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Thursday, December 13 , 2018, 6:11 am | Fair 43º


She Said, Z Said: Man Weekend

Twenty men. A run-down house. Kayaking. Biking. Beer. And a potato gun?

She: You’re smelly.

Z: Thank you. Man Weekend. Grunt. Grunt.

She: I’m guessing Chardonnay and manicures?

Z: Close. Kayaking and biking and beer. And manliness. Lots of manliness.

She: “Manly” is not really the first adjective that comes to mind when I picture you and your friends. No offense.

Z: None taken. That’s why we go. Jay invites actual men, guys who can do things with tools, who can reassemble a mountain bike in 30 seconds while blindfolded and drinking. We go to provide the geeky version of men.

She: Sounds like a reality TV show.

Z: Only much funnier. And realitier. Twenty men in a run-down house in a mining ghost town in the low Sierra. With weaponry.

She: There were weapons this year?

Z: OK, maybe just a potato gun. They used to have a cannon, but once they started bringing kids up there, they thought that it was maybe — maybe — a bad idea.

She: I thought Koss’ marshmallow gun was bad enough, but a potato gun? You could scallop someone or French-fry them with a potato.

Z: A couple of pieces of PVC, an electronic switch and an air compressor. Fill one chamber with air, the other with a potato, flip a switch, and bam — ballistic potato. Randy remembered the physics, did the math and calculated that we sent it 432 feet into the air.

She: Very manly. Especially if you add some Tabasco.

Z: You make fun, but you should have seen the watermelon explode when it got shot with one of them taters. It stopped laughing real fast.

She: I thought you guys did sports stuff.

Z: The manlier manly men did the Downieville Downhill, which is a 20-mile, single-track mountain bike ride. The cool thing about this ride is to see what injuries they return with. No stitches this year, but one guy looked like he got in a tangle with a cougar.

She: And you?

Z: We basic manly men kayaked the whitewater in the North Fork of the Yuba River.

She: And you?

Z: Hey, I would have gone, but I almost died last year and still had the whitewater yips.

She: Almost died?

Z: I fell in and it was very, very cold. In any case, I was completely vindicated this year. I shuttled the cars back and forth, then biked alongside the river to see how they were doing. I picked up three of them on the side of the road, after they decided they’d had enough. Cowards.

She: Vote them off the island.

Z: The surprising thing is that there were actually some philosophical thoughts based on various sporting experiences. The guys who got out decided that getting banged on rocks in snowmelt with the possibility of death thrown in makes boating down a river less fun.

She: That’s philosophy?

Z: The guys who stayed in decided that sometimes it’s best to go with the flow. Randy wanted to fight the river, to paddle backward, but found that things worked better when he dived straight into it and embraced the river.

She: That’s harder for me to make fun of.

Z: And some of the mountain bikers learned to stop looking straight down in front of them, to take a longer view. They stopped worrying about the immediate impediments, and instead trusted their equipment and their skill.

She: This is sounding a lot less boneheaded than I thought.

Z: Then we pulled out the tequila.

She: What? You didn’t make vodka from all the potato guts?

Z: Didn’t think of that. Probably the tequila.

She: There’s the Man Weekend I know and love.

Z: Things were going OK until Mark, the guy who did the fire walking last year, decided it was time to do some remodeling.

She: That doesn’t sound so bad.

Z: Trust me, you don’t want to hear chain saws at 3 in the morning. It’s a very effective alarm clock.

She: Now you’re just kidding me.

Z: Nope. He got a table and some shelving. Chain saws can make some surprisingly clean cuts.

She: This wasn’t the Man Weekend. This was the Boy Weekend.

Z: Yes, dear.

Share your mancation memories with She and Z by e-mailing [email protected]

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