Mantalk #9

Last week men united in dark clusters of the internet and agreed not to like or support any “no makeup selfies” in fear women would get too comfortable not wearing any of their war paint.

The thought alone sickens us, a world with women with no brown mush on their faces would make me want to visit Boots, buy foundation and rub into the shoulders of all my jackets myself!

What would life be like without red lipstick? (less probable homicide cases) I am not the only man who’s experienced waking up next to a woman with red running down her face, thinking, ‘Seanie G, I always knew you were unreal in the sack, but where are you going to bury this gal?’ and then realising she’s actually alive, when she exhales a cocktail of strawberries, mint, honey, iceberg lettuce, summer berries, cotton bud, Dutch Gold, garlic cheesy chip with a dash of curry sauce and regurgitated sick – you don’t know whether to be relieved or disheartened.

You thought it was so brave of you when taking that selfie, didn’t you? Liberated, but scared – “Oh my god, it’s like ahhhhhhhhhhhhh! What’s Oisín going to think of my gaunt Irish skin? Ahhhhhh”. You snapped and snapped; moving to get the shadows in the right places. You notice your eyes longing desperately like a child in a Concern ad; in dire need of the benefits that Ms. Arden gives you in trowelled smear loads and that thick layer of Smashbox on your Rimmel.

When you felt brave enough you finally uploaded the best image to Facebook. As the ‘likes’ clocked up, something more prominent was looking back at you – yesterday your eyes were brown, but today they are blue. Natural is something you overlook daily, choosing to extend, plump, dye, stretch, draw, squeeze, instead of opting for you and just you.

Bionic lady, why is it a big deal for you to upload a picture of your bare faced self? I speak on behalf of men with taste when I say that we like when women wear less make-up. Less is more and none is confidence. There is nothing more disgusting than seeing women’s faces weighed down by bulletproof layers of makeup or much worse bodies dipped in terracotta paint. Are girls immune to the smell of fake tan? It smells like creamy white spirits and rat’s piss.

I think the amount of money raised by this campaign is amazing but the means in which it was raised is disappointing. Women fought for centuries for their identities; achieved it only to mask it with namelessness.

It shouldn’t be a big deal to show your true identities, embrace it with the reassurance that Ireland is a neutral country and will not be going to war anytime soon.

Well. How’s the form?

Firstly, it’s great to be on the shortlist for the Smedias this year. Hon the lads! Secondly, this is probably going to be the article most close to my heart that I have written all year. You’re probably wondering why, as I haven’t even told you what it is yet, but you’ll see.

Ground beef, chilli powder, cumin, garlic, ginger, red kidney beans, chickpeas, canned tomatoes, lettuce and cheese. Right so, get stuck into that ground beef! Fry it up in a hot pan until brown and drain her off – don’t be keeping all those fatty juices in there – it’s not healthy and it will soak up some of the flavours you’re gonna add in a minute. Leave that pan in the sink and throw your mince into a wok. The wok must be hot already ‘cause yer gonna add in a few spices now to flavour the whore.

Chilli powder, cumin, garlic, ginger – bing, bang, bong, boom! Add as much as you want, you’ll be eating it, but I do warn, don’t overdo it with the chilli as I did recently, leaving the auld arsehole like a dragon’s nostril! Throw in those tomatoes, kidney beans and chickpeas – let it simmer and mix it up a bit. Now serve that in a few lettuce leaves (like cups) and enjoy!

So…in case you haven’t notice, this week is about food because I f**king love food. ‘Man vs Food’ and ‘DINERS, DRIVE-INS AND DIVES’ are the only thing watched in our house. Food network, all day, every day. A bit of Nigella Lawson in the evening goes down a real treat – “Cooking aside, I am what you’d call a domestic slut” – Nigella, you little minx! But as you see from the recipe, bigger isn’t always better and I love proper cooking, proper food! Masterchef and Chopped are unreal – Jun Tanaka, I love you man! Ye can’t bate Hell’s Kitchen. Gordon Ramsey, absolute animal in the kitchen and I’d say he is in the bed too!

But back to the food. The best thing about actually cooking dinners is that you realise it doesn’t actually take long at all, just stick on a few tunes and you’ll be eating in no time. I do like to indulge in a few greasy foods every so often, so when I’m not cooking salmon fillets wrapped in bacon, served on a bed of roasted vegetables, I’m cooking up burgers with cheese inside them, a few rashers and an egg on top. So good! The cheese melts inside as the burger cooks…

Did you know that there are actually foods out there that make us hungry? I know! The sliced pan is the devil with redefined carbs that trigger food cravings. Imagine!? Chinese food is full of MSGs – a chemical added to enhance the flavour but often causes your hunger levels to yoyo. Oh well, YOLO! The danger here is alcohol makes you hungry too, so put yourself on Camden Street at 3am after a rake of naggins and walk by Charlie’s. Of course a 3-in-1 is a must. And the spring rolls. And the chicken balls. Perhaps you’re a feeling a bit peckish so you pick away at your friends left overs too. All this food and then just to go home, sleep with it in your stomach, to wake up hangin’ and eat a load more!

Whatever foods you want to eat, it is important to value it and understand how you can add to the taste. Oregano, basil, garlic and ginger are core ingredients for most dinners I cook. The spices and herbs are invaluable but often go forgotten. Garlic and ginger are class for the immune system so to save yourself from a runny nose, throw in a few cloves! Big shout out to pineapple, probably my favourite food. It can go in anything, and you know what they say about citrus fruits…

Seán Ó Grifín & Craig Sutton

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