We all know and love the beloved and familiar chestnut Real Men always round down. We also know a Real Man never asks for directions while women don’t mind asking and when a man and a woman are lost together and the woman asks a stranger for directions against the better will of The Real Man, that Real Man can never live down the tender loss of his manhood.

What about the innate sense of navigation men have when both endpoints of the destination are known? Isn’t “getting there fast” the mantra and the desire of the Real Man?

The shortest distance between two points is a straight line and every Real Man will take the shortest route — even if it means clambering across a junkyard of weeds, driving through an alley or speeding around a bad part of town — if it means getting there faster than you previously arrived.

Janna walks quicker than everyone we know, but I can always beat her to where we’re going if we aren’t walking together because she takes the long way — The Polite Way — and waits for the lights to change to cross the street and she stays in lighted areas. I, on the other hand — and as a True Real Man — will cut across backyards, race through a dog run, and hop a security fence at a lawyer’s office parking lot to lop a corner or two off my destination.

The shortest distance between two points — in the mind of a Real Man — is found in the infinite space between his ears and that is a destination no Real Woman should ever wish to know or seek to find!


  1. I do this when I’m driving.
    I like to “square the hypotenuse” by finding a short cut, instead of always using the mainline roads.
    I always refer to my trusty Indiana Atlas and Gazetteer that shows all of the backroads and side streets than can shave some distance off of a drive.

  2. Hello Chris!
    Yes! You have the mark of a True Real Man!
    Sometimes the best route is not found on a map or on an electronic GPS system. Sometimes you have to look around you and see what is and what isn’t available and test out the drive time.

  3. I’ve cut through neighborhood side streets in Chicago’s southern suburbs to avoid the always jammed southern portion of I-294 and the resulting jams on the main side streets.
    It’s fun to explore sometimes.

  4. “Side” side streets are the best.
    Whenever traffic is tied up on the expressway, cars and trucks jam up the main streets on the alternate routes.
    The key is to go on roads that don’t allow trucks.
    Cities with grid pattern layouts are the best for this because you can just guess and usually end up getting where you need to go without much hassle.

  5. The traffic website is pretty nice — they also have an option where you can buy a watch and subscribe to a MSN service to get traffic updates via the watch.
    It’s a neat little gadget that might inspire me to start wearing watches again.

  6. Hi Chris!
    Yes, staying away from trucks on a delivery schedule is paramount to getting around fast without having to wade through toxic smoke and slow motion.
    One Way streets are also quite nice for keeping order moving.

  7. Oh, and I used to have a first generation MSN watch. I think Suunto made it. The watch was huge and clunky and the buttons hurt your fingers when you pushed to get the watch to function and if you wanted to do anything fun with the watch you had to push down a lot of buttons. It was a great idea with a poor implementation. I wonder if they solved it with new watches? Are there any color screen versions of the MSN watch out now?

  8. They still look larger than regular watches, from what I could tell.
    I didn’t think of how to using the watch might be complicated, but it probably would be tough to try to figure out how to check traffic and other options while keeping an eye on the road.
    I didn’t see any pictures that indicated there were color screens available either …
    I have XM Radio, so I can always flip to channel 217 for Chicago traffic conditions.
    Also, Illinois DOT provides traffic email alerts that can be sent to a cell phone or Motorola Q!

  9. Technology is great, Chris!
    It just keeps getting smaller and smaller and we can hone and sharpen our travel routes!
    I thought the MSN watch service was on its last legs. Perhaps they’re still going along in a good way.

  10. Another part of the gender equation that your post raises: Janna probably walks “in lighted areas” because women always have to think about safety. I don’t know a single woman for whom safety is not a consideration, who doesn’t think about which streets are safe to walk on and which parts of town she can’t go into alone. The flip side of that is that you can drive “through a bad part of town” precisely because you *are* a man – I also don’t know many women who would do that either, unless they ended up there by accident – again, a safety issue.

  11. Yes, Paula, I know.
    That’s why I included signposts for tone in “The Polite Way” and “infinite space between his ears.”

  12. My partner usually has to leave for work in the middle of morning rush hour traffic. A 20 minute journey can take up to an hour.
    He’s found using the side streets cuts the journey time down to 15 minutes!
    Unfortunately, he also LEAVES work right in the middle of afternoon rush hour traffic, and because of the layout of the streets around where he works, even using the same side streets, it takes 30 minutes. Nobody seems to use the side streets in the morning, but in the afternoon, it’s crazy.
    I personally would have thought it’d be the other way around. Aren’t people’s brains more fried AFTER work rather than before??

  13. Hi Dawn!
    It’s great to hear from you on this topic and you bring up an interesting angle for discussion!
    I wonder if in the afternoon people are desperate to get home while getting to work is something they care less about in the grand scheme of their day?

Comments are closed.