The Prairie ReviewTop Picks

Do’s and Don’ts of Racing Wagons With Your In-Law

Walnut Grove, Minn.- So you’ve just gotten married and acquired some in-laws. Congratulations! Now you might be wondering what the next step is and also noticing that you have a hankering for starting a family freighting business together–don’t worry, these urges are normal. When you finally succumb to creating your freighting business, it is almost inevitable that you will want to race with your in-law. When this time comes, follow this handy guide to avoid the common pitfalls of in-law wagon racing.


DON’T start an argument about which order your last names should appear in your business name. No one really cares what your name is anyway.
DO give your freighting company an edgy, exciting name that will stick in people’s minds. Stuck on name ideas? Perhaps one of these options will suit your needs: Two Men and a Wagon, Prairie Goods for Prairie People, or Family Angst Outlet Co.

DON’T force your son or brother-in-law to make crappy hand painted signs.
DO consider having an actual sign made.

DON’T volunteer your wives to cook dinner for everyone if you lose your stupid bet.
DO offer to take your wife out to eat at Nellie’s since she’s had to walk extra miles by foot in absence of the family wagon.

DON’T use cliched and ageist phrases like “younger people always think they know better” or “older people always think they know better.” You’re both probably wrong.
DO trust the maps. They were made by cartographers, of which you are not one.

DON’T feel entitled to cut a man’s fence to cross his property with your wagon. You may feel desperate for having already lost time, but that’s no excuse for damaging property and trespassing. If you had stuck to the map in the first place, you wouldn’t be in this situation anyway.
DO stick to the map.

DO be charitable to poor folk you meet along the way, but DON’T expect your in-law to not expect repayment for the goods you gave away. 
DON’T try to lie to your wives about your arrival times. They are too smart for you.

DO be honest with your wives and take this as a hearty reminder that you shouldn’t have offered their cooking for your little scheme anyway.