Blogs Are Stupid

Doesn't anyone believe in Dear Diary anymore? What happened to the joy of putting actual pen to paper? And why does every ordinary Jane and John think they can write well enough to burden the world with their scribblings? It’s a mystery that badly needs solving. My first entry contains my thoughts about blogging and will set your expectations. The rest will probably be stream of consciousness garbage, much like you’ll find on any other blog. Perhaps we will both come away enlightened.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Just One of the Guys

This morning, while taking the older boys to school, I hit a squirrel. I saw him dart out in front of me, but there was nothing I could do to avoid him because there was traffic in the oncoming lane and traffic behind me. I simply braced for impact and then hit him squarely with my front tire. I felt his tiny little body crunch beneath my wheels. I was sickened and sad. Poor little creature. He was just trying to make his way in a world where man is greedily encroaching on his habitat, forcing him into an ever shrinking and precarious living environment.

I've never hit anything before, except an unfortunate turtle, whom I thought to be a rock until the last moment, at which point, there was nothing I could do except to say "Oh shit, a turtle". I think he might have survived, since I only clipped his shell, and when I looked in the rear view mirrow, he was careening accross the road, upside down, but seemingly intact.

I have no such illusion about the squirrel.

My oldest son is extremely sensitive. He hates to see anyone or anything in pain and he doesn't deal well with death. In addition, he has a deep and abiding fondess for animals of any kind. He is a born nurturer and they bring out his protective and tender nature.

My father -in-law was a butcher by trade for most of his life, but 5 or 6 years ago, he started his own game processing business in the garage. Yes, it's exactly what you think it is, and yes, it's an exceedingly grisly undertaking. He does all manner of wild game, and occasionally, some road kill, but most of what he processes is deer. Georgia has a ridiculously long deer season, so he turns a pretty decent profit.

My niece is used to it. Her father hunts, and he also assists my father-in-law with the business. He can skin a deer with a few deft strokes and hack it into manageable pieces with only a couple well placed thunks. He once wrestled a wild boar and killed it by stabbing it in the heart. I know what you're imagining, but he's actually a very mild mannered, intelligent, and clean cut fella. Anyway... she has seen animal carcasses come and go in various stages of butchery, and various degrees of gruesomeness for years now. She has grown very blase about it all.

My children, however, are shocked and horrified by the entire enterprise. The first time that Pre-Pubescent One encountered a dead deer, strapped to the hood of an ancient automobile; tongue lolling, eyes glazed, and dripping blood from a fresh and steaming gash through which it's guts had been excised...he burst into tears. He was inconsolable for the remainder of the day, and regarded both my father-in-law and my brother-in-law with naked hostility for the duration of our stay. Since then, he has taken great care to stay well away from the garage when we visit during deer season.

You can understand then why I was concerned about how he might react to the fact that I had just made rodent pizza out of a cute and innocent woodland creature; one which is iconically benign and beloved.

Before I could glance back to gauge his reaction, I heard a loud guffaw from his friend and then...

"DUDE! That was AWESOME! Did you see his head pop off?"

To which Pre-Pubescent one responded enthusiastically,

"Yeah, Dude, his blood must've squirted about three feet!"

Looking in the rearview mirror, I could have sworn I saw a greenish tinge on his face. But he had passed whatever test he thought he had to pass, and so, in addition to the slightly verdant hue, he wore a look of satisfaction.

When I relayed the incident to Husband later that day, he nodded pensively. He never hunted, he never wanted to. And he understood why a 12 year old boy would feign ghoulish delight over the violent and bloody demise of that poor little squirrel. He understood that the male legacy of civilized violence is inescapable. And he understood that sometimes a guy has to sacrifice himself to the ideals that hold him captive with hackneyed definitions of manhood.

Sometimes, I'm really glad I'm a girl.

12 Comments:

  • At 7:47 AM, Anonymous mamatulip said…

    Me too. I probably would have had to pull over and vomit.

