Funny Things You Hear Sometimes

My thanks to those of you who have emailed me to wonder if I’m doing okay.  Yes I am, but the drop in blog productivity is with good cause.  A couple of good causes actually.
First and foremost, it is July.  There’s not much to hunt in July (other than hunting for a cool place in the shade…not surprisingly, I am not a warm-weather creature).  Since it is the high summer, there just aren’t the stories that I had in the run-up to, and duration of, the spring turkey season.  Secondly, and the inspiration for this post, is that I’ve started a new job in the bustling metropolis of Toronto.  Some of the time I had previously spent writing is now spent driving home, but please do look forward to increased output from me as I slowly descend into the madness associated with chasing ducks and geese.
Now onto today’s ramblings.  As mentioned, I’m now in a new office…an experience not altogether different from one’s first few days of school.  There are new faces, names, and social cliques to navigate.  There are meetings and training sessions to attend.  And there is my personal ‘brand’ to establish.  Of course my brand is good-natured consultant who happens to love hunting and the outdoors.
This love of the outdoors did not take long to shine through (maybe the framed photo of my wife and I on her only hunting trip piqued the curiosity of my new coworkers, who knows?) and immediately I was attacked with questions from a number of people who, through no fault of their own, have never experienced the outdoors outside of a televised beer commercial.
Here’s a list (in no particular order) of the most ridiculous, charming, and downright wacky questions and statements I’ve heard since my arrival in the urban business world.  My responses (or what I had hoped they could have been) are italicized.
It’s illegal to shoot Canada Geese isn’t it?  I mean they’re on the $5 bill!
Nope, completely legal and downright delicious.  In fact bag limits are liberal so in a way it is encouraged.  Polar bears and loons though…strictly off-limits.  Thus your monetary-based system of valuing animal life is somewhat accurate.
That mean you own weapons right?
Yes, but only because I’ve grown too old to continue to chase down and tackle things.
Can you talk to animals?
Yes, but they rarely listen.
Can I go hunting with you?
You can come and watch if you want, but you’ll mostly just see me sitting still and being quiet.  You can do that in the office if you’re so inclined, and if you stay inside there is less likelihood of you being bitten by a tick…so that’s win.
What did that duck/goose/deer/turkey/rabbit ever do to you that you can just kill it?
Nothing.  That’s why I’m not trying to kill it out of spite.  It is just a challenging thing to do, which happens to have very tasty results if I’m successful…which is not very often.
When you eat an animal, do you gain its strength?
No, but if I don’t brush my teeth afterwards I do get breath that would terrify a grizzly bear.
Does this mean I shouldn’t make you mad?
I think that you are asking if you enrage me will I hunt you like a wild animal?.  Really, you shouldn’t make me mad but only because that would just be a mean thing for you to do to me; that I go hunting shouldn’t enter into it.  If you do make me mad, rest assured, I enjoy hunting and the outdoors far too much to jeopardize that privilege by doing something thoughtless and violent.  I likely will go hunting, but in a nice calm forest far away from such silly questions and where whatever you did to make me angry will be washed away by the relaxing sounds of the wilderness surrounding me.
It is too bad that stereotyping of this sort still goes on, but it does and I’m sure this is just the start of some of the hilariously absurd things that people are going to say to me.  I’ve already gotten some funny looks when I told my coworkers that I usually reserve a week or more of vacation for the dead of November.  Maybe they think I’m a skier.  This list will probably grow, and this is nice outlet for it, since I usually have to just politely answer in a neighbourly sort of way that won’t make my interrogator feel ridiculous.  After all, if they took the time to ask, the least I can do is give them an answer.
Well, actually, the least I could do would be to walk away silently shaking my head…but that would really make it hard for me to make friends in the office.

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