Rock, Paper, Ipad!

Tags

, , , , , ,

A few days ago, I ended up leaving work about ten minutes later than usual, and inevitably got stuck behind a school bus.  They really should have their own roads.  Doing 35mph in a 55mph zone, with 248 intermittent stops along the way is not my idea of fun after an eight hour workday.

So there I am, blaring my Led Zeppelin, trying to ignore the buses flashing red lights that are blatantly and obnoxiously mocking my futile attempts to get home, when a girl steps off of the bus.  Probably seven years old.  I don’t envy her at all.  Her parents’ driveway is probably a mile long, uphill (most likely in both directions), and gravel.  Her backpack is one of those nifty wheelie versions that glides effortlessly along the ground, allowing second graders everywhere to pretend they’re sexy flight attendants.  I understand the concept behind the wheelie backpack.  However, like so many things in life, IN THIS CASE, the reality fell far short of the expectations.  I believe this disappointment occurred for two reasons.

ONE.

The little inline-skate-style wheels at the base of the backpack were designed for sashaying along the tiled halls of academia, or striking a pose on the moving sidewalks at the airport.  They were not designed for traversing the rutted backwoods driveways of middle Tennessee.

AND TWO.

The seven year old girl seemed to be having difficulty dragging the deadweight of the backpack up the hill with the aforementioned gravel-locked wheels holding her back.  This situation was greatly exasperated by the apparent Volvo station wagon she was carrying in her backpack.

This is when it dawns on me…  No wonder America is beginning to lag behind other nations in just about every academic, scientific and technological sector.  And no, the MAIN problem isn’t wheelie backpacks, seven year old girls who think they’re sexy flight attendants, or gravel driveways, although I readily admit all three of those are HUGE problems that we as Americans eventually need to do completely away with.  These problems are minor compared to the one I’m about to discuss.

The main problem with America, and their education system in particular, is PAPER…
I’ll let that sink in…

While that is sinking in, think about the world we live in.  It’s 2014.  EVERYTHING is paperless.  Don’t believe me?  Our bills are paid online.  Our bank statements are online and at our fingertips, at a moments notice, twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week.  We have high schools that are REQUIRING laptops, for “research and taking notes”, but NOT REQUIRING number two pencils.  Still don’t believe me, go into work tomorrow and tell your boss to stick it!  Then put on your Sunday’s best and walk into a place where you think you would like to work (Anywhere from Wall Street to Main Street, from Dairy Queen to Burger King, it won’t matter) and ask for a paper job application…   At one point in my life I was unemployed for almost six months, give or take.  I was applying EVERYWHERE.  And I can count on one hand the number of places that even offered a paper job application as an option.  They don’t exist anymore.  The person you’re talking to will kindly explain that you have to apply online (if they’re nice).  If they’re not nice, they will laugh at you, and then kindly explain that you have to apply online.  Meanwhile, the seventeen year old running the register at Subway will stare blankly at you for a two and a half minutes, and then shake his head in disgust, as if you asked him to procure the Dead Sea Scrolls.  Remind me not to eat at that Subway anymore.  Idiots work there!

Before we go any further, I’m not entirely excited about the paperless world we’re careening towards at breakneck speed.  I like books.  I actually liked books before they had to be charged at night and had a screen with an eerie glow.  I still write checks each month to pay my bills.  Mainly because I like knowing exactly when the checks are being mailed, giving me the option to ‘postpone’ certain less important payments on months when the money is really tight.  Most of my ‘rants’, including the one you’re reading now, first took shape on some form of paper (post-it note, napkin, old receipt, coffee filter etc).  Then there is my absolute favorite ‘paper’!  Need a hint?  It’s got a green tint to it and old dead guys on the front.  And the bigger the number in the corners, the happier I am.  And yes I’m aware that money is technically closer to cloth than paper, but my point is a valid one.  Until they invent a debit card that smells like a pile of cold hard cash, I will always prefer actual MONEY to swiping a card.

My love for all things paper aside, it is high time that we as Americans, and especially as educators realize that paper is a dying breed.  Inkwell.  Quill.  Paper.  In that order.  That’s reality.  That’s the future we face.

And how are we’re preparing future generations for this reality?

By weighing them down with backpacks CHOCK FULL of PAPER.  We assign textbooks, workbooks, core books, worksheets, binders full of loose leaf notebook paper, and entire projects built out of construction paper…  I am not joking when I tell you my 5th grader’s backpack weighs at least 25 pounds each and every day!  And most of this weight is, you guessed it, PAPER!  We do all this in the name of preparing our dear children to survive in a PAPERLESS world!!

Houston we have a problem!

Upon arriving in Kindergarten children should be assigned a Speak and Spell and a Speak and Math.  Once they have mastery of the alphabet and basic numbers, they should be provided with Speak and Read. (And yes, I played with all 3 of these as a child!)

Speak and Spell

When they outgrow these they should be given a basic tablet.  Class assignments, homework assignments, project rubrics, class syllabi, educational games etc. could all be loaded onto the tablets.  Upon completion, these assignments could be instantly messaged to the teacher’s tablet, and once the assignments were graded, they could be deleted, thus making room for next week’s assignments.

And the few remaining rainforests rejoice!

My name is Jonathan Turrell, and that is my two cents!

Sex Appeal… Or Not…

Tags

, , ,

This shall serve as an addendum to my earlier post Ask Men?

