The Tomato

Realtors look to break new ground with ‘true man caves’

Edits: Marta Kierkus

Starting this spring, local real estate agents will abandon their practice of selling houses and will focus most of their attention on selling holes in the ground instead.

This new paradigm shift towards the sale of “true man caves,” as described by one major Ottawa realtor, has been on the rise since the discovery of Toronto resident Elton McDonald’s secret tunnel near York University. McDonald’s desire to abandon the surface world in favour of a rugged, self-made manctuary has captured the imagination of thousands of Canadian males and has inspired them to seek out their own subterranean reprieve.

“To be honest, the market value for modern man caves has kind of plateaued in the last couple of years,” said local realtor Mark Diggler. “But thanks to visionaries like McDonald, the game has changed and men’s desire to isolate themselves from their wives or girlfriends is on the rebound.”

Diggler and his colleagues are already in the process of drawing up media strategies on how best to advertise these new trendy holes. Preliminary research has indicated that key phrases like “shabby chic,” “fixer-upper,” and “handy man’s dream” are likely to attract buyers.

“I’m glad they’re bringing back real man caves, like the ones they had in my day,” said Art Codger, a registered old person and tobacco-chewing enthusiast. “There’s nothing more relaxing after a long day of work than sitting in a hole in the ground and thinking about how you’re going to die.”

This kind of sentiment has been a boon to local gaudy novelty shops, as the sale of vintage pinball machines, Playboy bunny-themed poker tables, and taxidermy animals is at an all-time high, local retailers report.

However, future Ottawa man cave residents like Codger remain suspicious of the contractors who have been assigned to dig out these tunnels in the spring. Outside of standard concerns about structural integrity and satellite TV reception, he isn’t sure they can provide the proper fart ventilation he’s looking for.

“That’s the kind of freedom that only the man cave can provide. The freedom to let it rip without your significant other getting on your case,” he said.

“So hopefully, the builders will take that into consideration and I won’t suffocate on my own gas.”

Despite some widespread concerns that this new underground man cave real estate craze will put an unnecessary strain on relationships, some experts say the opposite is true.

“Every intimate relationship can be strengthened by taking time apart,” said Dr. Smarty Pants, a clinical psychologist who teaches at the University of Ottawa. “In fact, I’ll warrant we can get the national divorce rate down by 50 per cent if enough people decide to dig their own manctuary in their back yard.”

As for Codger, he’s just looking forward to dusting off his old “no girls allowed” sign and putting it to good use once again.