Man-Caves…Binky and Duff Style
©2011 by Pat Wray
“You call this a man-cave?” Duff asked with a smirk.
Duff’s aggressive tone unsettled Binky, who was not prepared for a grilling from his older brother. He was just showing Duff the new home he and Annie had recently purchased. It didn’t help that Binky’s synaptic firing sequence, while not quite glacial, was at best, magmal.
Binky rubbed his hands, causing a rippling of the muscles along his massive arms and shoulders. He answered with a hesitant, “Er, no. It’s just my shop. What’s a man-cave?”
“Criminy, Binky! Don’t you know anything? A man-cave is a place in your home you can decorate any way you want and do whatever you want.”
Binky smiled and clapped his hands. “Well, that sounds just like my shop. I guess I do have a man-cave!”
“I don’t think you understand, Binky,” Duff said. “Women aren’t allowed in man-caves. So, Annie couldn’t come around here.”
Without meaning to, Duff allowed the hint of a sneer in his voice when he spoke of Binky’s wife. A meaningful glance from Binky got Duff’s attention. “Sorry, Binky,” he said, and meant it.
Annie was a Game Warden trainee when she’d first met Binky years earlier and her influence had altered his life completely. She’d altered Duff’s as well, primarily by putting him in jail for multiple wildlife-related crimes, though he’d become more circumspect, not more law abiding.
Binky went the opposite direction; he gave up the life of a small time criminal and started classes at the local community college. When Officer Webley retired and Annie was promoted to District Game Warden, Binky began helping in her public outreach efforts. In what many considered the height of irony, Binky now taught Hunter Education Classes. But his earnest, soft-spoken, if somewhat slow approach won Binky many converts and over the years the townsfolk united behind him in his dogged efforts to improve himself. As Officer Webley explained, “Everybody in this town is pulling for you, Binky. Don’t let them down.”
He didn’t. No one had an unkind word for Binky Chastain and even those who might have been so inclined reconsidered when they thought about his door-sized, muscular frame and his reputation for depositing big talkers upside down in trash cans. Duff had seen the inside of many trash cans; the memory of those experiences accounted for his suddenly courteous tone.
“Anyway,” Duff said, “every man-cave needs a television and surround sound speakers and a wet bar.”
Binky thought about this requirement and then asked “Why?”
“So you and your friends can get the full experience from watching hunting and fishing and football and basketball and car races and stuff.”
Binky considered this and then asked, “Why does the bar have to be wet?”
“It doesn’t have to be wet, you mor…er, Binky. A wet bar is like any other bar; it just has a sink.”
Binky thought for a while before reaching a conclusion. “If friends want to watch television they can watch with us in the family room. But this is where I reload ammunition and tie flies and build things and repair stuff. I can’t be drinking while I do those things and I can’t be watching TV, either.” He hung his head. “Guess I don’t have a man-cave.”
Duff sympathized. “Nope, guess not, but you and Annie have a great house, anyway. And you can come visit my man-cave.”
Binky brightened, then his face scrunched under the weight of another question. “Aren’t you still living with Mom, Duff?”
Duff nodded, frowning at the painful admission.
“In the basement.”
“But the basement is unfinished.”
“So? Didn’t I tell you that you can decorate man-caves anyway you want?”
Binky smiled broadly, getting the hint. “And what could be better decoration than unfinished concrete walls and 2×4 studs?”
“Exactly!” Duff crowed. “It’s a lot like a cave! Get it?”
Five seconds later Binky laughed happily. “I do! I do get it! A man-cave!”
“In fact,” Duff continued, “why don’t you come over on Saturday and we can watch the game?”
“What game?” Binky asked.
Duff obviously had not anticipated the question. “Um, I don’t know…and it doesn’t matter, because we’ll be watching it on a 60-inch flat screen TV.”
“OK!” Binky grinned, but immediately hesitated, a picture of confusion. “But what about Annie?”
Duff shook his head. “It’s a man-cave, Binky.”
Binky didn’t hesitate. “Well, I won’t be able to come, then. It’s OK, Duff. I was planning to reload a bunch of rifle ammunition on Saturday anyway. You could come over if you want and even bring a date. My shop is a co-op cave.”
Duff knuckled his brother’s head. “Co-ed, Binky. Co-ed.”
“OK, maybe I will. And that reminds me, I’ve got a few large rifle primers and some extra powder I’d like to sell, if you need some.”
“I can definitely use primers. How many can I have?”
“Oh, three hundred thousand or so.”
“What? How did you get so many? And why?”
“You remember when that new guy moved into the White House? Everybody was worried he would take our guns away.”
“Well, all the talk show people and the gun rights organizations and the web sites said we’d better stock up on guns and ammunition and reloading supplies before he took office. So I did.”
“But three hundred thousand large rifle primers?”
“And that many small rifle primers and cartridge cases and hundreds of pounds of powder, not to mention guns themselves. I wanted to be ready.”
“I guess you are, but what about the money? Buying all that had to be really expensive.”
“It was, but that’s why God gave us credit cards. Unfortunately, the credit card companies would like their money back now. Luckily, I saved a lot of money because I didn’t need any furniture.”
“How did you get by without furniture?”
“Remember, I told you we could decorate man caves however we wanted? I made couches out of rifle and shotgun boxes, foot rests out of ammunition boxes and pillows out of bags of shotgun wads. It’s pretty comfortable if you don’t lean back too hard.”
“Wow! I wish I could decorate my shop like that!”
“No. I’m not that dumb. But I will buy a thousand of your primers.”