The Rise and Return of Indoorsmanship
How One Book Is Saving Lives One Recliner at a Time
by John Driver
How can you successfully identify the correct input button on your new Ultra-HD television without losing your sanity, if not your very life?
How can you overcome FOMA (the Fear of Miscellaneous Assembly) when you open a flat box containing a dresser from IKEA only to find nothing inside but a tree stump, a chisel, and a handwritten note that reads, “Good luck!” in Swedish.
How can you elevate your life from being an Outdoorsman into the difficult (yet surprisingly comfortable) life of a Casual, Moderate, or even Avid Indoorsman, thus understanding how to appropriately eat off someone else’s plate or dress correctly according to the time-honored indoor aphorism “Simple, Sleek, and Sweatpants” . . . and while also avoiding common outdoorsmen mistakes like thinking that your techy nephew’s issues with “troubleshooting” mean that he can’t successfully fire his crossbow or muzzleloader?
For centuries, the ancient study of Indoorsmanship has flown under the radar of conventional academics. The reasons for its curious omission from other arts, sciences, and preschool craft times are as varied as the subject itself. The most critical critics’ critiques (alliteration is a dish best served sloppily) postulate that Indoorsmanship is a “monumental waste of time.” But let’s be honest: anyone accusing Indoorsmen of building monuments is obviously very off-base to begin with . . . mainly because most monuments are located in the outdoors.
Thankfully, this often-less-than-subtle historical conspiracy to squelch Indoorsmanship has been as unsuccessful as the attempt to utilize the word “squelch” in a sentence while also keeping a straight face. It hasn’t worked. Despite the resistance, a global tribe of brave Indoorsmen and Indoorswomen are rising, albeit slowly, from their recliners and massage chairs . . . emerging from the dark of their parents’ basements to reengage society in the traditions of their ancient ancestors. After all, indoor plumbing was invented during the Bronze Age.
Far too long, millions of Indoorsmen have languished in the shadows of shame and obscurity. But now, through the work of various experts and authors who are selfishly pursuing a study of Indoorsmanship to the detriment of maintaining a steady income, they can languish in the light instead.
To that end, there is even now a published definitive work on the subject entitled The Ultimate Guide for the Avid Indoorsman, which boldly promises to equip individuals on “both sides of the door”—outdoorsmen and indoorsmen alike—to become healthier and more enriched in this lifestyle that threatens to be lost to antiquity.
Believe it or not (both belief options have merit), this information might just save your life. Consider an Indoorsman approach to snakes, for example. When it comes to snakes, most Indoorsmen possess a natural, instinctive sense of enmity toward these scaly belly crawlers. On the contrary, when a snake is encountered in the wild, some Outdoorsmen may intentionally get close enough to a snake to determine its species and thus also determine the level of danger it poses to everyone present. Often they say, “It’s okay, everyone! It’s just a garter snake!”
The Avid Indoorsman, on the other hand, does not trust the skills of the Outdoorsmen to quickly and, what’s more important, accurately identify the type of snake that has been encountered. After all, the differences in appearance between one species of snake and the next can be minimal, and yet the differences in its ability to attack and kill its prey (including human prey) with a lightning-fast puncture from its fangs and the forced injection of its deadly venom could not be more striking (pun actually intended.)
At any rate, wrongly identifying a snake is a game the Indoorsman would rather not play. And, yes, a game is an appropriate metaphor for this kind of experience, because there are children’s rhymes about distinguishing one of the world’s most venomous predators (the coral snake) from its harmless yet almost identical cousin (the king snake). The rhyme goes like this:
Red touch black, safe for Jack.
Red touches yellow, kills a fellow.
This rhyme teaches children that the coral snake will have bands of red touching smaller bands of yellow rather than black. But let’s be honest. Many children are still learning their colors. Should we, as a society, be composing nursery rhymes about such things? And who would want to name their baby Jack after hearing such a nightmarish work of poetic cruelty?
At any rate, when it comes to snakes, the Indoorsman sees no color except red. That is, he very well may flee at the first sight of a snake in the wild because he is unlikely to trust appearances and has internalized the assumption that there really isn’t time to stay and figure out if a snake is venomous or harmless. Or he may instinctively reach for the nearest sharp object with a handle and attack the snake with a wild fury that can be quite disturbing to witness. In ancient Indoorsman lore, there is also a rhyme for what to do if you encounter a snake in the wild. The translation into English is rudimentary, but the general idea is as follows:
Eyes see snake, run and get a rake.
Red, green, or black, whack, whack, whack!
Surely such wisdom proves the need for increased study in this lost discipline.
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