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Friday, April 21, 2006

Great Room Ideas for Guys 

Face it. When it comes to interior design, regular guys need help. Not all guys. But your mainstream recliner-floppin’, beer-sloppin’, crumb-droppin’, firewood-choppin’, story-toppin’, park-those-fumy-Pumas-on-the-coffeetable kind of guys.

The kind who hear “ruffles” and think “have ridges.”

Yes, you’re thinking, it’s time somebody taught them good taste.

For crying out loud, no! Designers have tried to beat good taste into guys’ brains for centuries. It’s time somebody catered to regular guys’ tastes.

Once I read about a couple planning a pricey domicile redo. So they hired an architect. Suddenly, he's outnumbered! First thing to go? His hopes for a basement bar-and-gameroom! OK, maybe his insisting on the firing range for bazookas was a deal-breaker, but saps like this need support. They need a list of ideas for great guy rooms:

The Driver-Indoors Movie Theater. TV's bigger than an elephant, room's big as a zoo. Ride around in bumper cars, picking up burgers and fries at your own drive-thru kitchen window. Only one way to make beer-dispensing safe: Hover keg.

Neanderthal Kitchen. Cook the prehistoric way — burn everything. Rock-floored and roofless, this room’s perfect for campfires hot enough to smelt bronze. Suggested accessories: Paint roller to slather barbecue sauce on woolly mammoth-size steaks; turbocharged garbage disposal; broadaxes instead of sissy cleavers; exploding practical-joke cigars; fire hydrant with a fire hose. For a christening dish, add rhino sausage and Mongolian fire oil to beef-a-roni — it’s Testosteroni!

The Dreams-Come-True Room. Strap on wired-up football helmet, sink into big comfy chair, and flip the switch. Soon you’ll imaginatively live out your every fantasy. Free parking on demand. The Dow always rises. The boss loves your latest outburst. Your favorite team wins championships, everyone thinks you’re cool, and women find you irresistable, even when you’re old with a pot belly. Wait, that’s not your fantasy — it’s Jack Nicholson’s life!

The Jungle Bathroom. Make answering nature’s call even more natural, with nifty touches like vines, tile-climbing lizards and piped-in monkey noises. How about a waterfall instead of a shower? Or a tropical-fish-filled glass toilet tank? Fit right in with Eagles-green body paint. It's your call whether to add civilized amenities, like sports-trivia tissue, moving toilet for target practice, a scale long enough to be visible over any gut, mildew-proof towels, or an electric razor that actually works.

The Fortress of Nap Solitude. Looks like an ordinary TV room. But when snoring is detected, a long mechanical arm shoos out any awake folks, and swats all buzzing bugs dead. Total lockdown mode thwarts all those annoying interruptions — “Dad, man’s here to repossess the Daewoo!” — until sensors detect that deep REM sleep has been completed.

Ali Baba’s Super-Vault. Inspired by Scrooge McDuck’s Money Bin, our room’s filled with all kinds of valuables, like spark plugs, that a guy can scoop up by the armful, while greedily gloating, “Ha-ha-ha! It’s mine! All mine! At least until my next cell-phone payment is due!” A bathtub has a lifetime supply of beach tags. A chest overflows with honey mustard pretzel nuggets. And boxes of gems come already wrapped, so come Valentine’s Day, no shopping.

World Domination Map Room. Use shuffleboard sticks to jockey nuclear subs and bombers on your huge tabletop video map of the planet. Crank trillion-dollar bills out of your Inkjet and buy cities, countries, continents! Cackle evilly while marching your armies of little Lego people. Room is windowless, of course, to avoid (a) drapes, and (b) any intrusion by reality.

Den of the Dead. Got a prized bug collection? Stuffed warthog? A Ted Williams frozen-head bobblehead doll? No wife wants gruesome stuff like this near the Hummels. So build a room for all your dead-related stuff. Old VCRs you’re saving for parts. Front-yard tombstones for Halloween. Mob-movie posters. Disco records. That IRA you put in an Internet start-up fund. Lock it all up with a deadbolt and a skeleton key.

The Unwreckable Rec Room. Anger management issues? Have we got a padded cell for you! The windows are shatterproof, and the TV’s indestructible. Almost everything else is made of cheap, yet edible material. (Same stuff is in Pringles.) So fear not when that lamp “slips” — “@#&%$! Phillies! @#&%$! Lieberthal!” — and bludgeons the boob tube. A funky focal point is the front half of a junker you can whack with a tire iron without regrets. Curse-word wall coverings are a nifty touch, perfect for the vocabulary challenged. All rugs have futuristic fibers that instantly transmogrify cheesesteak drips into cool wisps of smoke.

The Best Bleeping Bedroom. Shhh, let’s see if the editor’s paying attention. Here goes: The bed bleep! bleep! bleepity-bleep! in-your-dreams-buddy! bleep! … trampoline … bleep! you-must-be-kidding! bleeeeep! … trapeze …you-can’t-say-that! bleep! censored! censored! see-saw … bleepamatic bleeperama bleepathon! … weekend-in-Vegas-strength Viagra … what the bleeping bleepers! ... pregnancy test kit ... in my office now! ... and a good lawyer’s phone number, not to mention sheets with big race cars.

My Arsenal Can Kick Yours. Whether Armageddon’s coming, baby, or it's just spring with its killer bunnies (who’s whispering I’m paranoid?), a guy’s got to be ready. Besides, it just feels right good to stockpile Symbols of Powerful Manhood: Like guns, rifles, Super Soakers, lawn darts, pesticides, powersaws, nose-hair clippers, blowtorches, fishing tackle, can openers, ping pong paddles, and cans of Vienna sausage. Kick back and think, “Dude! With a time machine, I could single-handedly whup the Roman Empire!” Or work out with weights as you wait for al-Qaeda, carpenter ants, and, oh no, not those docs in the white coats again!

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