towards the President, but I figured if I went for it, then we’d both be dead. Then the country would be without a President AND a first rate upholsterer.”
Go first. Go Long. Throw the Hail Mary. Take a swig out of your flask, deliver a line that makes everyone believe that you want to die, and then be fucking courageous.
Hint: Before you get into a fight, it’s okey to make some mention about messing up your clothes. It’s the one time that it’s all right to be fussy. View the following instructional video:
3. Either Have The Answer or Keep Your Trap Shut – “Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to open your yap and remove all doubt.” Do you know who said that? Maybe Abraham Lincoln—a man who had won a huge war, freed millions of slaves, and then plastered his image on every coin in the fucking country. Lincoln was a prototypical imposing man. And while we’re on it, there is nothing in either the Eleven Habits™ or the Eleven Behaviors™ that will prevent you from being shot in the back with a petite handgun by some goddamn cravat-wearing dandy. However, you probably will at least go out with a little class: “The show sucked anyway, frenchy. Next time use a Colt.” The point is not to waste your words until you have something to say. For instance, if you’re walking down Avenue Lemartiniere in Port Au Prince, Haiti, every swinging dick in the joint is going to look at the hole in the middle of your face as competition for their food supply—until you use it to tell them where the secret cases of Mallomars are. Then suddenly you’re dubbed Hero of the Half-Island, which may be a real thing for all we know. If someone has a problem, be the solution—but never brag. If anyone else tries to steal your credit, let him. People will eventually notice that every time something worthwhile happens, it’s you that’s leaning against the wall wearing a cloud of cigarette smoke and a thick veil of smug.
4. Stay Out Of The Whore Houses – Do not frequent brothels and establishments of ill repute. Not because of how people will judge you, or because it’s an institution that’s been built on a mountain of crushed souls. Those may be good enough reasons for lesser men who believe in souls, but that’s not your motivation. Cathouses are a crutch; they make you weak. They get into your skin and worm their way down into your core, and before you know it, they’re the only way that you know how to get laid. If you want sex, go out and find it. Great hunters don’t shop at grocery stores unless they are looking for spices or something to season the meat that they just killed. Anyone can pay for sex; imposing men earn it with their cunning, savvy, and an endless sea of alcoholic beverages.
5. Never Let A Hangover Interfere With The Business Of Men – If you learned anything from EH2IM, it’s that you’re going to spend a lot of mornings shaving the fuzz off of your tongue. Alcohol is a part of life. It’s what you use to fill the hole in your heart. Get used to punching the time clock with a poker jabbing at the base of your skull. Calling out sick from work because you went on a three day bender over Labor Day weekend is what a loser does. Besides, you don’t want everyone panicking and pitching one of those goddamn interventions in your living room, do you? Get up, jump in the shower, grab a cup of joe, and drive to your job.
6. Minimize Your Needs – A lot of men compensate for their inadequate junk by buying fancy things. Well, I’ve got news for you, french fry: the whole world is onto this scam. Women can tell when a man has a big pile of cock-magnifying crap in his joint the second she walks through the door. And when that happens, you won’t get the chance to disappoint her in bed later, when it would be too late.
Picture this: you bring a new dame back to your place for a nightcap (sex). You open the door, flick on the light, and she has to shield her eyes because you have a room full of bric-a-brac and toaster ovens and other junk. She looks at you and says, “What’s up with the area rug, small-dick?” and she’s out of there. If you can’t count every item in a room on one hand, you need to take a few trips to the garbage chute.
Here’s a quiz:
Use your imagination (I know you’re not supposed to, but do it anyway) to picture a bedroom. In that bedroom is a bed, a nightstand, a clock radio, a lamp, and a half empty bottle of whiskey. There is a door leading to the living room, another door leading to a bathroom, and a window with blinds and curtains. Now what needs to go?
If you answered that you should move to a place that doesn’t have so many windows, you’re correct. Windows are always accompanied by window dressings, which are a headache and really ramp up the possession-to-you ratio. Besides, you really don’t want a sniper hazard in the same room where you like to sleep and have sex, right?
