Last summer, I went to NYC with my college buddies to watch USA vs England in the World Cup at the bar they showed on TV during the game (Jack Dempsey’s). Aside from being an awesome game and atmosphere, I was proud of our group for our tremendous achievement in Mangineering. Manginering is a word I made up to describe things like what we accomplished. We waltzed into a bar with zero available seats. And since our group of five was going to swell to 18 people, this was a problem. No one was leaving, as everyone was decked out in USA gear… three hours before match-time.

So we staked out a standing spot about 12 feet from a TV, in an open space between a big table and a small table that was up against the wall. The area featured a two-foot separated jutting out from the wall. We grabbed a couple of random chairs or stools and then set about acquiring more. Over the next hour, we quietly raided chairs and stools from all over, either by asking people, finding unattended chairs in the staff areas, even fixing a broken chair. While that was going on, we proceeded to make friends with the small table (of two people) and coax them into trading their high sitting stools for low chairs since they were in front of us.

The result was a three-row set-up of stools in the back, chairs in the front, and a small table in the corner by that separator that jutted out which accommodated every single person in our party. We even had a waitress come over and say “Damn, I thought you guys would be screwed and standing all game. They just told me you’re a ‘table’ of mine now.”

Mangineering. When men engineer a situation as only a man can do. Other examples would include:

– Turning an empty drum into a grill.

– Rigging TV/computer equipment to turn one cable line and internet into a three-screen setup with picture-in-picture.

– My old roommate Mike gets mangineering credit for his remote work of watching the baseball playoffs, a football game, and the Real World Las Vegas in a manner that allowed us to miss about two plays of football, zero hot tub scenes and everything Tim McCarver said during the baseball game.

– Using a laundry basket as a coffee table.

– Anything McGyver or Jack Bauer ever did.


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