Mantracker

One of the more interesting things about men is their innate ability to appear to be completely rational and otherwise in possession of their faculties while simultaneously exhibiting behavior that a trained psychologist could clinically describe as “bat shit crazy.”

Of course all men go through a particularly difficult time in their lives when a naturally produced poison floods their bloodstream and renders the higher brain functions inoperable while simultaneously convincing them that they are invincible and unbearably sexually attractive. This poison has been known by many names throughout the ages, but today is commonly referred to as “testosterone.” No one is really sure what purpose this poison might once have served in the evolution of mankind, but today it is largely serves only as a source for reality TV shows.

If the young man in question manages to survive to the age of 25 or so, the levels of poison in the bloodstream normalize somewhat and to all outward appearances he regains a measure of his humanity. That is to say that with effort he can again conduct conversations with understandable words and with a bit of occupational therapy be taught to operate a microwave and a laundry machine safely.

The thing to keep in mind, however, is that for the rest of this man’s life this poison is quietly coursing through his veins just waiting for the opportune moment to strike.

This moment happened on Saturday. I was innocently flipping through channels when I stumbled upon the Science channel. Normally this is safe enough but on this day they were running a Mantracker marathon. For those of you who don’t know, Mantracker is a show where people volunteer to be hunted by a cowboy on a horse for 36 hours while they struggle to make their way through the backcountry of southern Canada. The volunteers don’t get anything except bragging rights if they make it to the finish line.

Before I knew it hours had flashed by and I was strangely unable to force myself to stop watching this show. I kept making comments to myself about how I would’ve done this better or avoided that terrain. At one point I even called up my buddy and told him that we should go on that show just to show those wannabes how its done. Having seen the show himself he promptly agreed. If his wife hadn’t caught him in the act, we’d already have plane tickets to Alberta.

Even after I’ve regained my senses and can understand that tramping through a dangerous wilderness of which I have no knowledge might not be the smartest thing ever, I still feel this weird desire to prove myself to the Canadian version of the Marlboro Man. Testosterone is a serious thing and men need to be on guard against it at all times. I’ve found it helpful to keep a list of bad ideas in my pocket and check it periodically to help forestall some common episodes. It is by no means a complete list and I’ve been adding to it since I was a teen. Here are some of the items on the list:

These Things are Really Dumb Ideas!

1. It will NOT be funny to point a potato cannon as Mrs. Fletcher’s Doberman!

35. That water is not deep enough.

97. You will not be able to put that fire out before it burns you.

170. Even if you do manage to stick the landing, she will not be impressed.

And of course there is this latest entry,

538. Defeating Mantracker will just make you another idiot who walked through the bushes of Canada, not a vision of studliness.

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