The Mancave

Private Property South Africa
Shaun Wewege

Lately the idea of a mancave has become rather popular in men's magazines. We see homes where a whole area has been designed with the child-like guy in mind - giant televisions with state of the art gaming consoles and accessories such as racing seats, a stocked bar, pool table and leather reclining seats are order of the day in these places where men can seek refuge. What we are meant to be seeking refuge from is a bit of a mystery to me. If you're trying to hide from your family, pets, work, bills and responsibilities you possibly have problems far greater than any mancave could fix. Whatever happened to just popping down to the local pub and forcing the bartender and the local dipsomaniac to listen to all your woes?

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A Ferrari themed Mancave

Another problem with the mancave as portrayed by the media is that unless you have more money than Rupert Murdoch (or access to public funds as in the case of Nkandla, the ultimate mancave) your haven is going to seem, well, a trifle dull. Considering that this Lake Michigan apartment is not only Ferrari-themed, but is home to a number of Ferraris and Porches, your lonely gaming console and tacky racing seats look comparatively sad. Plus, in this day and age who has the kind of space needed for a Batcave-type hideaway? At best the average homeowner can spare a Wendy house or corner of the garage. Even then I'd have to try fit the giant flat-screen in around the bicycle, camping chairs and box of seldom used old Christmas gifts that are packed roof-high in our storage room.

If, however, despite the lack of space and funds you still feel you need your own mancave can you at least ensure that it contains NONE of the following:

Hunting trophies: while having the head of a poor defenseless animal that you shot on a hunting trip may seem like a good idea, it’s kind of creepy. Also, if you are single and invite a woman back to your mancave what is she going to think? “Here’s a guy who keeps a record of things he has killed out in the open. He might just be the next Jeffrey Dahmer.”

Photos of naked women: this one is self-explanatory. Even if it’s art it will raise eyebrows.

Photos of ex-girlfriends: again, self-explanatory. If you are not sure why we have to assume it’s been a long time since you’ve had a date.

Political figure theme: it’s not uncommon for mancaves to have a theme. A Star Wars fan may have a giant Chewbacca mannequin. Lovers of old Western movies may have posters of Johan Wayne. If your mancave is adorned with photographs of all your favourite dictators you should probably not be allowed to spend too much time on your own.

Lastly, and most importantly, the name “mancave” in itself is a bit weird. Call it your themed-pub, hobby room, entertainment room or games room. Inviting people to your mancave seems somewhat primitive. Most people who would accept an offer to visit any form of cave will be expecting some form of Paleolithic area experience, perhaps wearing animals skins and hitting each other with giant clubs; a far-cry from an area where you will probably just drink a few beers while watching sports.

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