Of Mud And Men

It’s a mystery, even to me, why men do the things that men do.  A man can cut part of his hand off, and if there are other men there, he’ll pretend it doesn’t even hurt.  In point of fact, the man might even secretly be very pleased at the fact there is so much blood flowing from the wound. The bigger the scar the more honorable the event, even if said event was an act of tremendous stupidity.  Surviving your own stupidity is a sort of rite of passage with men.  Other men respect a man who can injure himself severely and then live to brag about it.


All of this is like some bastard child between a role playing game and reality television.  Men, when they know someone is watching, will react differently than when they’re alone. With other men as audience, the cameras are rolling, and anything other than maximum manhood is unthinkable, and unthinking.  If a man tried to pick up a heavy object, and that object is far too heavy for any one person to lift solo, any self respecting man will tear the muscles out of his back, give himself a double hernia, and drop that object on his right foot before putting it down and asking for help. Worse, most men, realizing what’s at stake, won’t offer to drive the wreck of a man to the hospital even if there is blood spurting out of the severed toes. Someone there, by the rules in the Man Handbook, is required to offer him a drink.


Today I was driving along a closed section of road when the road ended and bare dirt began. After a five inch rain, most sensible people ( women) would have turned around and driven back the way they came. But at that moment, another man drove by and he saw me.  I knew he saw me, and he knew that I knew that he saw me.  It was as if by some silent connection he had said, “If you do not go into the mud with that truck not only will I think less of you, other men I speak with will hear of this, and a slow but sure decline of your manhood will be declared publically by everyone, everywhere, for all time, and nothing you can ever do will rid you of that stigma, a-men. “



Forward I went. It was three miles to the next exit where there was concrete and I fought it every inch of the way. The truck slid back and forth, the mud was slung, several times I thought I was going to do a 180 but I managed to make it to the next exit. Having gained the next exit, do you think that’s enough? Do you think I finally proved my point? Hell, no! I knew the other man was at the next exit, and to prove to him, and to all other men for all time, I had to, had to mind you, keep going.


This was even worse. The mud flew thick in the air, I was turned sideways for the length of a football field, my teeth were clenched, my knuckles white, and even as I wondered what drove me to this, and how on earth I would ever explain how I got stuck out this far into nothingness, I loved every second of it. I was being manly. I was out in the thick mud, for no good reason, risking getting stuck, risking the embarrassment of having to get pulled out by a bulldozer, and I loved it.  When I finally pulled up to the next stretch of pavement, the other man nodded at me. As obligated by the rules in the Man Handbook, he complimented me on my driving ability to the other men, and as per the Man Handbook, they honored the completion of the quest.


Had I gotten stuck, the easy thing to do would be for me to call someone to come pull me out of the mud, but that is also against The Rules. First, I would be required to try a series of useless and counterproductive maneuvers that would not only not work but cause the truck to sink even further into the mud. Only after I was covered in mud, and had either damaged the truck, injured myself, or come close to losing daylight would I be allowed by The Rules to call for help.


Back on solid ground, other men gathered around to inspect the mud. This is important. Men have to admire deep hurt or deep dirt. Why, Mike, how did you get mud on top of the truck? Damn, look at it caked up on the rims of those back wheels! Could you even see out the windshield? Other than pointing how what an idiot I was for going through the stuff other than just turning back and going around, they now all will look for some wild reason to make the same trek, but now they have to wait for an even bigger rain event.  It’s no good to do the same thing again, there has to be a sense of one-up-manship about it.


It’s in The Rules.


Take Care,


Mike Firesmith   Mike Firesmith wrote
on 5/2/2008 7:48:53 PM
Ashes O Lilith, Thanl you!

AshesofLilith   AshesofLilith wrote
on 5/2/2008 7:33:54 PM
So true, so true. I don't think I have ever seen the Rules so terrifically explained.

Mike Firesmith   Mike Firesmith wrote
on 4/26/2008 2:23:30 PM
Hi Lucuna! Next we guys will be comparing scars! Thanks for the comment, and for letting me I am not along in my quest for injury

Lacuna Eidolon   Lacuna Eidolon wrote
on 4/26/2008 2:19:52 PM
Ego very rarely loses an argument with reason, until there is failure - then of course we curse hindsight and it becomes a funny story. Ive got a permanent dent in my left shin and 3 hernia repairs to prove it. I've referred to the handbook of which you speak a few too many times. Had fun reading this - reliving some painful moments. : )

Mike Firesmith   Mike Firesmith wrote
on 4/23/2008 4:38:30 AM
Guilty as charged, Sweetpea!

Mike Firesmith
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Addiction literature
writing Mike Firesmith
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