Dear Wise Old Navajo Man Who Could Really Go For A Hamburger Right Now,

My husband and I take lots of vacations together. It keeps our marriage lively and helps expand our horizons, as a couple. This year, unfortunately, money is extremely tight and we just can't justify an extravagant trip. Any tips for making the most out of a close-to-home adventure?

—Landlocked in Lubbock

Dear Landlocked,

In darkness under the world First Man was made, and First Man was cold and lonely. First Man, who was wise and powerful, took up his treasure of White Shell, and he placed it in the East and breathed upon it, and up came a cloud of white smoke; and to the West he set Abalone, and breathed on it, and from it rose a cloud as black as nightfall. The colors of these rose up and became the Sky, and circled one another, and became the Night and the Day, and First Man rested in the Sky, and had a hambur—and slept.

Dear Wise Old Navajo Man Who Could Really Go For A Hamburger Right Now,

It's a tale as old as time: My neighbor built his fence on my property. I go away one weekend, come back, and I've lost 6 good inches of my backyard! What authorities can I turn to when my beautiful azaleas pop up on his side of the fence this spring?

—Gypped in Glen Rock

Dear Gypped,

Then First Man took his last treasure, the Red-Yellow Stone, and placed it in the middle, and breathed upon it; and from it came a pillar that contained in itself all things, like those really good hamburgers you get at In-N-Out or Five Guys. And this was the Pillar of the World, and up the Pillar did First Man lead the People, drawn by a hunger, a deep, growling hunger for something juicy and delicious…or possibly for what they knew not. In every step did the People gain a little, for being newly made, all was new to them, and gathering knowledge, and feeling, and French fries, and a soda, and, ooh, maybe some onion rings for the ride back to the reserv—I mean, the Coyote followed them. Or have I not gotten to that yet?


Dear Wise Old Navajo Man Who Could Really Go For A Hamburger Right Now,

I just started playing Fallout 3 for PlayStation and I'm already stuck. I beat the first two games no problem, but I've spent four whole afternoons wandering around the wastelands in this one, and I still haven't located the Family. How do you access their headquarters? Do I have to wait for nightfall?

—Pwned in Plymouth

Dear Pwned,

Now following behind the People was Coyote, Born-in-the-Water Scrawny Wanderer, who was there when First Man made the Sky and the World, but disdained it as something not his own, and Coyote mocked the Sky and the World, as one may say a hamburger must be dry and overcooked when one cannot have that hamburger. And yet he followed the People up the Pillar of the World, as Coyote must always have witnesses for his anger and foolishness, as a lazy man who eats only microwave-reheated White Castle Slyders seeks the pity of those who have fetched hot burgers from Wendy's. And now, waiting before the People, were many great evils, Fire God and Spider Ant, the Hamburgler, and Salt Man, and Cousin-of-the-Raven. And First Man fought with them, and though he thought he should perhaps not, he took their songs of power into himself, the way one may seek to take the recipe for a hamburger not one's own, one which calls for a cold pat of butter to be placed at the center of a third-pound beef patty, so that when broiled, the butter infuses the meat, making it delectable and juicy, but also unhealthy, especially if you put bacon on it with cheese and mayonnaise. And this is what First Man did—not the recipe part, but what I mean is he became seduced by something not entirely healthy. And there was a new Wendy's right off Exit 22 that was not too far from First Man.


Dear Wise Old Navajo Man Who Could Really Go For A Hamburger Right Now,

Help! I've gotten myself into a DIY pickle. Some time ago, I bought a couple pieces of nice artwork and decided to make my own frames. Great way to save money and time, right? Wrong! I can't seem to get my miter joints exactly flush at all four sides. Any suggestions for making a picture-perfect frame?

—Misaligned In Michigan

Dear Misaligned,

And so the people saw that First Man was evil with the delicious, flame-broiled patty, onion, tomat—with the Songs of Power, excuse me—stolen from those who were themselves evil. And Coyote spoke to them in secret, saying, First Man will undo you; he has brought you into the world to consume you, as though you were no more than those miniature hamburgers you can get in bars these days. You know, the ones you can just keep eating without getting full, because what you really wanted was, you know, a burger. A thick, juicy burger or maybe two, piled high with toppings and maybe some of that good brown mustard, and—ooh—Swiss cheese. Man, does that sound good right about now. I wonder how late that Red Robin on Shaffer Road stays open on Wednesd…uh, sorry, where was I? Um, and in the fullness of time all became as First Man, and his knowledge passed throughout the People, as did his evil and his knowledge thereof, and two bacon double-cheesburgers with lettuce, pickles, tomato, ketchup, and mayo on toasted sesame-seed buns cooked medium rare. The end.


Joseph Seven Eagle is a Three Ledges tribal elder whose weekly syndicated advice column, Ask A Wise Old Navajo Man Who Could Really Go For A Hamburger Right Now, appears in more than 250 papers nationwide.