Tim Allen



All men like to think they can do it alone, but a real man knows there's no substitute for good help, encouragement, or a pit crew.

So, special thanks to David Rensin for helping me make sense of my thoughts and memories, for patience at the right times, and most of all for teaching me how to use my modem.

Also, thanks to:

Kim 'Bacca' Flagg, for her brilliant left and right hooks.

All of my siblings, especially Becky, Geoff, and Steve, for their notes.

The people on the set of the film, The Santa Clause, for putting up with me finishing my first book during the filming of my first movie.

Leslie Wells at Hyperion.

Peg and Mia.

Bobby Click and a nice letter from the past.

Apologies to everyone I had to 'kill' in print.

And to all the people in my life for making my life something worth writing about — although I think I also had something to do with it.

If I've forgotten anyone, it's only because I'm totally egocentric. If I'd had my way, I would have dedicated this book to myself and told everyone else to go straight to …

INTRODUCTION: the naked truth

This book is about many things I want to say about being a man. If you've seen my comedy act or my television show, or me in the shower, it will explain why the book is not about many things I want to say about being a woman.

At first, I didn't want to write this. Don't get me wrong: I like books, I read a lot. I know lots of great authors' names. I can spell 'Camille Paglia.' It's just that when you're working television, movies, and the stage you want to use your spare time for lots of things that seem more important than writing. Seeing my wife and child more than twice a year comes immediately to mind. Plus I didn't think it would be fair if I didn't write the book myself. So I put it off for a long time.

The publisher finally took some drastic measures, which convinced me that being an author would be a wise addition to my resume. Here's what changed my mind about doing the book.

Hyperion is owned by Disney, which also owns my television show. Disney owns Disneyland and Disney World. Disney also owns EuroDisney, Tokyo?Disney, and a Disney store in every city, town, and hamlet in the world. They also have my cat.

First things being first, we needed a title, I came up with Don't Stand Too Close to a Naked Man. I'm not sure what it means-or if I want to know what it means-but I knew it was a winner when the mere mention of it made several people shoot pricey mineral water through their noses.

This book will be like my taking you for a spirited ride in my 575?horsepower Mustang. We go where I want, see the things I like. When we really get moving you will have to trust me, since it's the first time I've driven this thing. Also, I'm a very goal?oriented guy. So I'm hoping that by the end of this book you will not only have thought more about men, and what makes a man a man, as well as about how men and women relate, but you'll also have learned to speak Spanish, cook a souffle, rebuild a Hemi, and remove bloodstains from white shirts.

The truth is that writing is a challenge. It's great to see your stuff in print. I also desperately wanted to see the words 'fart lighting' and 'sack' on a page.

Bottom line-we're getting close to the bottom, aren't we? — I'm a man and I've arrived at that juncture in life when it's time to share what I've learned. It's been an interesting journey. Hell, it took forty years. So much is happening to guys today, from the women's movement to changing social values to the demise of the Sears catalog. This book is about how I got to where I am before this book ended my career. It probably has a few things to say about how you men got to where you are, too. And it will give the ladies a look into secret corners that men rarely discuss, much less sweep up regularly.

And if all goes well and you buy lots and lots of copies, maybe Disney will give me back my cat.

my name made me do it

Even though we've never met, I want you to know right now how much I admire you. You're the greatest.

'Admire me?' you're saying. 'Thanks. But why?'

Easy. In this era of declining literacy, you're reading a book. Actually reading a book. I'm so impressed.

Of course, it's my book, which really makes you special. After all, I'm a guy best known for grunting and blowing up toasters, not writing. 1 know there's much more to me, but you took a chance. You trusted me.

So I'm going to trust you.

See, I have something to tell you. I've got to let it out and let it go. Unload. Own up. Confess. I just can't hold back any longer….

I'm a Dick. Yes. I am a Dick. My closest friends know I'm a Dick. In fact, my brothers are Dicks, my cousins are Dicks, and my sister, before she was married-was a Dick. My dad? One incredible Dick, and the Dick responsible for me being a Dick. Timothy Allen Dick. My given name, and a gift to cherish for a lifetime.

Some of us are just born lucky.

My name almost got me kicked out of a restaurant once. After I'd politely told the hostess, 'Dick, party of six,' she said, 'Excuse me?' like I'd offended her. I said, 'What's the problem? I'm Mr. Dick, and it's a party of six.' Her face tightened with contempt, and she said, 'Really, sir. I don't have to take this.' 'Take this?' I was getting (tired of dickering?) ticked off. I said, 'Lady, you got a problem with Dicks? I've been a Dick all my life. I'd like to see you be a Dick for just one day!' The hostess was about to signal the manager when my wife spoke up. 'Excuse me, miss,' she said, sweetly. 'My husband's correct. He is a Dick. Which, I guess, makes me a Dick, too.' For a moment, she let that hang in the air, then added, 'Now what about that table?'

The hostess grabbed six menus and seated us in the smoking section. It isn't easy being a Dick.

Now I know what you're wondering: How, where, when, and why would he do something like lose the Dick, and was it on an outpatient basis? I'll never forget that moment. When I did my first TV talk show, the producers

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