Thursday, December 4, 2008

Wait, You Did WHAT?

Those who bemoan the disappearance of the practice of storytelling will be glad to hear that the great oral tradition is in fact alive and well. Reports of its demise have been greatly exaggerated and Rickey was pleased to learn that it is thriving in the most likely of places: the Irish bar. Last night, Rickey was celebrating a friend’s 30th birthday at a local watering hole for leprechauns. (As a rule, Rickey cares not for yuppie bars, oozing that that pervasive feeling of “you, me, and the bourgeoisie”). Rickey can really get behind a venue like this: you meet tons of new people, you hear their stories, and you exchange business cards with the tacit understanding that you’ll most likely never hear from any of these people ever again. It’s enlightening yet wonderfully disposable, the social equivalent of a one night stand. In an era of ever expanding Facebook interconnectedness, where even one’s eighth grade math teacher is on their friends list, this is a very welcome thing. No thank you friend, Rickey doesn’t want to read your twitter updates, nor does Rickey feel like perusing your MySpace page. Rickey just wants to chat briefly with you, man to man, hear you tell a story, and then watch you go your merry way into the brisk night.

This brings us to the story itself. At some point in the conversation with this guy who Rickey bumped into, things shifted from business talk to the subject of deer, and what to do about them. (Deer are ridiculously overpopulated in Rickey’s neck of the woods and grow to be roughly the size of Volkswagens). Turns out the guy’s a hunter, but with bit of a twist. The man fashions himself as a true sportsman, and likes to keep the playing field level for the noble beast. So he starts off hunting deer with a Winchester Model 1894 .30-30 rifle (he tosses in details like these, thus making Rickey suspect that the story isn’t complete bullshit). Then he decides that’s entirely unsportsmanlike, so he downgrades to hunting deer with a bow and arrow. Then, he figures that this again gives him an overly unfair advantage over the deer, and downgrades to hunting them with a spear, a practice only legal in the great state of Alabama. Finally, the guy wanders completely off the reservation and decides to strip the whole practice of hunting down to its bare essence. So one day, he ventures into the woods and stalks, hunts, and kills a deer with his bare hands.

To accomplish this, the guy perched himself twenty feet up in a tree for the bulk of a day. A salt lick at the base of the tree. And he waits. And waits. Then we waits some more, perfectly still, poised to strike like some Viet Cong ambusher in the jungle. And finally, an unsuspecting deer comes along, and the guy leaps out of the tree and nails the landing perfectly, and bam, he’s on top of the deer. Now, he’s completely unarmed: no guns, no knives, no nothing. He has committed himself to grappling bare handed with a deer in the woods. The only things this man has for a weapon are his hands and his own fierce determination. Naturally, the deer is completely stunned by this batshit crazy lunatic landing on it, which gives our hunter time to loop his arm around the deer’s neck and squeeze. And so he does. He squeezes and he squeezes until the deer stops flailing and all movement ceases. Then he gets up, leaves the carcass exactly where it is, and walks the several miles back to where his truck is parked. End of story.

Now yes, Rickey will freely admit that this is horrific, barbaric, and twisted beyond any measure of words. Is killing a deer with your bare hands even legal? It can’t be, right? And for the record, Rickey could never bring himself to kill a living creature (so when you call PETA about this, please leave Rickey’s name out of it). And yet, in a certain primal sense, it’s pure. The guy wanted to hunt a deer and that’s what he did, devoid of any advantages or pretense. Rickey didn’t broach the subject of hunting wolves from helicopters, but it’s a safe bet that this fellow wouldn’t approve of the recreational practices of a certain governor from Alaska. The guy confided in Rickey that this was over a year ago and he hadn’t been back into the woods since. Rickey made a mental note never to go into the woods either, equally afraid of lunatics like this fellow and the pending deer uprising which Rickey imagines is now brewing as a result of all this.

[posted at Humor Blogs]

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20 comments:

Anonymous said...

I have no problem with hunting as long as the hunter doesn't just maim the animal to leave it in the woods to suffer and agonizing slow death.

And shame on your acquaintence for not at least taking the venison to a food bank or something. What a waste.

David said...

Oops I hit enter instead of shift for typing my name - don't like being anonymous.

Haley said...

If the next level in the hierarchy of hunting is trying to scare an animal away and accidentally becoming a hunter, then my grandma has that one covered.

The family story is that she wanted to get a deer out of her garden, so she got my grandpa's shotgun and fired waaaaay over its head...and executed a perfect bullet arc -- involuntary deer-slaughter.

Statler said...

Next, he should try hunting bear with some Plott Hounds. I have it on good authority that they are the ninja warriors of dogdom.

Taunt Vortex said...

That's about as pure a method of hunting as you can get.

I use a 2004 Honda Accord myself - haven't quite bagged one yet, but I've gotten pretty close.

renalfailure said...

I remember a story I was told about a guy who played Paintball without a paintball gun. He'd just have the paint pellets in his hand, sneak up behind you or come out of the trees, and just slap them on you. He was like Rambo but without the post-traumatic stress disorder.

LOBO said...

That was awesome ... really well-written!

The part about "Rickey made a mental note never to go into the woods either ..." totally killed me. Man I haven't "laughed out loud" like that in a long time ... :)

Bee said...

I loved that story! Not once did I say "Oh poor little deer!" not once!

Alex L said...

Sweet freaky jesus, I like to imagine the guy just stared at his hands the whole time he was telling the story. Good idea keeping out of the woods, but you may want to add that bar to your list as well.

Mike said...

Deer? Bah, that's wimpy.

I kill humpback whales with my bare hands! I just strip naked and cover myself in seal blubber, plunge in the icy northern seas, and bring in those 50 foot monsters with nothing but my strength, determination, sadism, and insanity.

Ain't yet met a one who has an answer to my left flipper take down.

Prefers Her Fantasy Life said...

Seems more honorable than buying your meat in a grocery store. But then, think of the ticks. Don't you live near the lyme disease capital of the world?

Rickey Henderson said...

David: yeah, that part of the story bugged Rickey too. Why leave the deer's body in the woods? Perhaps as a warning to the others? Rickey's telling you, he hasn't been able to get this story out of his head since he heard it...

Doug: Rickey's never been unfortunate enough to a hit a deer, but given where Rickey lives, it's only a statistical matter of time.

Statler: Ninja warrior dogs?! Rickey wants one!

Mike: Hah, that sums things up quite nicely.

Meg: Yes, its more honorable. But for Rickey to actually get on board with the idea of killing an animal, they've got to taste good. Despite what anyone tells you, venison is DISGUSTING. It's a gamey and tough to chew meat. And yes, living where he does, Rickey has picked more ticks off his legs than he cares to think about... no lymes so far though.

Ron Mexico said...

Thats nuts. In high school a friend of mine had borrowed his moms brand new car and we were carefully driving it to a party. Halfway there about 10 deer run out in the road in front of us and he successfully dodges all of them. He slows to almost a stop, relieved that his mom isn't going to kill him. About 10 seconds later another deer comes out of the woods and runs directly into the side of the car. My friend stops the car, gets out and some how chases down the deer and tackles it. I had to pull him off it.

Mr Furious said...

Ron Mexico's story FTW!

I don't cotton to Mr Hand leaving the deer to rot. If you're killing it, kill it for a reason greater than your own personal challenge/testosterone overload.

[/climbs off soapbox]

Of course, it's still a great story...

MAN BEARD BLOG said...

dude used a salt lick right? so it doesn't count.

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