Monday, November 30, 2009

The Annual Stalking of Bambi

Today is Testosterone Day in Ohio. More conventional people may also designate it as Orange Day, but I'm not real conventional. When you can sense it just by opening a living room window, it's T-Day.

I'm referring, of course, to Opening Day for deer hunting season.

It's guaranteed that if I drive anywhere in the next week, I will see several deer hanging from trees, dripping on garage floors, and lolling over pickup tailgates. (Especially the bucks. You NEVER put your tailgate up when you get a buck!)

Life demanded that I make an errand run today. My route took me past a house that is apparently a hot spot for hunters. Two mega-duty trucks pulled out in front of me, thick black exhaust rolling from the jumbo pipes rising above the cabs. Two more trucks waited for me to pass, so they could join the cavalcade. The drivers and passengers were sporting the universally recognized neon orange. One by one, they all turned the same corner. I envisioned fourteen overgrown boys piling out of the monster machines, smacking each other on the back, popping the lids off their Michelobs and reliving the take-down of the 12-pointer swinging from the tree in the front yard.

These men may or may not have surprised their wives with a bouquet of roses in the past fifteen years or spent a dime on a family movie night. Vacations to Disney or the Grand Canyon may be a foreign concept. But! By golly, they've had this week of vacation approved at work since the first of January. Every year. Without fail.

When I was in high school, all of my male classmates who hunted were allowed to take a free day on Opening Day. The notion of allowing the females the liberty to enjoy a day for shopping wouldn't have been entertained. Sure, the men were hunting and providing for the family. But we all know that's not why men pull on their boots and Carhartts and perch precariously in homemade tree stands in subzero weather waiting for the elusive stag to have an unfortunate meeting with the wrong end of a shotgun. The fact that the family gets a little deer jerky and enjoys a steaming pot of venison stew is a side benefit.

Several months ago, Tom brought home an eight point buck head that one of his friends at work had parted with. The friend was cleaning out the Man Cave. I'm not, by far, the best decorator in the world, but our house is not a log cabin or in the country. I wasn't thrilled with this monstrosity hanging on my wall. I appreciate benevolence, but...

Tiffany was even unsure what to think about it.

We recently came to an agreement, with the help of an acquaintance. This guy had reason to step on our front porch while the Thing languished in the bad weather, and upon noticing, he declared an immediate need for it. He desired to own it to the extent that he offered us his own deer, should he get one this year. When we didn't respond to his offer quickly enough, he increased it to include a really nice Pack-n-Play for Tiffany.

The Pack-n-Play is lovely girly colors and suits Tiffany perfectly. We're waiting for the call that will fill our freezer. And somewhere, there's an eight point buck hanging on a cabin wall, with a bunch of strong, tough Davy Crocketts beating their chests and telling fish...I mean...deer stories.

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