I’ve long wondered what would happen if the country’s energy grid went kaput and suburban men were left to fend for their families. Would we step up to the plate like the hardened frontiersman of old, or whimper and die like the pink-skinned cubicle lambs of new? I resolved to ensure the former with my new epiphany, a survival skill course for suburban males.
Now I knew this epiphany would generate cries of sexism from the ladies. Women people, go ahead and start your own survival skills course if you’re so inclined. I created this one for my bros because I am a bro, and I wouldn’t even begin to know what a lady needs or wants (never have, never will).
But I did know about the suburban male, with our polo shirts, ironed shorts, and expensive sandals. We make merriment out on our well-manicured lawns, exchanging gripes about the gridiron and waxing nostalgic for the days when all we thought about was beer and girls (we still do, just can’t handle either.)
I also knew that know my fellow wussy men would not survive a day in the wild. Consider the scenario: Cormac McCarthy’s imagination has manifested into one bitchin’ bout of mass destruction, and all of society is reduced to chaos. You have to hunt for your own food, build your own hut, and wipe your hinder with whatever two-ply leafy material nature has to offer.
How would the typical suburban male fare? None of these well-paid accountants, computer programmers, and middle managers would have the foggiest clue how to hunt their own meat, start a fire without any matches, or pass the time without a big-screen TV.
We were in desperate need of survival training, and I was the one who was going to provide it. Well, I mean I’m the one who was going to profit it from it. I decided to whip about a two-day instructional seminar on Survival Skills for Suburban Males
Hiring the He-Man Instructor
I knew it would be easy to convince men to sign up for my Survival Skills for Suburban Males course. We menfolk are a paranoid lot. We love to wrap ourselves in insurance policies and equip our homes with Pentagon-caliber home security devices. There’s also an undeniable need among men to prove their level of manliness to other men.
Thus, when I created my promotional literature, I appealed to my neighbors’ manly shortcomings. My mailer read: “You’ll learn to how fire an extremely large gun! Start huge freakin’ fires! Then gut a wild animal that you killed with your extremely large gun, and cook it over your huge freakin’ fire!”
Even the most docile of male creatures were powerless to resist such manly enticements. I also floated out a “Half-off if your hands are currently callous free.” This went over huge.
I next hired a seminar instructor named Rod Peters. Phallus-connoting first and last names seemed like a great indicator of masculinity. Sure enough, Rod Peters lived up to the manly monicker.
He hunted. He fished. He built things out of two by fours. He changed his own oil. He operated large pieces of equipment. He never turned the circuit breaker off when he was working with live wires. And of course, he taught Chuck Norris how to be a man.
I discovered Rod on a shooting range, where he was making short-work of anything that moved with his semi-automatic machine gun. After he’d discharged several thousand rounds of ammo, he headed over to a hardware store, where he bought a set of pneumatic tools.
Anyone with an air compressor is 100% male, I thought. I figured this guy can’t help but impress the pink-handed, doughy suburb boys. I hired him on the spot, and from the first day of my Survival Skills for Suburban Males camp, he ran the show.
We Learn How to Kill and Skin Things
During his welcome speech, Rod pulled out a knife the length of a blender. “This is a Bowie 02,” Rod says. “It fits into a self-sharpening sheath, and when thrown, can be accurate from thirty yards.” With that, he turned and threw it. The knife shot through the air like a missile, past the releasing bladders of quivering men, where it cleaved the skull of an unsuspecting squirrel in two.
Rod pulled the knife from the tree, then used it to cut long branches and fashion them into fishing poles. “We’ll be selling Rod’s knife after the seminar for $79.95,” I chimed in.
There was a murmur of approval from the crowd, and I smiled to myself. The merchandising from the class was going to be my big payout. I also planned on selling firearms, some small-scale explosives, survivalist rations, flares, big-ass jugs of water, and flamethrowers. Judging by the reaction to the knife, I knew I’d be in for a huge payday.
In the next part of the course, Rod took the men through a series of survival tactics. He showed them:
- How to pounce on a wild raccoon and rip out its throat with your teeth (which he demonstrated).
- How to de-testiclize an assailant in three simple moves.
- How to change a flat tire (all men in attendance shamefully admitted they had no idea how this was done.) Rod spat tobacco juice on us in disgust.
The men were becoming grizzled, and dirty. I overheard one man saying to another that he wished the apocalypse really would occur, because he was having the time of his life.
Cash sales were also skyrocketing. At the end of the first day, men left the seminar with tons of ammo, guns and many other weapons of mass destruction. I urged the Wisconsin legislature to revise the Conceal and Carry law into a “Conceal and Carry Enough Stuff to Blow Up Ashwaubenon.” It passed without delay.
From Class to Chaos
As you would expect, the wheels soon came off my brilliant scheme. The core of the program’s success, Rod’s manly manliness, ironically became our downfall.
On the last day of class, Rod decided to stage a post-apocalypse scenario. He took the men out into the woods, and told them to separate.
“Pretend the bomb has dropped and you’re on your own,” he grinned manically. “And then pretend I’m some madman, trying to get your food and kill and rape your entire family – including you.”
The mere thought of being pursued by crazed Rod caused a group soiling of our camouflage undies, and the suburban males immediately forgot all their seminar training. Adrift in the woods, they were powerless to ward off Rod. He methodically attacked each one, capturing them with ease, and tying them up in various wooded locations.
I’m not sure why, but Rod truly lost it at this point. Maybe he’d watched one too many Rambo movies. Or perhaps simulating the de-testicalization of a man wasn’t enough – he wanted to do the real thing.
Whatever the reason, after he’d captured our entire class, Rod began going door to door in our neighborhood, absconding other suburban types and dragging them into the woods. Men were crying out in pain, weeping for their mothers — none louder than me.
Rod was about to slit the throat of Steve Kelley, the insurance agent from two doors down, when I thought of a solution. I got out my bullhorn and mentioned to him that his seminar-end bonus is tied directly to the merchandise sales. “You won’t collect any green if you spill too much red,” I said.
The strategy worked. Rod sheathed his knife and left the seminar, returning to his spartan bachelor pad, which I would visit later that night and deliver his split from the seminar with trembling hands.
The men all begin to filter out of the forest. We all agreed that this survival stuff wasn’t our cup of tea, and I refunded the cash with profound apologies.
Some good did come from the Survival Seminar. We did hold an impromptu neighborhood meeting, and decided to pool all the seminar money to outsource security for the suburb. As you would guess, we decided to hire Rod for the job.
We planned to retrofit him with all the ammo and nuclear weapons he needed to ward off danger during the post-apocalyptic mayhem. That way, while he is out slitting the throats of radiation-crazed zombies, the suburban menfolk can nap peacefully on our Lazy-boys in front of our big screens. It’s where we truly belong.
Photo by Joelogon