A long time ago, I was going to pen this column for my wife, just so she'd know where I was comin' from when I did things that on the surface made little sense to her. At some point, I gave up on that idea because I figured it would only ensure me grief rather than alleviate any potential grief by her not knowing the Man Laws. Educating her on a subject she could never truly grasp because of her lack of testicular fortitude would be an exercise in futility. The reason I'm writing it now though is that it's becoming obvious that there are more than a few men out there who are either not aware of the Man Laws, have brass cojones large enough to warrant ignoring the sanctity of the Man Laws, or their brethren are not keeping them in check when they break said laws. At any rate, the laws are the laws and it's our responsibility as manly men to make sure they stay intact and that all women and men abide by them. C'mon, these are laws dammit, and even my wife gets at least one of 'em.

1. We drink beer when we work on our trucks. This isn't that hard to understand. We don't mix up margaritas or sip on cosmopolitans when droppin' a new motor between the fenders of our rides.

2. We have T-shirts that cannot ever be thrown away, no matter how many holes or grease stains are on them. If you can see back hair through the holes in your Spring Splash '94 truck run T-shirt, that is OK. It's not OK for your wife to throw it out or "accidentally" spill enough bleach in the washing machine that the small holes become large enough to stick your head through.

3. We will keep stock truck parts for 30 years, and they are not allowed to be thrown away until we are sure that we don't need them or that they can't be given to a friend. That leaf-spring hanger from the '79 Ford Ranger I saved from the boneyard may come in handy some day.

4. If you borrow an old tool that's on the verge of death and it breaks while in your possession, you do have to replace it with a new tool of equal or greater value or of equal or greater power.

5. If you ask another man or group of manly men to help you work on your truck on a Saturday, you are required to provide beer, pizza, and Doritos for the duration of the job or we have every right to raid your fridge and leave without helping you. If we don't feel like leaving, it's also permissible to just sit there in a lawn chair and watch you struggle with that Turbo 400 trans under your Chevy.

6.We are permanently excused from working on any car or truck on the following holidays: Super Bowl Sunday, Christmas (c'mon, it's for Santa!), any World Series game day, and whenever any classic car movie is on television. This means no working when Two-Lane Blacktop, Cannonball Run, Smokey and the Bandit, Six Pack, Dirty Mary, Crazy Larry, American Graffi ti, or Corvette Summer (and so on) are on the boob tube. Feel free to call on us when The Fast and the Furious parts one, two, or three are on.

7. Don't ever ask to drive another man's custom truck. That's like sleeping with his wife, and we know manly men don't swing like that.

8.If you break down and it's not your fault, you may call us for help. If you break down after modifying your truck in a way which prompted another manly man to warn you of the ramifications, then you're SOL and should call AAA.

9. Sunday is a day of rest. This means we can rest in the garage without interruption from annoying in-laws and non-gearhead friends. Wives should expect us to remain in the garage until we are fully rested, hungry, or so dirty that we can't stand our own smell and must enter the house to shower.

10. The garage is the manly man's domain. It will not be decorated in anything other than posters of scantily clad women holding power tools, high school sports accolades, or any other symbol of a manly man's triumph over nature, physics, or a bowling tournament.

So now that you know the Man Laws, go out into the world armed with knowledge that will keep the garage safe for all mankind. You can thank me later. See ya next month.