Unbagging the Cats 1

Unbagging the Cats 1

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Backroads Miz Manners Explains the Hunter-Gatherer Continuum

Today, Backroads Miz Manners puts on her anthropologist hat in an effort to answer a hypothetical reader's question.


Dear Miz Manners:

Every weekend, as I plan my shopping trip, I ask my husband what he would like from the store. I ask what meals he wishes for me to prepare during the week. What snacks might tempt his tastebuds. Every weekend, he says anything will do. He has no preferences.

I drive to the store alone. I load my cart with groceries. Upon returning home last time, I saw my husband floating in the pool. He was relaxing on a raft, with sunglasses and cap as accessories, soaking up the sun. I know he saw me lugging the boxes of canned goods and frozen foods and perishables into the house. That's because he called out to me and waved. Yet he made no move to help.

Why are my efforts to involve him in the food facet of our life together falling upon selectively-deaf ears?

Not Paula Deen


Dear Not-Paula,

I am sure that you learned about Hunter-Gatherers in your social studies classes back in elementary school. Perhaps you were taken on a field trip to Cahokia Mounds (though Miz Manners certainly hopes you averted your eyes from the semi-naked woman). 

What many people don't know is that Hunter-Gatherer behavior can be represented by a continuum. Some people may be a Hunter 6 on that continuum, while others fall into the category of Gatherer 0. Most people are somewhere in between.

It appears that your husband is a pure Hunter 6. Where food is concerned, he will try to capture the occasional escaped Pot-Bellied Pig and make bacon before the neighbor knows it's gone. Or he might scoop up a road-kill turkey and try to deep-fry it on a Coleman camp stove, with the aid of a blow torch. That's about the extent of your mate's Gatherer skills. He sounds as if he doesn't have a Gatherer bone in his body. So the gathering tasks fall to you.

Resign yourself to planning, gathering, buying, unloading, preparing, packaging, and saving all food items that enter your home. The Hunter's job is to find the food on his plate, put it in his mouth, and forget about it until the next feeding time. He can accomplish this in 5-10 minutes per meal.

You should allow slightly longer for your part of the task.



Tammy said...

Dear Miz Manners,
Thanks for explaining that one. I would have lobbed canned goods at the raft. Guess that's why I'm divorced.

Val Thevictorian said...

That's a good solution, in theory. But in reality, SOMEBODY would have walk around back to the pool, dive down to retrieve the canned goods, haul them back into the house, and put them away.