Top 10 Small Victories

NUMBER 10

Defeating a child

On the surface, children would appear to be poor competition. After all, they’re small, they’re weak and they’re often wet in the pants with excitement or nervousness. And yet, there’s something oddly satisfying about defeating a little tyke. Regardless of whether it’s in a game of backyard hoops or a bit of checkers played on a rainy day, it’s always nice to remind the little rugrats of their place in the pecking order. Our fathers and uncles reveled in these types of small victories and it’s only fair to continue the cycle now that we’re on the top of the food chain.

Go ahead, call us sick.

NUMBER 9

Discovering money

There are few things in life sweeter than getting something for nothing. Discovering a crumpled $20 bill in your pants can certainly be gratifying, but it pales in comparison with the spine-tingling thrill of spotting cash on the sidewalk before anyone else does. This combination of good vision, excellent instincts and lightning-fast reflexes definitely places the free-money grab in the category of small victories.

NUMBER 8

Killing a small animal

Small victories sometimes require sacrificing a small creature. There’s something about the glory of the hunt that invigorates men, which is why some of us have been known to puff out our chest after killing even the smallest of god’s creatures. From offing a rascally rodent in a mouse trap to squishing a cockroach or a spider under your shoe, the snuffing out of another life makes us feel bulletproof and 10 feet tall.

NUMBER 7

Being proved right

Unlike Alex Trebek, most men don’t have all of the answers, which is why being proved right on a contentious topic is one of the most rewarding small victories achieved by men. This feeling can be especially sweet when it comes against a sharper or better-educated foe or a poor sport who positively despises being wrong.

NUMBER 6

Delivering a quick comeback

Most men come up with witty comebacks a full half hour after they’ve been insulted. That’s why it’s so glorious when, now and again, the planets align just perfectly to allow us to formulate a razor sharp comeback that puts a snarling smart-ass firmly in his place. It doesn’t happen often, but small victories of this nature are worth celebrating.

NUMBER 5

Finding a prime parking spot

There are two times in a man’s life when he’s likely to celebrate excessively in his car. The first is when he loses his virginity in the backseat, and the second is when he scores a prime parking spot on a busy street or at a packed sporting event. Small victories such as the latter may even result in frequent retellings at parties and social gatherings, which are perfect opportunities for the lucky driver to boast of his remarkable skill at squeezing his SUV into a scooter-size space.

NUMBER 4

Winning a bet

There’s something magical about small victories that involve taking money from your friends that makes some men want to dance on a table top. Ironically, the amount of the bet is largely immaterial, as most guys are just as likely to perform backflips after winning $5 as they are if they had won $1 million.

NUMBER 3

Perfectly cooking a steak

A perfectly cooked steak is one of those small victories that all men will applaud. This explains why some men become excessively emotional over an exquisitely prepared slab of meat. Whether it’s the feeling of euphoria that comes from battling fire or the carnal satisfaction that comes from devouring a two-pound piece of bovine, there are few things in life as gratifying as a well-barbecued sirloin or T-bone.

NUMBER 2

Spontaneous catch

Men often have objects hurled at them unexpectedly when their minds — and bodies — are busily engaged in other tasks. In most cases, these objects bounce off of us, resulting in a bruised body and a bruised ego. However, sometimes we actually manage to catch these random objects, and small victories like that can make us feel like Dwight Clark in an NFC Championship Game. These rare moments can be especially exciting when they prevent a potential accident, like catching a wine bottle or a glass knocked off a table or catching a child as he tumbles from a high bookcase. Either way, it’s important to remember not to spike the object after making the catch.

NUMBER 1

Opening a jar

Technology has made many men obsolete (here’s looking at you, vibrators), but there is still one area in which our services will always be required: the opening of tight jars for the fairer sex. This simple but highly important activity makes us feel like a knight aiding a damsel in distress and it pads the male ego by reaffirming the fact that women would never be able to enjoy jam, spaghetti or pickles again without our mighty brawn