On the weekend, committed suburbanite Ricky Clarke announced to friends, huddled around a fire at a house party, that “only real men know how to light fires”. Standing around the backyard fire, hypnotically staring at the flames, Clarke polarised his friends with the statement.
Seemingly unaware of the many different facets that contribute to modern manhood, Clarke responded angrily when challenged by his friends, saying “nah, nup, none of that other stuff counts for anything. If you can’t light a fire, you’re not a man. It goes all the way back to them cavemen and that. The two rules of manhood then were fighting dinosaurs and lighting fires. If you couldn’t do either of those things, you’d be dead. Straight away. Dead.”
In the absence of regular opportunities to engage in hand-to-hand combat with a Tyrannosaurus Rex, Clarke said modern men were left with lighting and maintaining a fire as the only primal skill of manhood. “Back in prehistoric times, you fought dinosaurs during the day, and lit fires at night. Dinosaurs are gone, unfortunately, so that leaves fires as our only chance. And with ducted heating and bloody electricity we’re losing a lot of opportunities to even do that. And don’t get me started on those bloody fake gas fires!”