Men are hot right now. Men’s retail is booming, men are strutting the streets like proper peacocks, and there are now a flurry of websites and blogs devoted to all things manly. Indeed a whole new generation of men are hungry to be unabashedly masculine. What’s happened?
I think it’s all part of the evolution of modern men which I originally chronicled in my book, Branding the Man: Why Men Are the Next Frontier in Fashion Retail (Random House/Allworth Press, 2009, $27.50) but it’s also the fact that men have become the willing participants in a marketing boom. Men truly are the next frontier in consumer markets and with the breakdown in gender roles and expectations (i.e., metrosexuals, homosexuals and those who are in-between) the process of male identity has hit a crescendo.
Enter a book like The Dangerous Book for Men by Rod Green (Sourcebooks, 2012, $12.99 paperback), which offers many humorous and even useful tips for not being quite such a wimp when faced with, say, fighting off an alligator, or worse yet, opening a bottle of beer without an opener. Here’s an excerpt from one of the chapters which deals with the sticky subject of a parachute that just won’t seem to open.
How to Survive if Your Parachute Doesn’t Open
To leap out of an aircraft thousands of feet up, pull the cord to open your parachute, and find it doesn’t work might well be the definition of “a pickle.” You will have precious time to think and will need to rely on your survival instincts kicking in. Whatever the outcome, it will most certainly hurt. The question is, will you live to see another day? Well, you just might if you can find a friend.
What to Do
1) As soon as you know there is a problem, indicate as such to a colleague who has yet to open their own chute. You should do this by waving your arms and pointing at your chute.
2) Your fellow jumper will hopefully move over toward you. When you are face to face, you must lock arms. And remember to add them to your Christmas card list.
3) Now, you must hook your arms up to your elbows into your partner’s chest strap or, alternatively, through both sides of the front of his harness. Then grab hold of your own strap.
4) By now, you and your chum will be hurtling through the sky at what is disconcertingly called terminal velocity (roughly 130 miles per hour), with all sorts of unpleasant forces wreaking mayhem on your combined weights.
5) When your colleague’s chute now opens, you will experience a massive shock which will most likely break your arms or pop them out of their sockets. I did mention that it would hurt.
6) Your partner must keep hold of you with one hand while using the other to steer the canopy. If his chute is big, your descent will hopefully be slow enough that you get away with just a broken leg. If it’s a small canopy, he’ll have to steer hard to slow things down. If there is a body of water nearby, he should make for that and you should get ready to tread water. You’ll have to rely on him to get you to safety before your chute takes on water and takes you under, but he will have seen you right so far, so have faith.
Needless to say, your best bet is to make sure your chute is in good working order and perfectly packed before you get anywhere near an aircraft.