Don’t Cross the Solid Yellow Line, part two: “True or False Test“

Old car
The most challenging component of the Husband of the Year competition is the driving test. The contest organizers place a lot of emphasis on this skill because the majority of conversations between a husband and wife occur inside a vehicle. And most of these discussions tend to be tumultuous. That’s why the judges heavily weight the driving test.  Fail this section and you’re automatically disqualified from advancing to the finals.

By now you have probably surmised that I aced the driving test. So let me share some pointers that could help you pass this important ordeal, which consists of two components: written exam and realistic road test. First, try answering some of these true-false questions from the written exam. I slightly altered them because every Husband of the Year pledges to protect the competition’s main tenets of knowledge. This portion of the exam is timed, so don’t linger too long on any one question.

1. Wives press the radio scan button more often then husbands. False. I once pressed the scan button 132 times in a four-minute timeframe, searching forward then backwards then AM to FM then repeating the sequence mega-multiple times. During that period, we listened to reggae, blues, country, gospel, acid rock, jazz, big band, classical, a traffic report, an ad for zit creme, a talk show interview on public radio with a guy who wrote a play about a family of skunks trying to assimilate into a new burrow next to a pair of badgers with ADD, and a test of the emergency broadcast system.

2. Wives feel more sorrow than husbands after hitting an animal with the car. True, of course. A moose could fling itself on the hood of a speeding Mercedes doing 75 mph (the car, not the moose), completely demolish the vehicle and impale the husband’s chest with a large antler fragment, and the wife’s first priority would be to hold a forest memorial service for the moose and start a scholarship fund for the mammal’s offspring. A husband would gut the moose and make sausage.

3. Men love their wives more than their favorite car. True, unless a guy owns a silver Aston Martin V12 Vanquish S. The car’s features are exquisite. I know a husband who even made love to one. That’s legal in 39 states.

4. While pumping gas, husbands are more likely to wash and squeegee bugs off windshields than wives. True. I enjoy scraping insect parts off my windshield because it gives me a sense of accomplishment. On the other hand, my wife would drive around for days with a pterodactyl splattered on the glass.

5. Wives are less likely to call a tow truck than husbands. False. I’ll drive 250 miles on four flat tires before phoning a tow truck. My friend’s wife called a towing service when the “seek” button on the radio failed to locate an oldies station.

6. Husbands feel more comfortable eating while driving than wives. True. Driving in a winter blizzard during white-out conditions, without the dome light illuminated, I once cracked a large bucket of Alaskan King crab legs, dipped them in melted butter, ate a Caesar’s salad, prepared bananas Foster and polished off a bottle of Dom Perignon Oenotheque 1973 without spilling a drop.

7. Once police officers pull over a car, they ticket men more often than women. True. There are two good reasons for this discrepancy, separated by cleavage.

8. Wives give husbands more driving advice than husbands give them. True. There’s been a lot of misinformation disseminated trying to explain this disparity. Actual experiences indirectly reveal the facts. As a five-year-old passenger, I witnessed mom criticize my dad for aggressively passing a vehicle on a highway – a John Deere farm tractor pulling a wagonload of hay at approximately 2.5 mph. If we had stayed behind the tractor, I would have grown a completely new set of replacement toenails before arriving at our destination. More recently, when my parents drove me to the airport shortly after my 50th birthday, my mom again chastised dad for recklessly passing another vehicle. He pulled out from behind a DC9 and blew past it on the A-concourse runway at the Charlotte Douglas International Airport. Frustrated that he couldn’t find a cheap parking space in the remote lot, he inadvertently wandered onto the runway and sideswiped the plane while it taxied to the terminal. And the insurance company raised my father’s rates. Those bastards!

(next post: Don’t Cross the Solid Yellow Line, part three: “The Roadkill Test)

Don’t Cross the Solid Yellow Line

“Keep your hands on the wheel! And will you please stop looking over at me while you’re driving – that’s reckless!

“But you look so incredibly handsome in your work uniform – I can’t help staring at your broad shoulders and tight butt. Besides, this big crate is easy to steer,” she bragged, in a tone that let him know she was a little insulted by his nit-picking advice. She decided to sound the horn, which irritated him.

“Will you stop with the damn honking? You’ll wake everybody up. Then they’ll get mad and tip the crew with peanuts! Including me, which means you’ll receive only one diamond earring for your birthday. How does that sound?”

Keeping both hands tightly clasped to the wheel, she glanced over her right shoulder, bare from the low-cut evening gown, and looked starry-eyed at her husband.

