Sunday, August 21, 2011

Natural Progression of Men

I believe in the Natural Progression of Nature. Living beings follow a path with distinct starting and ending points. There is at least one, but often many, intermediate steps along the way. The Progression is akin to the life cycle processes that elementary school science classes feel are so important, each state writes them into the required standards of teaching. They drill our innocent with the progression: the egg--> the tadpole--> the frog --> the egg . There is generally never a mention of where the eggs come from. The word 'fertilizes' is given without a discussion of what it means to 'fertilize' or even what kind of 'fertilizer' is being used. (Aside: I used to think as a kid that I could dump plant fertilizer on frogs and get tadpoles. Several innocent attempts with this experiment failed. Now, as a science teacher, I know that I'm not the only one with those thoughts. I really hate elementary school science standards sometimes. End Aside.)

Since I have the most experience in being male (please don't confuse me with Tiresias, I'm not blind), I have discovered, what I call, The Theory of the Natural Progressions in Men. The Natural Progressions are meant to be done in order with the final step being the culmination, end all, of the steps. It's sort of like the unwritten goal of man to achieve this stage of development. Not all men will make it. But, that's the direction men are heading, whether they like it or not. It's genetic, instinctual, and as inevitable as growing old.

Most men will experience the Natural Progression as a sequence. Some, through genetic anomalies or outside interference (either parental or spousal) will be hindered in their journey. Some men have been know to skip steps along the way, achieving the Goal without hitting the necessary intermediate steps. But, if left to their own devices, men will hit each stage for at least a short period in their life before succumbing to the next. If given enough time on this Earth, all men will go through these stages.

Note: I am searching for some ideas on the Natural Progressions of Women, if for nothing else, to increase my knowledge of girls. My current knowledge is somewhere between 0 and 5 on a scale of 100. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Example 1- Camping
According to the Theory of Natural Progressions of Men, camping starts off with a couple of sheets tucked into some chairs or the sofa in your living room/ basement. From there, camping progresses towards tenting, with sleeping on the ground. Next up, tenting with some sort of mattress (air, cot, foam, etc). Then, there's the pop-up camper followed by the pull-behind. Finally, the Ultimate Achievement is the all-inclusive Recreational Vehicle. Some men will even sell their houses for the RV option. They will install air conditioning, microwave, hot tub, and even satellite TV, all the while still calling it 'camping.' The Natural Progression of Men.

I am currently sitting happily in the tent with a mattress stage of progression. I feel the calling and yearning for the pop-up, but this stage may be skipped due to spousal interference (namely, her allergic reaction to damp, musty canvas). I have started looking and pricing RV's (and I now understand why people who own these things end up selling their homes).

Example 2- Woodworking
You probably didn't know this, but all men hate trees. We don't really know it either, but the evidence is quite obvious. From the time we are born, we wage war on wood. (Odd how we hate one form of wood but cherish another. Maybe it's a jealousy thing.) The Woodworking Progression starts off simple enough. At some point in your life, a lad will pick up a knife. Then, for some reason, the lad will want to take that knife and slice a piece of wood. He will repeat this process, popularized by Jed Clampett,  sometimes known as whittling. The most common outcome- a sharpened stick and some wood clippings. The sharpened stick has many uses. It can be used as an arrow ready to launch from another stick tied down with kite string. It can be used to roast marshmallows whilst the boy is camping (from his tent). It can be used to keep away those stupid cowboys. Mostly, it's used to simple to poke things.

B= Banter
As the boy grows, he discovers that his knife can do other things to wood. For example, wood-based graffiti. It can carve into a tree the initials of some girl that has caught his fancy. That act alone guarantees that the female will instantly find the boy more attractive and be willing to dote on him the attention he so covets. I'm pretty sure the ladies do find this attractive. Why else would boys keep doing it? (See Note above.) Find a picnic table. You can see the signs of the Natural Progression of Woodworking covering most of its surfaces.

As he grows, the boy begets manhood. The knife morphs into all sorts of saws and planes. Carving is replaced by the need to put up shelves, build decks, and fix cabinets. Underneath, it's still simple destruction of wood. We cut it. Pound it. Ram stakes and nails into it. The culminating stage is the full blown wood shop, complete with table saws, routers, lathes, and a subscription to Popular Woodworking Magazine. There are entire stores that sell pre-cut timber simply for the reason of helping men satisfy our wanton abuse of hard cellulose tissue. I cannot explain why men feel the need to declare vengeance on arboreal-based life forms. It's just part of the Natural Progression.

More Examples
If you pay enough attention to men, you'll see many Progressions. They range from Pet Ownership Progression, which starts with a fish and ends with a dog (cats are not part of the progression and only existent due to spousal interference). Also on the list is Hair Care Progression, which early on includes shampoo, conditioner, brushes, gels, and hair dryers. Later on, it calls for any type of hairstyle that requires less than 30 seconds of maintenance per day.

The Automobile Progression is a process that has perplexed scientists for years. Current research indicates that there are 2 distinct progression lines. They both start tricycle and evolve into bicycles.  Sporty, muscle cars show up in teenage years (which may be interfered with by parents). Line 1 ends in fuel-efficient sedans. Line 2 ends in over-sized SUVs. Scientists are still arguing over Line 1 due to the Station Wagon/ Mini-Van Complex, which in known to arise from children interference, a sub-set of spousal interference. Regardless of which line dominants your Progression, both lines have a motorcycle at some point in the progression. The Motorcycle Intermediate is the most interfered stage of any of the manly progressions, cut off by parents and spouses alike.

And, coming soon to a Blog Post near you, the Natural Progression of Triathlon.

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