Neither of us could have predicted that the volcano would begin to erupt right as we were retrieving the magical cancer-curing talisman from a cave carved into the volcano’s side. We were prepared for everything else, of course. We had by this point in time already fought off: Nazis recently awoken from their cryogenic slumber; giant mutant flesh-eating bats; the megalomaniacal CEO of a multinational energy company inside a robot with lasers; and at least four mosquito bites.

Naturally my wife decided to start an argument with me. Our arguments never began as explosions. No, they simmered, like Nazis’ brains under the blasts of ray-guns that we had stolen from the megalomaniacal CEO. First I suggested in a very calm fashion that we should escape from the volcano by rappelling down its sometimes-steep side with our titanium grappling hooks. But she could always find something wrong with anything I ever suggested, and in this case she thought that the titanium grappling hooks were too risky, on account of the impending lava, but I mean come on, the cabling was made out of titanium too. It’s not like the instruction manual said that they were impervious to lava or magma or whatever it was that was going to come out of the volcano but we didn’t really have much time at that point.

Then she pulled out the jetpacks and said we should use those instead. Well, yeah, sure, pull out the jetpacks after you completely try to undermine my point-of-view. It’s not like I have x-ray vision or telepathic powers and could somehow secretly know that you’d stolen the jetpacks from a hidden cache of technologically advanced gadgets left behind by aliens inside the cave with the magical cancer-curing talisman. I thought you’d gone to the bathroom or something.

Anyway we used the jetpacks and barely got away. But she just wouldn’t let the subject drop as we were flying away, ash and smoke and lava and heat licking at the heels of our combat boots. She continued to berate me for even thinking about grappling hooks the entire trip home. I mean, seriously, it wasn’t a bad idea, considering the circumstances. Grappling hooks had served us very well in the past, like when we had to escape from a burning skyscraper after fighting past a cadre of Mayan zombie assassins. And it’s not like the jetpacks had a lifetime warranty, which the grappling hooks did, in fact, have. I made sure to double-check when I bought them from REI.

And here’s the worst part. As if all that crap about the grappling hooks wasn’t bad enough, I’d forgotten to take the trash out before we left on our trip across the jungles of Borneo, the Himalayas, an undiscovered island in the South Pacific, an ancient Tibetan monastery, and that volcano. I tried to tell her that it was an honest mistake, even for the husband in a world-famous action explorer husband-and-wife team, but she just kept on yelling at me in a really shrill voice.

Can’t a guy ever catch a break?