Tap, tap, tap. Is this thing on?
Could somebody please give me a hand? Not as in applause. That comes later. Mixed with catcalls and boos, and hopefully no tar or feathers. My own petard is not sturdy enough to bear my ever-increasing weight, so I hope no hoisting will be attempted, either. Where was I...oh, needing a hand in climbing down from my high horse onto a soapbox. Thank you so much, gentleman in camouflage with a big dip of smokeless tobacco in your lip. This kind of pertains to you.
With deer season right around the corner, I feel it necessary make my annual address to the nation of Hillmomba. As every year, the subject of my manifesto is: Hunters are People, Too. I know that I am entering dangerous territory. I might as well bring up religion, politics, or spanking one's children at the teacher lunch table. Okay. Awkward. That's kind of like shooting an elephant in my pajamas. But I think we all understand that the spanking would be in the home, and the discussion would be at the teacher lunch table. And we're not talking about shooting elephants, but about shooting deer.
Citizens of Hillmomba, I do not begrudge any individual his right to believe as he chooses. It takes all kinds to move this nation forward. Variety is the spice of life. If you like to put out a corn plot and feed cute little fawns, may Sweet Gummi Mary be with you. Stand aside. I've got no interest in you today. My goal is to educate, not castigate.
Hillmomban PETAns, those of you who foam at the mouth any time you perceive the treatment of animals to veer from the path you have designated...I am talking to you. You may continue your crusade. Take in as many animals as you like, as long as they are treated humanely. Campaign to stop cruelty in animal research. In the food industry. In product testing. But please refrain from belittling the hunters of Hillmomba. They are the linchpin of the last bastion of political incorrectness, and they shoulder a double whammy. Redneck hillbillies and fat people are all you have left to publicly ridicule and discriminate against. But I'll let that topic slide for another day.
Hillmomban PETAns, you may espouse your opinions until the cows come home. Shout them from the rooftops. Dance naked waving signs with catchy slogans under the light of the full moon. But please refrain from lumping all hunters into one category and calling them obscene names. It is not becoming.
Hunting is a sport. Joe Hunter is not pulling the wings off of flies. He is not shooting fish in a barrel, mowing down bison with a Sharps Rifle from the window of a moving train, or making a fortune selling barrels of salted Passenger Pigeons to the citizens of New York. He is not harming the earth with his carbon footprint to fly to Africa and shoot wildlife photos, or hunt big game for a head on his wall. Joe Hunter is harvesting meat for his family while protecting deer herds from overpopulation.
I ask you, Hillmomban PETAns, have you ever heard of the deer problem in St. Louis County? In Creve Coeur, or Town and Country? Check it out. Google is your friend. That's what happens when man moves in and eliminates the natural predators of deer. Deer do not practice birth control. We cannot sit on our hands and wait for them to die of old age while more are being born every minute. Every habitat has a carrying capacity. Even in the country. Too many deer mean not enough food. Why, Hillmomban PETAns, do you wish for deer to die a slow, lingering death from starvation? You should be thanking Joe Hunter for his humane solution to an ongoing problem.
Joe Hunter does not command you to join the hunt, Hillmomban PETAns. He realizes that his sport is not for everybody. In turn, you should not disparage Joe Hunter for engaging in his favorite pastime. Let's remember that we are Hillmombans first, and PETAns and hunters second. Civility should be maintained for the sake of our nation.
Thank you. That now concludes the yearly address on hunters' rights.
Watch for my next appearance here at the town square, during which I will expound on another annual topic: The Flap Over Flu Shots.