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Defining the true mark of a man

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POSTED February 10, 2010 2:22 a.m.
There are certain watermarks in a male’s life that, once reached, can make him feel more like a man; events that validate existence, prove actual worth.

Back home, in order to be admitted to first grade students had to pass the kindergarten salmon test. The little pupils had to catch their limit in salmon using only a No. 2 Ticonderoga pencil sharpened with a hatchet.

During high school, guys shopped for their prom wear with .270-caliber rifles, providing enough material for their dates to sew their own deer-skin dresses and cook a delicious prom-night meal.

After a Super Bowl filled with ads about the wuss-ification of man I have been reassured that I do not fit into that category not only because of my grade school curriculum, which would be sure to bring a buffet of lawsuits if adopted outside the comfort and seclusion of the Last Frontier, but because of what I received in the mail.

It wasn’t a loan application for a ranch made of light beer cans, or request to spear Betty White during a pick up football game.

No, this was better. This means something beyond the fame of a 30-second sponsorship.

My past year has been rewarded with the epitome of man — a hard-bound sporting goods catalog.

Yep, I spent enough money last year to qualify me for the 1347-page hard-bound Cabelas book instead of the ordinary catalog. It’s got fold-out chapter markers which eliminates having to flip through annoying pages to find where I left off next time I am reading it on the … ahem … throne.

It’s got everything, including accessories for the kitchen sink. If my barn was not already filled with relics from my upbringing because I am too poor to buy normal aesthetically pleasing nick-knacks, I would consider a massive overhaul in celebration of Cabela’s recognizing, and rewarding me with this epic outdoor volume.

I wondered if premium deals came with this acceptance into the Elite Cabela’s Shoppers Fraternity. I do 100 percent of my shopping online, so I figured if Cabelas liked me enough to send me a book, I’d find exactly what was so special about it.

On page 834 there is a Broken Silence Turkey Alarm Clock for $39.99, I went to Cabelas.com and was instantly confused. The price online was $44.99, but was on sale for $29.99. So, the book was better by five bucks, until the online sale.

I turned to 863 to see if what was going on with the Rainbow in My Room Projector that allows children to “experience the beauty of a rainbow no matter what the weather is doing.” Only $27.99 might get it for my classroom for all of those depressing spring days when it’s 75 and sunny.

Anyway, the price was the same, thus diluting the idea that this book was worth more than the diary in Indiana Jones’ last crusade (which ended up being his second to last crusade). I also remembered that all I bought from Cabela’s was a set of waterproof camo gear, a shirt and a bow which I returned once I realized how much gas money I would need to make it to Alaska.

The previous year I did buy travel gun case for my rifles, but still, that’s not a whole lot.

So much for thinking shopping for stuff makes me cool because there have to be plenty of people that get the hard-bound edition.

And no, I haven’t killed salmon with writing utensils or made clothing from deer.

To contact Jeff Lund, e-mail aklund21@gmail.com.
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