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Men of the world, unite!

You have nothing to lose but your right to be lost!


My apologies to Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels, authors of the Communist Manifesto. They were two guys who thought they knew the way and could never be convinced by their wives to stop and ask for directions.


Likewise, it’s my contention that all men are created with the inalienable right to drive around for hours in search of an unknown location, all the while depending on the inborn male direction-finding attribute.


Everybody knows that men have the distinctive ability known as sense-of-direction. We, by nature, can ascertain true north even in a thick fog or during the darkest night.


Interpreting a roadmap is a snap for a man, who sometimes must patiently show a woman that streets are generally laid out in grids, thus enabling the male of the species to figure out alternate routes on less-traveled roads which are parallel to the busy highways.


It’s all right angles, right?


But men have often gotten a bad rap when it comes to finding their way. After an hour of looking for the convention center in an unfamiliar city, and hearing the wife plead for him to stop at that convenience store they’ve passed a dozen times, the husband realizes the line of traffic he’s been trying to avoid is headed straight for his location.


“The map I glanced at before we started was wrong,” the man insists. “And the street signage is confusing. You would think the headquarters city of the Department of Transportation could do a better job of routing traffic.”


It’s my belief that there is part of a giant conspiracy against men. And it goes far beyond surreptitious turning of street signs and detours leading to Hotel California.


I have come to see that the great bane to men of direction is what Marx and Engels railed against in 1848 — none other than capitalism.


Don’t you see, men, that the masters of industry are conspiring against us? And it’s all under the guise of making life easier.


It can be summarized in one term: GPS. Global positioning systems have upset everything for the traveling man.


No longer can we use dead reckoning to find our way to strange places. Every step of the way a voice is telling us things like, “In one-quarter mile, turn right onto Ophir Road.” Or, “Continue for 10 miles to Lassiter Mill Road.”


What’s even more disturbing is the way the voice pronounces the names: “Opheer” and “Lass-eye-ter.”


I can’t even call the voice “Big Brother” since most every GPS I’ve heard has a woman’s contralto giving directions. It’s just like a woman to fiendishly relish telling a man where to go.


And it’s just another slap in the bewhiskered faces of us male direction finders.


I’m reminded of my late father who once led a group on a hike in a state park. He was given a map to follow from Point A to Point B.


Problem? It was an obsolete map that led him and his group to nowhere. After wandering in the wilderness for hours, they found their way to a road.


Despite years of being the focus of ridicule, Daddy insisted to the day of his demise that “I knew where I was.”


Because, of course, the map told him the way in. Where the map failed him was in showing him the way out.


Daddy had nothing on Daniel Boone. Ol’ Dan’l left the cabin one day to pick up a bag of flour for Becky, and somehow wound up in Kentucky.


As for me, I spent a week circling Raleigh one day. It was frustrating, I admit, but my sense of direction — not to mention blind luck — got me to my destination.


o men, let’s stick together. We have the world to gain — whether or not it includes a 2023 Rand McNally Road Atlas.


I’m not one to brag but I once found my way from Millingport to Piney Point with nothing but a hand-held compass and a Segway.


Larry Penkava is a writer for Randolph Hub. Contact: 336-302-2189, larrypenkava@gmail.com.