“Darling, you rarely let me drive, so this means a lot to me,” she whispered, in her sexiest voice. She then leaned into him and freshly moistened her lips with her long slender tongue, making sure he witnessed the provocative lick. Before she could pucker up, he suddenly and violently jerked away, redirecting his eyes 90 degrees from her lovely face. An inexplicable look of fear blanketed his face.

“Honey, look out!” His manly cry for her attention was too late, as they careened off an iceberg. His coffee sloshed onto his white uniform. He glanced back at his wife, who seemed undaunted by the mishap. She spoke, as if the accident was his fault.

“Oh, lighten up! It’s probably only a scratch. Hey, do you want to raid the midnight buffet leftovers and skinny-dip in the champagne punchbowl?”

My advice in this post could predictably focus on a husband’s reluctance to seek and accept directions when lost while driving. But that would be a cliché. I prefer a higher philosophical road which includes inflammatory rhetoric, pontification, exaggeration and a small amount of fact-based instruction. So let’s begin with some essential historical background to set the stage for my discussion of marital and vehicular bliss.

Henry Ford perfected the automobile. Mr. Ford’s real legacy, though, was his extensive research that garnered our understanding of the following axiom: only a car can satisfy men’s most lustful urges and desires. Hank drew this conclusion by studying ancient Romans and their emotional attachment to chariots. It all started with Emperor Chuck III, who banned horse-drawn vehicles from military service when he began noticing that soldiers purposely avoided gashing open the chests and abdomens of their enemy to prevent blood from spattering on the wooden upholstery, which was not very stain resistant. The ancient Roman Department of Transportation followed suit by banning chariots from coliseum sporting events that involved skewering skinny, shirtless Christians. That occurred around 500 A.D., although a few historians from Venice Community Technical College disagree with that date. After 500 A.D., men drove chariots for more tranquil reasons, such as Sunday family rides to trample residents of peasant villages, quick trips to the market for figs and lion tenderloins, and romantic drives with sweethearts to Argonaut Lane on Mount Vesuvius.

That’s it. Ancient automotive history in a capsule. All civilizations transitioned their vehicles from objects of functionality to objects of affection. Please remember this as you consume my follow-up posts on this subject.

(next post: Don’t Cross the Solid Yellow Line, part two: True or False Test)

Combination Femur Slicer/Shrimp Fork Versus Lingerie, Part Two: “Those Darn Seams on Boxer Shorts”

Boxer shortsWhile I drive my family to various destinations, my wife and daughter often team up to discuss the social differences between women and men. They typically pause several times and ask me to validate their observations, which I vehemently refuse to do. They usually anticipate my response, which apparently reinforces their expectations of males, which irritates me. Because they were right about my gender.
Throughout my married years, I’ve eavesdropped on conversations between my wife and other females in shopping establishments – whether they’re store employees or strangers. I have always been deeply mystified by the uninhibited content of those impromptu conversations. In stark comparison, I wouldn't consider sharing the same level of detail with my personal physician, unless I spelled out some of the words. Heck, I’m even embarrassed just thinking about some of the topics my wife discusses with females she’s just met.

While standing in a short checkout line of a shoe department, my wife can convince another lady to switch feminine hygiene products while also disclosing that one of my fantasies involves watching Woody from Toy Story make it with Cat Woman. I should never confide in her!

Combination Femur Slicer/Shrimp Fork Versus Lingerie

After watching a movie about a hiker who cuts his arm off to escape sure-death in the wilderness, my family and I exited the theater and strolled through the attached shopping center. We shuffled around in a few stores.
outdoor supplies

We eventually browsed through an outdoor supply store, but after a few minutes my wife and daughter ducked out and found an intimate apparel boutique.

I stayed and shopped for gnarly outdoor stuff. My family loves to hike, so I quickly engaged a knowledgeable store employee who proudly introduced himself as an “associate” and “outdoor adventure technician,” although he really looked like an employee.

He chatted about his favorite places to hike but I quickly redirected his smalltalk to my interests and priorities, since I had money and was willing to give some of it to his store owners. We looked at several products that every serious hiker needs on the trail: combination compass-flashlight-cigarette lighter; combination knife-pliers-shrimp fork; combination granola-walnut-raisin-refried bean trail mix; and combination pancho-blanket-tarp-priscilla curtains. Did you ever notice that there’s always one lame feature in every multi-purpose outdoor adventure product?