Thursday, March 12, 2009

How to Get Out of the Rat Race and Live on $10 a Month

The aforementioned volume, self-published by George Leonard Herter in 1965, with third edition in 1969, made its way to me earlier this week via the amazing Bibliobarn in South Kortright, New York, one of the most wonderful country used book stores you will ever find. My good friends the archivist and Pataphysician Michael Carter and the conservator Heidi Nakashima (my sister out-law), knowing of my predilection for forgotten guides to the secrets of nature, wrapped it in marbled paper and sent it home. We will see how quickly I am able to implement its instructions for a simpler life. The opening para:

There are a great many people who are fed up with life in the crowded areas of the world. Living with people under crowded conditions and realizing how selfish and worthless most of them are, can drive one to most anything. Putting up with traffic, dull uninteresting jobs, relatives, living in citiesthat would be sure atom bomb targets, can bring you to the breaking point. At times, it fills you right up to the brim and you want to get away from the nothingness of the rat race. You want to get back to plain living in the wilderness where $1.00 can be made to do the work of a thousand. You want to try to find real happiness. To do this, you must get back to nature. You must get to a place where you can honestly find God and worship Him.

The lavishly illustrated, eclectically organized book provides a bizarro manual for escape from civilization, the outsider art of the nature survivalist genre, like Tom Brown as reinvented by David Lynch. Unexpected tips like how to get free land in Alaska, how to use fluorescent yarn for trapping, how to make a dugout baby cradle, how to supplement your income with photographs of birds being fed from the mouth of a person, and how to use a house cat to trap a coyote:

A sure and quick way to catch coyotes and wolves is as follows: Nail a small platform on top of a fence post or about a four-foot-high stump. Put a collar on the house cat. Attach a short piece of rope to the collar and then to the top of the platform. Have your traps soaked in cow or horse manure for a day or two. Set four of them around the fence post and two on the peak of the highest ground near the post. Cover the traps well. The coyotes will go for the highest spotto look over the situation before coming in. If you miss them on the high spot, you will get them for sure when they go to the base of the post. You can catch even the smartest old coyote or wolf. The cat will not get hurt. They really enjoy seeing one of their archenemy caught in a trap.

Another trap you may want to try at home is the above-illustrated method of getting a bear to shoot itself with a rifle.

Highly recommended. As is the idea of breaking free of the rat race yourself, and inventing your own new techniques of survival in our pre-apocalyptic world. Maybe we need to start a new group blog on the subject, with supplemental unwired versions distributed by mimeograph.


Anonymous said...

I once owned a copy of this terrific book; sadly, I gave it away as a gift.

Anonymous said...

I have this book and I will never give it up.

Anonymous said...

I just found this book in a second hand store. Nice!