My wife and I just went to see The Revenant, which is a movie that examines the age-old question: How long can frozen snot stay attached to a man’s beard in South Dakota in the winter? Spoiler Alert: The answer is six weeks.
While on a fur trapping expedition in 1823, Hugh Glass was mauled by a grizzly bear. He survived the attack, even helping to kill the bear in the process, apparently because he was the manliest mountain man who has ever lived. He is probably still alive. Because no one on earth was even a tenth of the man he was, his hunting partners ended up being less than honorable. They left him for dead without any weapons or food. They didn’t even leave him a car or a cell phone, both of which would have been super-helpful.
Was Hugh Glass just going to give up and die? Of course not. He can’t be killed. He just blew some snot onto his manly mountain man beard, which immediately froze since it was minus three thousand degrees for the entire movie, set his own broken leg, and crawled back home wrapped in the skin of the same bear that tried to kill him. That’s right. Suck it, bear. Not only did you not kill me, but now you’re dead and I’m going to wear you home.
He crawled two hundred miles back to Fort Kiowa just to kill the guy who left him for dead. Nowadays we’d complain if we had to crawl twenty feet to hurt a guy’s feelings. Two hundred miles! I wouldn’t even drive two hundred miles to seek revenge. At mile thirty I’d pull off at a burger place and decide to forget the whole thing.
Speaking of food, I was struck by the irony of my comfy modern surroundings while I watched Hugh Glass show the world what manly really looks like. We saw the movie at Studio Movie Grill, which is a new theater in our town that serves you real food and drinks during the movie. You get a tiny little table in front of your plush leather seat, complete with a little red call button for your server. It’s wonderful, but it was a strangely luxurious setting for such a harsh movie.
As I watch Glass try to stay alive by eating a rancid piece of rotten sinew off a decaying buffalo carcass, I push my little red call button to signal my server that I need more sour cream for my Loaded Potato Skins.
Glass tries to tend to the gaping claw hole in his neck and the exposed ribs on his back. Our seats are too close to the screen, and I shift in my puffy leather recliner because my neck is getting a little sore from looking up.
Glass has trouble laying down in the snow to drink from the freezing river because of the hole in his neck. I spill a little of my delicious Fat Tire Amber Ale. I push the little red button and my server brings me some extra napkins while Glass cauterizes his neck wound with gunpowder.
Glass is only wearing animal skins and keeps ending up in rivers, having to crawl back out of the thirty-two-degree water to lay in the snow. My jeans have a little beer on them from the spill, and it’s wet on my leg. I’m annoyed. I complain to my wife.
More snot and drool freeze to Hugh’s beard as he struggles to stay warm in a blizzard by stripping naked and sleeping inside a dead horse. I put my hand into my sweatshirt pocket for a while, because the ice-cold beer glass is making it a little chilly.
Glass manages to chase some wolves away from a kill and throws up while trying to force down some raw buffalo liver. My fries don’t come with the side of ranch I ordered. I push the red button forcefully, perturbed.
Glass stumbles into Fort Kiowa through three feet of snow on a crutch made from a tree branch. I remember how the only spaces left were at the far end of the parking lot when we got to the theater and consider ro-sham-bo-ing my wife to see who has to go get the car.
The whole experience reminded me of the time I was reading a book about Navy SEALs and I got a paper cut. I tried to be tough, but paper cuts really sting.
I left the theater feeling soft and weak, and I’m sure I wasn’t the only one. I think the story of Hugh Glass might even cause some Navy SEALs to reevaluate their man cards.
Oh, well. Different times. Maybe I’d have been as tough as him if I was born in the early 1800s.
I sure wish my wife would hurry up with the car. It’s really chilly out here.
See you soon,
Copyright © 2016 Marc Schmatjen
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