     
  • At 8:26 AM, Blogger Oh, The Joys said…

    Me too! I feel so sick when this happens to me.

     
  • At 9:37 AM, Blogger bubandpie said…

    I was teaching Alice Munro's story "Boys and Girls" this week, and this is exactly what it is about: through most of the story, you think it's about the terrible demands of being a girl (liking boys, taking an interest in interior decoration, being dismissed by everyone).

    It seems to be a story about a tomboy who reluctantly succumbs to her femininity. But really, it's just as much about the tragedy of boyhood: the need for a sensitive young boy to develop the kind of thick skin that allows him to participate in the shooting of a horse whose meat is needed to feed the foxes on a fox farm. Before I became the mother of a boy, I might have missed that part of the story - and now it's the most poignant part, that necessary loss of innocence.

     
  • At 11:52 AM, Blogger Mrs. Chicky said…

    I will never forget the one time I saw the end of a deer gutting. My father never went out of his way to shield me from the real life messiness of the hunting he and his family (and my mother's family) did every year. But as a woman it is socially acceptable for me to find it distasteful and wrong where my male cousins are expected to participate in the hunts even if they don't care for the "sport".

    It's also okay for me to be a bleeding heart, tree hugging liberal without being a total family pariah. Sometimes it's good to be a woman.

     
  • At 2:42 PM, Anonymous Alice-Anne said…

    I am so sick of hunting talk. We have "Hunters Weekend" here in my small town TX. And while I see the necessity of it (I guess), since deer are more plentiful than rodents here (and about the size of a German Shepherd), I don't really like it.

    My own DS has never been hunting, but I saw that 3 kids his around his age (he's 9) have their picture in the paper this week for killing their first buck. One of them is a girl (almost every week, some sweet little girl is kneeling with antlers in her hands and a dead dear head covering up most of her body- it's gross - and not just because she is a girl).

    I'm not sure how my DS would handle it. Part of me thinks it would freak him out, but he surprises me with how macho he is sometimes and how typical man he can be.

    Most of the men I have known and loved have been hunters when they were kids, but grew out of it as adults. I think I can handle it as a right of manhood and growing, but when I see grown men hunting and killing things for 20 years it seems just weird to me.

    And by the way it sickens me everytime I hit something with my truck. A deer jumped out and killed herself on the side of my truck once, and I have hit armadillos, a very small deer, squirrels, etc. I have also swerved for many - and that is kind of stupid!

     
  • At 3:13 PM, Anonymous bucky said…

    your days are numbered lady...

     
  • At 3:50 PM, Blogger Natalie said…

    That turtle story was so very Grapes of Wrath, even in your potential roadkill you are literary. Personally hunting doens't bother me as long as people eat what they kill. Maybe that sounds strange for a lifelong vegetarian but everyone must eat. It's still gross.

     
  • At 4:32 PM, Anonymous mamatulip said…

    My husband just called me...to tell me he had just hit a squirrel.

    He goes, "Babe! I just crushed a squirrel! I've never hit an animal before...and I hit him, babe. I felt the bump and when I looked in my rearview mirror he was just lying on his back."

    The first thing I said? "OMG! I read a blog post about the same thing this morning!"

    I just felt the need to come and tell you this.

     
  • At 5:05 PM, Blogger Blog Antagonist said…

    LOL! I'm very glad you did. Misery loves company you know. Tell him it's okay to cry. ;?)

     
  • At 12:56 AM, Blogger Mamma said…

    I just hope our boys don't give over to any other "guy" notions to save face--like "no means yes."

    I feel so sorry for the guys...it would suck to not be able to say what you think and cry when you need to.

     
  • At 4:47 AM, Blogger sunshine scribe said…

    So glad I am a girl. And oh I would have done the same thing as MamaTulip. I am not looking forward to my son passing these rights of passage.

     
  • At 4:37 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    MURDERER

     

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