I’ve been hawking the Landrover List to friends/respected colleagues of a certain age/total strangers. The response has been tremendous. Tremendous apathy mostly, but that’s the lifeblood of vanity publishing.
And while many stimulating and invigorating viewpoints have pressed their suit for list inclusion, the HVB* have held firm to their highly principled and entirely just criteria for acceptance. Or, in most case, rejection.
Ire has been drawn*** by the hardly relevant fact that these criteria have never been actually published, and -furthermore – appear to be made up on the spot. With “highly principled” merely a byphrase for “Get me another beer in, and I’ll see you right”
So in the spirit (if not exactly the actual letter) of fairness, let me elucidate on the guiding principals laid down by the HVB. Which coincidentally pretty much how they end up after a protracted discussion regarding exactly how manly naked Snakes and Ladders “using real snakes” actually is.
Attainability. For example, a suggestion for the list was “surviving a direct lightning strike“. Paused me for thought that idea, but I don’t want to encourage rushing outside in a storm waving iron bars into the face of nature’s plug socket. And manly as “come on you wimpy bastard, give it your best shock” may be, it’s hard to see how a pair of smoking shoes could really add to the list. Other than as a grubby footnote.
Gunfire. Nothing with projectile weapons. I know all men feel a certain frisson on firing off a big bore**** or going all Dirty Harry with the Electric Drill, but nothing with guns gets on the list. I am going to be quite firm about this. However I may be persuaded on edged weapons, bludgeoning maces, hallbuts or berserker trouts. A man facing off a difficult fish with nothing other than a stiff upper lip and an autobiography of Churchill may be onto something.
Sex. Conquests, that sort of thing. a) because if no one saw it, it didn’t happen and b) we’re looking for things that can be demonstrated to be properly manly in a public environment. Many years ago a friend of mine recalled an experience with a voluptuous lady and a Renault 4 that nearly made me sick by laughing. There is absolutely no justice in retelling, other than to explain the Valkyrie in question had – in a someone ironic twist – to screw off the gear knob before cramp set in.
Really nothing is going to compare to that. Let’s just move on eh.
Driving. All men believe they are the best driver in the world. Which is statistically troubling for a start, and equally unlikely. And while prowess may be shown “in the bends” or “away from the lights“, it’s not really manly behaviour is it? Unless you’re about 12 and a crumpled pullout of a Lamborghini Countach shares the bedroom wall with aposter of Kim Wilde.
There are exceptions – breaking down in the Australian outback next to a crocodile invested swamp with barely any water and eight whingy tourists would be one. Been there, disconnected the fridge to boost the emergency ariel, fought off hysterical Germans, – now something like that has potential. Going fast round corners? Not so much.
So I’ve a number of examples under consideration right now. Unsurprised I expect to find you when declaring 50%+ are bike related. But it’s not too late to get your entry in. If you can be bothered.
Apathy rules. Well it would if it could be arsed.
* Hedgehog Voting Board**
*** Or mostly crayoned. Fair to say many of my friends struggle a bit with the idea of a “brainstorm“. A light shower is about the most they can manage. Bless ’em.
**** Let’s just get this over with. No-one is impressed with you performing a “Cameo Move” on your crotch and declaring that you’re ready to unleash the big weapon. And while the pub talk may be of packing a rampant love sausage, your nearest and dearest will tell you – in a moment of brutal candour – it’s more of a friendly little chippolata. Not me of course, it’s you we’re talking about.