7. Learn When It’s Over – If you have to have a hobby—and I really encourage you not to waste your time with them—don’t choose something that others are seen doing professionally on television. I don’t care if you’ve played baseball you’re entire life, if you didn’t get drafted into the majors, it’s time to hang up your glove. Don’t join a softball league because you think it’s still “fun.” The same goes for golf and other crafts. Chasing dreams or reliving your “glory days” is pathetic. An exception to this rule would be pugilism or any other sort of combat activity. You need to know how to fight, and to improve on those skills; you’re going to have to train. A musical instrument can also be “fun,” but never play more than one song for guests.
8. Love Is Not A Topic For Conversation – Miyamoto Musashi wrote, “Get beyond love and grief; exist for the good of Man.” The difference between him and you is that he killed sixty men in single combat by his thirtieth birthday. Regardless of how you come down on the whole killing issue, that’s one hell of a résumé builder. If you have that kind of record of accomplishment, then maybe you can talk a little bit about love when you’re not cleaving people in two. Still, Musashi wasn’t really talking about love as a valid emotion; he was dismissing it as something that he didn’t need. No one wants to hear your musings about love, so don’t bring them up. Here’s a conversation that should never happen:
Man A: “I’m seriously thinking about making a commitment.”
Man B: “Well, Bob, I have to ask: are you in love with her?”
Man A: “Yes, indeed. She makes me very happy.”
Man B: “Isn’t that grand. That’s really what life is all about. For your stag party I was thinking that the boys, you, and I should all take in a musical.”
Man A: “Splendid!”
Instead try this out for size:
Man A: “Looks like I may have to do something about the situation with that temp.”
Man B: Nods knowingly, but says nothing.
Also, don’t talk about your happiness. No one cares about your happiness; they just want to know what you can contribute—and that, my friend, is it.
9. Try Not To Join Anything – There’s safety in numbers, which is exactly why you shouldn’t cling to the security of large groups. When you join a club, a team, an organization, or whatever, you’re telling the world that you couldn’t do whatever it is that you’re doing without help. Even worse: the members are going to want you to acclimate to the norms of their group—kind of like the way that bowling league members always want you to bowl. You’re in their house and they want you to throw that ball down the aisle or whatever the fuck it’s called. Be careful; there are exceptions to this rule. If you decide to join a group to topple its current leadership and make your own rules, then that’s acceptable. Also, if a group approaches you and asks that you become their unchallenged leader, you have a moral obligation to at least consider it, even if your only purpose is to disband the group immediately after ascending to power.
10. Be Self-Reliant In All Things – That means that there will be none of this “borrowing” crap that people seem to love to do. And leave sharing for the nancy boys who want to split a jar of pomade to look nice for the big sock hop. Being self-reliant also means that if you want a date, you go out and find one for yourself. Don’t go bothering decent, hardworking people with some sadsack story about how you haven’t “gotten back into the swing of things” and that you need help getting your confidence back. In the first place, what were you thinking? You should never even have been in a relationship that made you soft, weak, and lacking in confidence. See Highly Imposing Behavior Number 1.
11. Foment Vengeance – No matter how imposing you become, other men will always plot against you. When you learn of this—probably because their women betray them to you in some hourly motel room—you must exact your vengeance. Confucius said, “Before you embark on a journey of revenge, dig two graves.” That means that the joker who’s plotting against you probably has a friend. Confucius was trying to tell us that we need to eliminate not only our enemies but also their accomplices. Revenge can be a great motivator, but where people often go wrong is when they sit around and wait for the attack. A good example of this would be Pearl Harbor. The U.S. knew that the Japanese were cross with them, yet they still waited until the attack before blowing the shit out of them with nuclear weapons FOUR YEARS LATER. When someone or something is plotting against you, foil the plot, dig enough graves for all of your enemies, and then go fill them. Afterwards, have a huge street party V-Day style to let one and all know that you appreciate them.
HINT: If you run out of graves, double stuff.