Men, the world’s great explorers

Published 4:36 pm Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Men do not know how to look for anything.

It is one of the great ironies of history that the great explorers of history have all been men. I looked it up on my computer. I typed in “great explorers” and it gave me many selections from which to choose.

I highlighted one and up popped this site that read, “Explorers from A-Z.” I perused the list and it included great names like Balboa (not Rocky), Magellan, Marco Polo, Sir Francis Drake and, of course the one we all know as the founder of the Americas, Christopher Columbus.

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There were 73 names in all and I know that it was just a partial list, but the thing that impressed me most was that all the explorers were men.

Why does that interest me today?

Because we all know that men don’t know how to look for anything.

Just the other day, as I have done for many years now, I arose in the morning to have my coffee and fix a piece of toast. Although we have a nice toaster, I never use it. Toast is best made when it is made in the oven. Not only does the oven work best for toast, the old pie pan that I use for placing the toast in the oven is the only instrument worthy of my toast-making.

Its resting place is in that drawer under the oven. You know the drawer I am talking about. It has 18 different cookie sheets, four aluminum pie pans that are never used, myriad cooling racks, rusted muffin makers, and rectangular cake pans, some of which came over on the Mayflower. You could take out half of that stuff and it would still be full.

On this day, as I normally do, I bend over to get my favorite toast maker. It’s not there!

“Donna Sue, someone has stolen my pan for making toast,” I yelled.

I understand the silliness of that accusation. Just to think that someone would come into our house for the purpose of thievery is a rash assumption, but with the economy the way it is, you can never tell. Pawn shops are just a-hankerin for the opportunity to buy and sell old pie pans.

Donna Sue is more patient with me than I am with the situation. She actually tries to look for it. I, on the other hand, am going through the drawer for the fourth time. It can’t be anywhere else. I guess it could be on the drying rack in the sink. Afterall, it is washed periodically. But it’s not there.

“Why would anyone want to mess with my toast maker?” I asked most perplexedly.

“Have you checked to see if it might have fallen behind the drawer?” she asks.

I guess that’s a possibility, but that’s a scary place to look. Things that fall in that area are never seen again. I shudder as I pull out the drawer completely. Donna Sue gets a flashlight so that we might see in the dark caverns of under the oven.

It’s not there, but we do find a cast-iron skillet that we thought someone had stolen a few years ago. Of course that brings me no joy. I’m looking for a specific pie pan.

Donna Sue begins to do what she always does when we can’t find something. She prays.

“Lord, you know where all things are. Show us the pan.” That’s a faithful woman for you.

Since I am a man, I think I will look through the oven drawer for the fifth time. It’s got to be in there somewhere. That’s the only place for it.

Suddenly, Donna Sue looks on the counter. I could have looked there, but since I am a man and don’t know how to look for anything, I didn’t. And guess what? There on the counter, disguised as the pie pan that I have been making toast in for years, was the pie pan that I thought someone had stolen. Lord, forgive me for thinking such a thought.

As the saying goes, if it had been a snake, it would have bitten me.

Donna Sue gets that look; it’s almost a smirky smile. It’s the one that she has when she has sent me to find something and I yell back, “I can’t find it.” Of course I didn’t look very hard. I looked in the specific place she asked, but my eyesight did not allow me to look to the left or the right. Don’t forget, I have an excuse. I’m a man.

That brings me back to my original thought today. Can you believe that men were the greatest explorers in all of history? When I see Christopher Columbus in heaven, I am going to ask him just how he found America.

“Chris, were you lost out there in the Atlantic Ocean?” I’ll ask. “Did you ask directions to the nearest piece of land?”

Old Chris will laugh and say, “Of course not, you know that men never ask for directions.”