Tuesday, February 23, 2010


(Top Photo: Upstairs at The Garage Mahal!)

Have you ever heard of Dihydrotestosterone (see photo), or DHT?

It's the hormone that in elevated quantities makes one lose his hair, drink beer, fix stuff and pass wind. DHT is typically measured in micrograms. In Kris Swarthout's case, however, the stuff can be measured in quarts.

Triathlon Coach/Stay-At-Home dad Kris Swarthout was doomed to be an excessively manful and manly man. Heck, in German the name "Swarthout" means "Swarthy fixer of stuff who has a five o'clock shadow at 8:30 in the morning."

Kris, that manful and manly man who has quarts of manly DHT coursing through his manly bloodstream, is a poster boy for manliness. Everything a manful and manly man does or likes, Kris does and likes. That's right, he's into NASCAR, beer, pizza at least four times a week, and sophomoric movies, like the NASCAR-themed "Talledega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby."

And he fixes stuff! Not just cars, which is a prerequisite for men with manful manliness. He can also build and remodel entire houses. Heck, when he bought his home in South Minneapolis a few years back, it was little more than a glorified lean-to. Today, after several non-load-bearing walls have been demolished, his home is a manful and manly showplace, complete with a deck that covers almost an acre.

His crowning achievement as a manful and manly builder and fixer of stuff is his renovated garage, or as he calls it, his "Garage Mahal." Fellow manful and manly men have been known to weep when they see this manful and manly masterwork for the first time.

As for his DHT-mandated love of pizza and beer, the manful and manly Kris Swarthout
demands only the very best. He scoured the U.S. in search of the greasiest deep dish pizza (the deeper the dish the more grease and nitrite-rich toppings it can hold). He found it in Chicago, which happens to be the pizza capital of the World. We're not talking Pizza Uno or Giordano's. Sure, they're good. But a manful and manly pizza-eating man like Kris demands the amazing and lethally delicious manful pies baked at Lou Malnati's.

As for his favorite manful and manly beer, he was able to find that locally. Surly Coffee Bender. This exquisite brew was crafted with manful and manly men in mind; manly guys like Kris who believe that the marriage of hops and caffeine was made in Heaven.

After a full day of fixing stuff, the manful and manly Kris Swarthout loves nothing better than relaxing in an ancient and malodorous Lay Z Boy in front of a big screen TV on which a manful and manly movie, like "Hot Fuzz" or "Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy" is playing. (He also loves "Don't Mess With the Zohan" and after much practice has mastered the "Zohan Method" of catching exotic fish and hacky sacks.)

As a manful and manly man, Kris Swarthout is able to quote lines from the most manful and manly sophomoric movies. Of course, in the tradition of manful manliness, most of what he is able to recite is, like the Zohan Method of catching fish and hacky sacks, totally inappropriate, thus examples will not be cited here.

And here's some non-made-up stuff that is worth knowing about the truly World Class man, husband, dad, friend, coach, race director, former cop and reader of "The Catcher in the Rye," Kristofer Swarthout:

Occupation:Triathlon Coach/stay at home dad

Colleges, Degrees: BA in Criminal Justice from St. Cloud State University

Family:Wife Jill (her identical twin Alison is married to a Kris also! No lie.) Daughter Stephanie 12, Son Col 2 in May, second son in the oven.



Books? Catcher in the Rye, first book I ever read cover to cover with no skipping pages, I actually read it twice.

Movies?BoldHot Fuzz, Star Wars, Anchorman

TV Shows? Nip Tuck, Burn Notice, Entourage, True Blood

Alcoholic Beverages? Surley Coffee Bender Beer

Junk Food? Home made cookies

Restaurants? Bagu, Pepito's, Turtle Bread (notice they are all with in a block of each other at 46th/Chicago)

Meal? Fresh Lou Malnati's pizza from Chicago (the city)

Non-Tri Hobbies? Quoting movies

Ice Cream Flavor? Real Vanilla

Vacation Destination?Anywhere with oceans or mountains, if they have both even better!