Have you ever watched any of those survival shows or National Geographic where someone is trekking through a jungle deep in the heart of Africa against all odds? My favorite was Man vs. Wild. I would sit in my comfy recliner with my bowl full of ice cream while a guy named Bear faced temperatures of -30° and a pack of rabid polar bears and I would think, “I could do that.”
I once watched him squeeze water from elephant poop to avoid dehydration. I could totally do that.
Seriously, that’s how guys think!
We think that if forced into such a situation, our natural instincts would take over and we could do anything. Of course, the first month or two in the wild would force us to shed our extra thirty pounds of office-chair flab to get down to our raw fighting weight. Never mind we aren’t former Commandos with years of training – that isn’t what we lack. We lack only the opportunity. If we had the opportunity, we could discover new lands just like Magellan or lead armies like Alexander the Great. It’s just that we came along too late; there is nothing new to discover. The lack of opportunity is what is preventing us from being bold and daring… oh, and a slight case of bursitis.
But I was recently forced into a survival situation.
My situation started in Walmart. Now I know that can be the very edge of humanity, but I didn’t have to wrestle a 400-pound man in a thong or anything quite so appealing. I had to get dinner. My wife and daughter have been busy with a show, leaving me to spend many evenings as a bachelor.
Let’s define “bachelor” because I was certainly not a good-looking, rich single guy chased by thirty beautiful women. Wrong reality show. No, I was just a lonely man facing dinner choices. I’ve been there before. I have lived in a world of condiments, nachos, and little substance. Granted, it has been nearly twenty-five years. But I can do that!
With errands to run, I stopped at Walmart, which has a full grocery store – two birds, one stone. Saving precious resources already. I meandered the meats and seafood but thought they looked long on preparation and dirty dishes, so I grabbed a what I thought was a name-brand frozen pizza. When I got to the register, my first clue should have been that it rang up for $2.89. Seriously! A large pizza. I should have taken it back to the freezer section immediately. But then I thought, maybe I was about to discover a new delicious, low-cost meal. Maybe it is good. And besides, the frozen food section is way over there…
When I took it out of the box, it looked very segmented. Not at all like the picture on the box. A glob of frozen sauce here, some meat there, and fake cheese in an altogether different location. At $2.89, you don’t get mixing. That internal voice in my head told me to abandon ship and go to Zaxby’s, but being a man, I shunned reason and baked it.
I don’t know what price-point the people at Walmart are afraid of. Maybe the $3.15 pizza guys really have the market cornered. But this thing was nasty. The crust was cardboard, the cheese rubbery and the ranch sauce tasted like the antifreeze that dripped into my mouth once during a car repair gone wrong. I seriously considered calling poison control.
I threw it out and left a scathing review on Walmart.com which I am sure will cause them to change their ways. I made a condiment sandwich and turned on the TV to catch a Survivor episode where they were standing in chest-deep, shark-infested water fishing with twine.
And although I cannot master bachelorhood, I knew in my heart that I could totally do that.
*feature image credit:Lwp Kommunikáció via CCI