October 12, 2007
It’s getting close to that time of year when people dress up in strange clothes, get together to drink heavily, and then go wandering around in the dark. I’m referring, of course, to hunting season. I’ve never been much of a hunter myself, although I did once take a hunter education course. The main thing I remember is watching a film about a guy who sat in the woods dressed in camouflage making turkey noises. Occasionally he’d wipe his mouth with a red handkerchief, and he got shot by another hunter. The lesson I took away from that was, if you’re going to go turkey-hunting, dress like Liberace.
But I digress. There are actually quite a few hunters in my family, so I’ve heard a lot of stories about the ones that got away, most of which sound like fish stories. There was the time, for instance, when my father missed shooting a twenty-seven point carp because he was urinating. Actually that’s pretty much the only story I’ve heard hunters tell: A magnificent buck/pheasant/tiger/walrus/doe/ray/mi walked right into range and–well, you know. Hunters spend a lot of their time in stands, which is a plank of wood nailed to a tree. When a kid nails a plank of wood to a tree it’s called a treehouse. When a hunter does it it’s called a stand, even though they spend most of their time sitting in it. I hope they at least stand up when they urinate, although if they don’t that would explain why you never use another hunter’s stand. But I digress. I had an uncle who was actually a pretty successful hunter. He had deer heads and antlers stuffed and hanging from the walls of his den. He even had a couple of deer hooves mounted. I always wondered how I’d feel if someone shot me, cut off my hands, and had them stuffed and mounted on a wall. The deer heads were the worst because they all had that same look, as though they were thinking, "Hey, that guy’s got a gun!" I had to spend the night alone in that den once. You don’t know the meaning of terror until you spend the night alone in a den full of various stuffed animal parts. Or maybe you do know the meaning of terror because you looked it up in the dictionary.