The Rural Montana Survival Guide

Living in rural Montana is a lot like being duct-taped inside a refrigerator box with a bear.  It's dangerous.  However, there are some steps you can take to ensure your survival.  In rural Montana, I mean.  Not the one with the bear in the box.  That's probably going to be fatal no matter what.

1.  Learn to tell the difference between dangerous mountain-people and not-as-dangerous mountain-people

Your environment will be a minefield of crazed-looking individuals who reek of beer-sweat and failure.  Some of them will be dangerous and some will merely be your fellow Safeway patrons.

2.  Already have all of the furniture you will ever need  

The people of rural Montana do not seem to grasp the concept of depreciation.  Your local Craigslist and newspaper classifieds will be overrun with ads for five-hundred-dollar "vintage" mattresses and three-hundred-dollar "handcrafted plywood end tables."  Exclamation points will be used in unnecessary amounts.

The bottom line is that you will not be able to afford/find furniture. Unless you somehow have an extensive gun collection that you are willing to barter.  Guns are used as a sort of primitive currency here.  

3.  Beware of garage sales.  They might actually be traps. 

Once you realize that Craigslist is useless in your area, you might be tempted to turn to yard sales and garage sales.  This could prove to be a bad idea and may end with you being enrolled in a baptist fellowship against your will.  

You will start your day with high hopes.  Maybe you want a futon or a lamp.  Maybe a new table.  Your search will eventually lead you out of town a little ways.  There, you'll see a large sign nailed with purpose to a telephone pole.  It will say "Garage Sale!!!" 

It is not a garage sale.  It is a trap.   

Once you have ventured inside the garage to peruse the shiny, tastefully-arranged merchandise, you will be approached by an adorable old woman named Rose.   She'll say "There's more stuff inside.  Come on in!"  You will feel disarmed by the fact that she appears to be a harmless old lady with no agenda.  You will enter her house and begin looking through the items for sale.  She will come up behind you and say "So what do you do for work, Sweetheart?"  You will feel tempted to tell her that you don't have a job yet.  DO NOT DO THIS.  If you do, she will ask for your phone number and you will give it to her because "she has a friend who might need a babysitter" and you are desperate for money.   Immediately after carefully inserting your contact information into her rolodex, she will nonchalantly ask "So... have you enrolled in a fellowship yet?"  You will not know what a fellowship is.  It won't matter.  Your soul has just been sneak-saved!

(Note:  Rose's "garage sale" is a year-round event.  Even in the depth of winter, she's there bravely sneak-saving her victims.) 

4.  Don't just be a defensive driver.  Become pure reflexes and agility.  

If you feel the need to leave the safety of your home and get into an automobile and drive to Super One, be prepared.  It's going to be like playing Grand Theft Auto on chaos mode.  And it is going to infuriate you because no one will even notice that they almost killed you.  They'll pull out of K-Mart without even looking.  If you honk at them, they'll be all surprised and look at you like "what the fuck are you doing in my road?" They think they are great drivers.  This is because they spend most of their time driving in places where they can miss the road by ten feet and not even notice. 

Allow me to illustrate with a diagram:

5.  Hone your dog-monster fighting skills

You will be attacked by a dog-monster at some point.  These beasts resemble the average dog except they are vicious killing-machines that are not restrained in any way.

Your best bet for survival is probably to find a rock that is blunt on one end for bludgeoning and sharp on the other for stabbing.  You will need to do both and it is useful to have one hand free to sacrifice as a distraction, so having both a stabbing and bludgeoning surface on the same rock is essential.  

If the thought of beating/stabbing a monster that slightly resembles a dog made you feel any emotion other than battle-rage, you will not survive.  

6.  Also hone your cow-fighting skills

7.  Also hone your bear-fighting skills

Nevermind.  Bears always win.