Monday, November 22, 2010
On avoiding getting shot
It's hunting season, which means the return of the sudden "blam" somewhere disconcertingly close to my house...followed by one or two more shots as I envision a panicked animal trying desperately to flee the inevitable. I understand why we hunt, and I appreciate those who have the courage to source their food while I whimper in line at the grocery store meat counter, buying anonymous flesh that's been tidied up by an equally anonymous stranger. I get it.
But still, every time I hear one of the shots, chills run down my spine.
November is also the return of what's called "blaze orange," a near-fluorescent incarnation of orange that could not possibly exist in nature. We clothe ourselves in this ghastly hue from head to toe in an attempt not to get shot. Where I live, we wear blaze orange when taking walks in the woods, when walking our dogs, when getting the mail, and even when walking out to the car in the morning.
It baffles me, but here people here are allowed to shoot at things on other people's land. What makes sense in theory becomes far more upsetting when you hear tales of women shot dead while hanging their laundry - and the hunter being dismissed with an understanding nod because, well, she sure did look like a deer to him. (In case you were wondering, there's always an abundance of empty beer cans in the woods after hunting season.)
Besides pinning blaze orange fabric all over your body, the only other way to avoid getting shot in your own yard is to post your land, which instead involves stapling signs every few feet around the entire perimeter of your property. An added benefit of posting your land is that you will also alienate yourself from pretty much everybody in town - the guys who plow the road, deliver your oil, and volunteer for the fire department. People with whom it's wise to stay on friendly terms.
So, since the woods are stocked with semi-intoxicated men with loaded guns who are really quite eager to fire at something, I tend to spend my November nesting inside. I find the orange of these maple pumpkin Claramels with ginger cinnamon pecans far more attractive than blaze orange. And if I eat enough of them, I'll be too full to leave the house at all - thus keeping me safe from hunters for another year.
It's an idea, right?