- The Washington Times - Tuesday, October 8, 2002

ATLANTA — Near the shore of Lake Allatoona in Woodstock, Ga., stands the mythological abode often pondered by some of civilization's greatest thinkers Archie Bunker, Homer Simpson and Jerry Seinfeld.
It is beautifully unpretty.
It is paradise, with cold beer.
It is the ultimate guy pad, an entire house dedicated to gizmos, gadgets and unadulterated dudeness.
Windows are un-treatmented, flowers unplanted, and for every 400 square feet, a television.
Massaging recliners sport beer holders. A fully operational, miniature bowling alley in the basement awaits, and the landscape features three putting greens and a horseshoe pit.
This wonder is the brainchild of Bill Cox, senior vice president of programming for TBS and the staff of "The Man Made Movie."
"The Man Made Movie" is a weekly home-improvement show spliced with an ultramacho film usually starring someone running with a gun or frowning a lot.
Over the past two seasons, Chad Taylor, host of the show, has led viewers through the planning and construction of this four-level 4,600-square-foot cabin. The show is being moved from Thursdays to Tuesdays at 8 p.m. and construction on a new home begins in February.
"Everyone was doing home improvement, and since we carry the Braves and action movies, we thought it was a natural fit," said Mr. Cox, who has led the station's programming for seven years. "Not every idea was on the plate when this started, but once we got it on the air it just escalated to this perfect guy-house."
Overseeing the work is local builder Scott Mackey, who said the project was "a dream come true."
"You always have these ideas that you think would be cool, but they stay in your head because no one's crazy enough to want it done to their house," he said. "This home allows me to be really creative."
How so?
Try a saloon with swinging doors, stuffed boar's head and full bar with a beer tap. Or a fire pole you can slide down from the rooftop patio to the saloon.
Or a second fire pole that runs from the saloon to the basement where you can play pool, foosball, air hockey or pingpong while watching one of three televisions.
Still not impressed?
What do you think about the dumbwaiter that runs from the hot tub on the roof to the game room in the basement?
Perhaps the restroom with a choice of three stalls equipped with a library, saltwater aquarium or throne is more to your liking.
Yes, a throne. Mr. Mackey took a turn-of-the-century hand-carved walnut and mahogany chair apart, then reassembled it around a working toilet in a 3-by-5-foot cubby. Burgundy fabric on the wall complements gold tassels draped over the chair, next to a chain to be pulled when the king of the house is done with his royal business.
"Everyone that visits the house loves that bathroom," Mr. Mackey said.
The two-bedroom A-frame house is almost as interesting for what it doesn't have closets or an oven as for what it does have.
"There are no kitchen cabinets because of the two-drawer dishwasher," Mr. Mackey said. "You never have to unload it, just put your dirty plate in the other drawer."
The "Man Made" house is a hit with its intended audience. The show is No. 1 on basic cable for its time slot among men 18-49, which doesn't surprise Robert Thompson of the Popular Culture Association.
"We're in a transition stage," said Mr. Thompson, a professor at Syracuse University. "It used to be a time when 'men's magazine' meant Playboy. Now there are racks full of them talking about relationships, style, fashion and furnishing, and the show helps them piece some of this stuff together."
Mr. Thompson said in the past all the ultimate guy pad needed was "a working television, toilet and fridge to keep the beer cold."
"Now with the availability of technology, it's more about comfort," he said.
John Walsh, senior writer for Maxim magazine, agrees.
"Twenty years ago, there just weren't that many tech options out there," Mr. Walsh said. "The bachelor's pad of the old might have had a hi-fi system. Today's bachelor has a lot more options and probably a lot more reasons to be at home, because it's more fun."
Men have more time to develop an ultimate guy pad because they are marrying later in life, he said.
"Back in the '50s they had a wife early and she cooked and cleaned and pretty much was responsible for the house. Nowadays even when a guy gets married he participates equally in chores and decorating decisions," he said.
Some, though, still dream of what they'd like in an "ultimate guy pad."
Clint Davis, manager of Jock's & Jill's in metro Atlanta, said that when he was in his 20s, he had a decent guy pad complete with a mountain bike hanging from the ceiling in the living room and neon beer signs on the wall.
"I think it would be cool to have a double-headed, stand-up shower so you and your woman can shower at the same time," the married 32-year-old said. "I definitely would like a little sports bar in the basement with a big-screen television with two 9-inchers on each side."
The deck is key, according to bachelor Brian Healy, a 30-year-old real estate appraiser.
"I would turn the garage into a smoking lounge with couches and a television," he said. "It's all about being entertained and entertaining."
And for Outwrite Bookstore and Coffeehouse manager Blake Hardy, there would be windows.
"I would also like a really nice entertainment center with all of the latest video and sound equipment," the 41-year-old said. "And really cool furniture, bright colors like bright blues and greens."
Regardless of age, race or location, there are just some things you need to be up to guy code standards, according to Michael Payne, host of HGTV's "Designing for the Sexes."
"The ultimate guy pad for the ultimate guy is certainly going to be pretty tacky," Mr. Payne said. "For example, he is not going to want to hide his big-screen television and all of the technology like the CD changers and DVD players behind some nice cabinet."


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