This should go without saying, but Nick Offerman is a man’s man. Between playing the manliest of men on Parks & Rec as Ron Swanson and actually running his own woodshop when he’s not acting or doing stand-up, Offerman’s affinity for fine wood and good whiskey will make even the strongest of men shudder in fear of being talked down to. You can see all of the handmade custom furniture on his actual woodshop’s website, but more recently, he did an interview with Esquire on his passions, new book, and who he’s voting for (hint: it’s Hillary).
His answers? Yeah, they made me feel like a huge wimp.
On what he does when he’s touring and not around his woodshop:
I have at times traveled with small carving projects. I remember one time I made a collection of about a few dozen miniature canoe paddles, and that was a wonderfully sized project to pack on a trip.
Sitting in an airport carving miniature paddles is a lot manlier than being the douchebag who’s sitting at Gate 34 reading Maxim. And when he brought up how he was raised, he makes you feel even more like a beta male for growing up playing NFL Blitz on your Nintendo 64 for hours on end.
My family in Illinois can—from the kitchen to the garden to the wood shop to the machine shop—fabricate just about anything you can make domestically. I’ve never known a life without being able to fix my own implements … When I sit down at a table and it has a wobble, I immediately know what to do about it. And I can fix it four different ways. And it’s having a problem-solving capability that I just think makes for a much calmer and more enjoyable life.
I recently reattached a knob on my girlfriend’s dryer and felt as though I had handbuilt her house after mixing the concrete foundation with my bare hands. Hell, even when I stick a matchbook underneath a wobbly table at a restaurant, I feel pretty accomplished. But he didn’t stop there when asked if there was a “difference between somebody who would choose to create their own bookshelf rather than somebody who would build it from IKEA.” Gee, I wonder how he felt about that.
I do think that the erosion of American values goes hand in hand with the disappearance of trade skills … I encourage everyone all the time to figure out what it is you can make with your hands and see how much more enjoyable that is than scoring a bunch of points on Pokémon Go or whatever.
I’m surprised by two things in this answer – the first is that he knows what Pokémon Go is, and the second is that he even entertained a question about IKEA with a legitimate answer. But, that didn’t stop from further shaming IKEA moving forward.
I’ve put together a few of those sorts of items for people. And that’s to understand that it’s disposable furniture. Again, it’s all part of the social malaise that, starting with the Industrial Revolution, we have become a society of disposable goods that are now definitely trying to put the breaks on and get back to something more sustainable … Part of the reason for spending a little extra for handmade quality is that this will save dozens of trees from becoming IKEA furniture, for the treatment of symbol of beautiful tree.
Buying a sturdy couch rather than a shitty futon that you just leave in your apartment once your lease is up because you’ll just go buy a new one? Man, what a concept.
Furthermore, he even shed some light on the similarities between his woodworking passion and his Ron Swanson character on Parks & Recreation.
All the scenes in Ron Swanson’s shop, that’s my actual shop. Half the stuff that Ron built on the show was my actual work. Some times there were implements that we would veer into comedy woodworking. For example, in an episode where Leslie and Ron are arguing over what is a healthy amount of scotch to drink or not, Ron purportedly goes home after a couple scotches, drinks six more scotches, and builds a harp. Overnight. Which, you know, is pretty impossible.
I can’t be the only one who’s a little bummed that Ron didn’t actually get hammered and build a harp overnight, but it makes sense. I guess. But still, given the hilarity of the character and the knowledge base it probably takes to whip up everything Nick Offerman can actually build, it’s still pretty impressive.
Nick fuckin’ Offerman: more manly than you. Now and forever. .
Image via YouTube