Friday, October 30, 2009

Dead Animals and Football

This week I visited one of my Farmers Insurance agents. Farmers is generally pro-Safelite. We have a corporate program with them and treat their policy holders like greek gods. I was hired to replace an area sales manager that had been covering his area for just shy of 30 years and was very well-liked. When I met this particular agent's staff, they were quite sad that their old rep wasn't around anymore. After some friendly banter that lessened the tension, the girl at the front said "well as long as you like huntin' fishin' and football, you'll do just fine" in her mild Texas drawl.

Uh oh.

I get the feeling that I'm not dealing with people that can discuss the artistic brilliance of Wade Robson's contemporary piece from Wednesday. Likely no debate as to which traveling cast of Wicked is best. Maybe we can swap intricate theories about the Dharma Initiative and the Shepherds' connection to The Others. No? HELL-tutha-NO.

I'm a sports guy. I dig football. I admit, I've slacked a little on my college football prowess, but that's mostly because I'm so bloody fed up with the lunatic fans in Utah and their retarded Holy War. But I've historically been able to rap with the best about conferences, BCS absurdity, and all other general specifics pertaining to the pigskin. I'm even MORE dangerous in the pro arena. I know my Packers and I have a general grasp of what's going on in the NFL.

But I pale in comparison to these Texans. Everyone in this city (and I assume state), whether man woman or child, knows football. Not just if their team won on Saturday, or even what conference stats were, but they know everything that happened on gameday. They know who won and lost and what implications they had on their beloved Longhorns and the BCS race in general. They know current stats and glorious facts from the days or yore when they were playing in leather helmets. There are Longhorn propa-promo items everywhere. Every other house has a burnt orange flag flying and there are Longhorns logos everywhere. These people LOVE their football. Age and gender mean nothing. Everyone knows it. They live it.

I hate it. I can't do it. It's not so much an ethical issue for me as an issue of complete boredom and lack of respect for the "sport." Please...for the love of the bearded holy One on high, do not tell me that hunting is sport. It is not. Unless you are strapping on a loincloth, fashioning your own recurve and arrows from saplings with a Rambo knife, and stalking your prey in the wild, you are not impressive. You are killing animals with a freaking rocket launcher that is better suited for hunting dragons. Go kill those. If you can ice an elk from 1500 yards across a ravine from the back of your truck, you are not impressive. If you are speaking to ducks in their native tongue through a device you bought for $30 at Gart's, luring it to your masterfully camouflaged "blind" with an exact replica of the duck's likely-dead wife, you are not impressive. Anyone that actually pays to hunt "game" that is stocked or placed on a stamp of land for the sole purpose of being clipped by YOU is beyond unimpressive. Before long you'll be able to luxuriously waste animals from the comfort of your own home, courtesy of XBOX's new "REAL Big Game Hunter." If you want to impress me, wax your animals with a sling. Or a rope. Or your bare hands. Wrestle a bear or a gator. That's manly.

BE HONEST. Call it what it is. You like to kill crap. It's bloodlust. You get a rush by snuffing the life from animals. It is instinctual. The thrill of the kill is still engrained in most humans from thousands of years of surviving in nature. We don't all love it, but you hunters do. I will accept any reasonable explanation for traditional hunting. Like the meat? Fine. Environmentally conscious population control? Cool. Revenge for the tragic goring death of your great grandfather at the horns of a crazed buffalo? Groovy. You can even quote the bible and tell me that God put animals here for the benefit of man and we're just fulfilling our end of the covenant and thanking Hod for His bountiful gifts by capping beasts. Just don't say it's for the sport. It's insulting.

"It's ok to eat fish, 'cause they don't have any feelings." - Kurt Cobain, "Something in the Way."

I've fished, but I've never liked it. There's nothing more disturbing than yanking a swallowed hook from a writhing trout's stomach to find that your power bait has been joined by the fish's liver and spleen. I know, I know...I'm doing it wrong. I should be fly fishing. And a TRUE fisher"man" will hook the fish by the lip where there are no nerve endings AND ultimately releases the fish anyhow harm done.

Ok, let's follow that line of logic. Assuming you are actually qualified to instruct on the anatomy of Salvelinus Fontinalis, and fish indeed cannot feel the barb of the hook, I'm pretty sure the fish doesn't enjoy the sensation of being ripped from its aquatic home. Nemo endures many agonizing long seconds or minutes of fighting against this unseen, PAINLESS, force slowly pulling it from the sanctuary of liquid bliss, to be pulled into suffocating weightlessness and blinding light, handled and measured by a hideous pink beast, then tossed back into the depths. Only for it to happen again and again and again until someone mercifully bashes it over the head with a screwdriver and eats it for breakfast. I know the fishie's brain can't be that big, but I can't bring myself to believe that it just randomly swims around and occasionally gets caught, enjoys the ride, then forgets about it when it's tossed back in. These are Nemos. Not Dorys.

Let me be clear. I don't have issues with people that hunt or fish. Once that animal is dead I'll gut it, cook it, and eat it. I just don't enjoy the process of getting it to that point and I don't agree with 90% of the ideas of people that do.

This limits my ability to connect to these Texas folk. I complimented someone today on their "antlers" that were hung on the wall of the office of a very nice lady in her mid 40s. I was pretty sure I shouldn't call them a "rack" or a "set" given the situation, so I went with antlers. I was immediately exposed as A) a yankee, and B) a non-hunter because they are not antlers. They are HORNS. I refrained from informing her that horns are found in cars and on unicorns.

So I need to become a hunter, fisher, and football fanatic. I'm in sales. Pretending is part of my job.


Mandy said...

Wade Robson is a genious. I'm sorry no one down there knows it.

J-Mac said...

Tyler, don't know if you'll get this. Maren and I are coming down your direction this weekend and wanted to hook up for dinner. I tried sending Text messages and then when I called I realized your old number is not working. shoot me an email -