by Neal Johns
It is not beyond the bounds of possibility that you might go on a 4-wheel drive backcountry Museum trip with me, so here are some survival hints. Stories abound about my strange personal habits and idiocentric, curmudgeonliness behavior. Ignore them, as they have softened with time. The truth is much worse.
Rule # 1
There should be no music played loud enough for me to hear. Music, either classical, rock or rap, softens the soul and is not the proper ambiance for a Real Man. The natural sounds of animals tearing each other apart, thunderstorms or earthquakes is the proper ear food for a Real Manís soul.
Rule # 2
The Leader gets his choice of any females in the group. This rule, which served me well for many years, has been retired for a decade or so, but who knows, Marian is getting up in years so it may be reinstated someday. On second thought, Iím getting up there too, so forget Rule # 2.
Rule # 3
10% loss is allowed, people or vehicles. A word to the wise: Donít get on my bad side. (Examples: disagreeing with me, pointing out an obviously untrue statement, giving me funny looks, etc.)
Rule # 4
No mention of any kind, in any context, of the word hairā is allowed. The reason for this rule is obvious upon inspection of said Leader.
Rule # 5
In the event of observing the Leader talking to any new, strange female on the trip, no one shall interrupt with a mention of Marian, my current wife. (Example: Howís Marian? Oh, my maiden sister is just fine, thank you.)
Rule # 6
Never suggest, in public, that you suspect your Leader is lost. If certain of your ground, (pun!) you may mention discretely and privately, that you suspect he is Geography Challenged.
Rule # 7
No PDA (Public Display of Affection) is allowed. This rule is in effect only when The Schoolteacher Who Must Be Obeyed (Marian) is along.
Rule # 8
Thou shall not park so as to block the road, even if the road is impassable. In the darkest of nights, if you park or camp in the faintest of unused roads, someone will come along and irately demand that you immediately move.