The Swanson Guide to Man/Woman Relations

Ron Swanson here. I’ll get straight to the point: ever since introducing my Pyramid of Greatness to the general masses, my office mailbox has become inundated with letters from men soliciting me for advice. In the past eight months alone, my daily postal volume has increased by approximately four percent.

This needs to stop.

I deliberately keep my social interactions to a minimum, and few things get under my skin like human beings impeding my civic duty to impede the government that benefits from our yearly insurance premiums. I do not need extra reading or talking in my day-to-day. In fact, if a genie promised me one wish, I would use that wish to create an invisible three-mile bubble around my person that rendered the surrounding populace mute. Myself included.

The woman who delivers my department’s post recognized me on the sidewalk last week. Then she said the words “hi Ron” directly into my face as she passed by. Until that day, she was a complete stranger, and if a complete stranger knows enough information about me to initiate a personalized greeting, something is amiss.

I made the mistake of sharing this particular problem with my coworker Tom over lunch today. (We did not have lunch together; I paused over his desk on the way back from my midday…constitutional.) He said if I really wanted fanboy-men to leave me alone, maybe first I should try “giving the people what they want, yo,” which apparently translates to “respond to some of those letters…yo.” This does not make sense to me, but I’m left with no recourse. The post office refuses to properly screen my mail, in spite of the ground-mail blacklist I send them each year.

So here goes. Believe it or not, the most popular topic men pester me about is romance. “How do I know she’s the right woman?” “When’s the right time to move in together?” and so on. I do not care about any of these problems.

Still, I’ve scavenged up countless pearls of wisdom in the destructive wake of two failed marriages. It’s unlikely I have all the answers you gentlemen seek, but here are a few pointers from The Swanson Guide to Man/Woman Relations.

Modern fitness regimens are overrated

It’s a well-documented fact that women are attracted to men who are physically intimidating. This is a simple byproduct of evolution; the fairer sex requires a certain amount of protection, and it is our job as men to demonstrate our proficiency in this department. Back in my early 20s, “hitting the gym” meant splitting three cord of elm and stacking each slab by hand in the woodshed; this activity demands exertion from all the primary muscle groups. (My grandfather’s wood-burning stove made me half the man I am today.) But in recent years, so-called “metrosexuals” have literally wasted millions of gallons of taxpayers’ gas just to drive themselves to a fitness-sanctioned environment, which is ironic at best. Besides, have you stepped into a gym lately? You can barely tell who’s a man and who’s a woman anymore. This is disconcerting to me.

There are three steps to attaining optimum levels of physical fitness: 1) wake up at 6:15 a.m. sharp every morning, 2) dress yourself in autumn-toned, sexually unambiguous clothing, and 3) go about the business of being a man. When executed properly, a routine of unadulterated manliness will sculpt a masculine (if imperfect) figure that bellows, “[insert female name here], should we get attacked by a grizzly bear this afternoon, take a moment to pray for the grizzly.”


Maintain a steady diet of animal proteins

As most of you are probably aware, my Pyramid of Greatness dictates four to eight servings of animal proteins daily. Common sense, I know, but never underestimate the comprehensive allure of a man who consumes above-average quantities of red meat.

Interrelationship benefits include (but are not limited to):

  • Elevated pheromone production
  • Augmentation of physical attractiveness
  • Increased sex drive
  • Constricted tear ducts
  • Broadened clavicles
  • Thicker chest/facial/buttocks hair
  • Increased tolerance of emotions

If a woman ever asks you to compromise the protein sector of your diet, she may as well have defecated on your wooden sailing ship collection: that’s the first and last red flag you’ll ever need.

Keep your lady-friend close, but your bank account closer

I don’t know how much I really need to expound on this point. Never EVER grant a woman unfettered access to your personal finances. There are exactly two exceptions to this rule: 1) You are a willing participant in a loving, trust-infused marriage, or 2) Your heaviest investments are in hidden gold.

Not pictured: a lovable, trustworthy life-mate.

Never let your emotional guard down

Which brings me to my next point. If there’s one thing I’ve learned over the years, it’s that certain women—when given the opportunity—will pry you open and suck out your soul like so many pounds of bland, defenseless oyster meat. The problem here is that oysters are easy to shuck, and the solution is to not be an oyster, dumbass. Shellfish are further down the food chain than the pregnant teenagers you see on music television. No, men should emulate cynical predators, like a polar bear or poison dart frog. When you’ve finished doing that, adjust your emotional barriers accordingly. If a woman truly loves you, she’ll understand when you tell her that your heart is a bald Rapunzel in a tall tower and she is a quadriplegic prince on the ground below. American females are good with fairytale metaphors.

Avoid using your alcohol tolerance for evil

Ever since the fourth grade, my body’s resistance to the effects of alcohol has far exceeded that of my peers. (The only time I’ve experienced a hangover was the morning after my first divorce, but that splitting headache could have been attributed to equal amounts of moonshine and rapidly dissipating rage.) I’m told this is not normal. But even the average man can drink most women under the table, and I’m not saying that to be chauvinistic. Fairer sex, fairer tolerance. Look it up.

Anyway, when I mentioned above that men should think of themselves as predators, I didn’t mean the sexual kind. Real men win women over with their stoic confidence, rugged fashion sense (Carhart-brand clothing is usually a safe bet), and unwavering sense of honor. There’s nothing honorable about taking advantage of ladies who can’t handle their moonshine.


  1. Jim Lahey April 5, 2012
  2. Paul Tassi April 5, 2012
  3. Blake Shrapnel April 5, 2012
  4. hallam April 5, 2012
  5. Charlie Ward April 5, 2012
  6. TJ Fink April 6, 2012

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