The Oregon Trail — the cult-classic computer game from our collective youth. In this pixelated trip from Independence Missouri to that valley with a name no one could say, (Wil-a-mett-ey? Wh-eel-met? Or was it the French Weel-may?) lies the greatest indicator of how a man will function as your mate. Choice of identity, ultimate survival skills, the proper writing of hysterical tombstones — this is the stuff of life.
Consider if you will, the following:
Choice of character
- Banker: potentially shallow, likely strategic, definitely rich, probably not in or supporting the 99%.
- Farmer: shows tendencies toward masochism and bad math skills. Good guy, for sure, but a beach house in Montauk is not in his future. Although I have a weird feeling (not at all founded in logic) that farmers are good in bed.
- Carpenter: even keel, jack-of-some-trades, expert fixer of broken wheel axles. Slight chance he’s overly religious, but if not — this is your kid’s soccer coach with his own bustling start-up.
Selection of Wagon Mates
There were two ways to go about this:
- Load your wagon with all of your friends (and the boys you had crushes on. You did that. We all did.) and work tirelessly to bring them safely to that W valley.
- Load the wagon with made-up friends (but probably enemies) and kill them off by pressing the space bar to continue every time a safety warning popped up.
Believe it or not, you want the latter in a man. Consider the likely sexual future of a 9-year-old boy that opted to bring all his loved ones to safety. You need someone who’s prepared to kill for you.
Arguably the Twitter of our youth. Like wagon mate selection, you’re looking for a guy who lets his humor shine. Excelling at tombstone writing has a direct correlation to entertainment industry success, probably.
Style of Hunting
The only thing you really need to look out for here is if your dude had a habit of waiting around to shoot multiple buffalo knowing full well he could only carry 50 lbs back to the wagon. That’s just wasteful… and mean.
Would You Like To Ford The River?
This is the tell-all. You could probably skip the other stuff (except that crucial who-was-in-your-wagon issue). Did they ford the river or wait five days and pay for that ferry?
Most men forded, as fording is a very male thing to do, but those who waited are not the sissies of the Oregon Trail — they’re the geniuses. In order to wait and pay, you had to have enough remaining food to feed your passengers, money to pay the ferry, and common sense to ward off Indian passersby. If that’s not a clear indication of one’s ability to run a family, then I don’t know what is.
Good luck out there.