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It rips. It splits. I want it.

November 29, 2007|By TIM ROWLAND

I'm not one to do a corporation's advertising for it, but I can only sit back and marvel at the genius behind Stanley Hand Tools' new FatMax Xtreme FuBar Utility Bar.

Well, maybe it's new, maybe it's been around a bit, but I first saw the advertisement for one this weekend during, obviously, a football game.

The FatMax Xtreme is billed as a demolition tool. As a guy, they had me at "demolition."

The television commercial shows a rather geeky chap being handed a FatMax, which he uses to basically tear the living snot out of a shed that is, for some reason, suspended by a crane. As he pounds at and rips away the walls and studs, a chorus of manly men stand to the side, cheering him on.

If a woman sees this ad, she will undoubtedly say, "I don't get it." If a man sees this ad, he will undoubtedly say - well, he will not say anything due to the amount of drool that is accumulating in his mouth and pooling onto the coffee table as he leans forward, fully entranced.

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Stanley knows its audience. I want one and I don't even have a use for it. But if I had one, I guarantee I would FIND a use for it. No drywall would be safe. I would carry it everywhere. I would take it to church, just in case during the middle of the service the pastor would decide the sanctuary had one nonload-bearing wall too many.

"Uh-oh," people would say. "Here comes the T-dog with his FatMax Xtreme. Better pour some concrete around the dog house."

To be honest, we had our own version of the FatMax Xtreme when I was growing up. We called it a "crowbar," which near as I can tell, does roughly the same thing.

But the FatMax Xtreme spits on your lowly crowbar.

It has, according to the company Web site, "4 in 1" capability for "prying, splitting, board bending and striking jobs." It has a "beveled nail slot for pulling and prying nails." It has a "textured grip for excellent comfort and control." It has "two-tiered jaws for grabbing common dimensional lumber and ..."

Whoa, hold on there, Stanley. This "common dimensional" stuff is a little over our heads. The "striking" part is really all we need to know.

Like many guys, I can't build squat, but I can demolish with the best of them. This is why my hat is off to Stanley. It already sells plenty of stuff that allow the relatively few men with talent to hammer, saw, plane, cut and measure.

The FatMax Xtreme FuBar Utility Bar taps into that rich vein of consumers who, like myself, can't glue together a pre-fab birdhouse, but like to make up what we lack in handiness with a destructive zeal that is hard to define.

Remember that fad several years ago when service groups made money by hauling out a junk car and letting guys have three swings of a sledgehammer for a dollar? Women would always feel slightly nauseated and quicken their pace as they walked by the display, but no male could resist.

We're guys. We destroy things. That's what we do. There was a Calvin and Hobbes cartoon where the young boy is in the living room calmly pounding nails randomly into the coffee table. His mom walks in and shrieks, "What are you doing?"

Calvin looks at the table, then looks at her and says, "Is this a trick question?"

I'm not even all that put off that the FatMax Xtreme FuBar Utility Bar costs about $40, or four times that of your standard crowbar. It's worth it when your one and only mission is to destroy. Now that I know the FatMax Xtreme is out there, using a crowbar is as out of the question as driving off the green with a sand wedge.

As the old union guys would say, you can pulverize something fast, or you can pulverize it right.

Tim Rowland is a Herald-Mail columnist. He can be reached at 301-733-5131, ext. 2324, or via e-mail at timr@herald-mail.com. You can listen to his podcast, The Rowland Rant, on www.antpod.com.

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