I got to thinking about just how bad that list was and what the criteria could have possibly been…

According to http://www.prweb.com, “The 13th edition of the Top 99 poll called on readers to elect women who most closely match their ideals, voting on more than just sex appeal and taking into account other criteria such as character, talent and potential for 2014.”

OK.  I’ll bite…  In under 100 words I would like you to describe Miley Cyrus’ character, talent and potential for 2014…  I’m out.

But she came in 99th, you say.  That’s scraping the bottom of the barrel, you say.  Okay, let’s move up the list…  Remember to keep your eye on the criteria…

IDEALS
CHARACTER
TALENT
POTENTIAL FOR 2014

#25 – Adele Exarchopoulos who has more French titles then American titles to her credit!
#24 – Elizabeth Olsen who’s best known for being Mary-Kate and Ashley’s younger sister.
#13 – Cara Delevingne who has a track on Grand Theft Auto V’s Radio DJ Non Stop Pop FM, and that’s it!
#9 – Margot Robbie who is best known for playing Jane in the new Tarzan.  (Unreleased at the time of writing)
#3 – Emily Ratajkowski who’s biggest achievement is the notorious “Blurred Lines” music video and stripping completely naked for Sports Illustrated.

Don’t forget…
IDEALS
CHARACTER
TALENT
POTENTIAL FOR 2014

You want to argue about talent and potential for 2014 on a couple of these names, I’ll listen to your line of reasoning.  Maybe you know something I don’t know.  Just know that if talent was a factor, Miley Cyrus wouldn’t make the list.  If her potential for 2014 and ideals earn her a spot on the list, the future is a very dark place for young women worldwide.  Shall we take a look at her character?  This chick collects bad press the way the underside of a high school desk collects wads of gently used Watermelon Bubblicious.  Miley Cyrus couldn’t buy her way onto this list using the criteria Ask Men laid out for their voters.

QUICK DISCLAIMER : Character is important.  It’s what’s on the inside that counts.  I know this.  A woman’s worth, or lack thereof, should NEVER be based solely on her apparent sex appeal, or lack thereof.

However, when you ask over a million people to vote online for a list of the 99 most attractive women on the face of the planet, do you think anybody cares whether she can sing or not?  Do you think the average guy voting on an online poll like this cares if she’s an Oscar winning actress?  THEY’RE GUYS!!!  They’re going to scan through a bunch of snapshots (more like mugshots in some cases) and vote on the PRETTIEST girl they see.  EVERY TIME.

Hate me if you want.  But that’s life.

PS.  Disregarding ideals, talent, character and potential for 2014, the only thing left is sex appeal.  Which makes this wretched list that much more disappointing!

My name is Jonathan Turrell, and that’s just my two cents.

The Customer Is Always Right…

Tags

, , , , , ,

I owe you an apology.  Yes you.

To the guy in the ugly yellow windbreaker at the back of aisle 13.
The one who just stood on his tiptoes, glanced in my direction, saying NOTHING, and then proceeded to snap his fingers at me, and pointed in some vague direction like I was supposed to FOLLOW HIM TO another aisle.  Or maybe I was supposed MEET HIM ON the other aisle?  Who knows!

Unfortunately “Snappy”, I never made it to our previously arranged rendezvous on the other aisle.

I got stopped by another customer.  A customer who uses words.  Syllables and sentences.  Prepositional phrases.  Fully and correctly conjugated verbs.  A customer who had manners enough to say things like, “Hello.”, “Do you know where the drill bits are?”, etc.

To “Snappy” in the yellow windbreaker.  I apologize.  I sincerely hope that you found the item we you were looking for.  However, we seem to have gotten off on the wrong foot.  Perhaps it was a communication issue.  Before we go any further, I would like to clear the air.  Just so there’s no misunderstandings.

I’m not your hooker.
I’m not your disobedient brat of a kid.
And I’m not the puppy that just took a dump on your favorite Cashmere sweater.

In fact, I’m normally a pretty nice guy.  As such I feel inclined, out of the kindness of my heart, to supply you with a word of caution.

The next time you snap your fingers at me, there’s about an 86.4% chance that all ten of your pasty white, manicured fingers get FedExed to ten different zip codes.  I’m talking cleanup on aisle 15 please!

Seriously how is it possible for a person to be that completely insulting and condescending without saying a single word?  Seriously!

President Obama, why don’t you leave minimum wage exactly where it’s at.

Instead I think you should pass legislation that states if a person ever udders the phrase “the customer is always right”, they’re automatically sentenced to one year working in a retail environment.  WITH CUSTOMERS!!!  Deal with them for eight hours straight and then come at me with that “the customer is always right” BUSHWAH.  The customer is NOT always right.  About 42% of the time, the customer is a MORON!

My name is Jonathan Turrell, and that’s my two cents.

Ask Men?

Tags

, ,

Ask Men released their list of the Top 99 Most Desirable Women of 2014 a couple weeks ago.   Emilia Clarke (from Game of Thrones) landed the top spot, while Miley Cyrus rounded out the list as the 99th MOST DESIRABLE woman on the planet.  According to http://www.nydailynews.com, “Cyrus’ spot on the list comes as a bit of a shock, as the “Adore You” singer was named No. 1 on Maxim’s Hot 100 list this past summer.”  Really Maxim?  Really New York Daily News?  You actually believe that Miley Cyrus is the most attractive woman on Earth?  I applaud your loose definitions of words like ‘attractive’ and ‘woman’.  The only thing that truly surprises me about the Ask Men Top 99, is how AWFUL the list is.

Now before I dig too deep a grave for myself, I am NOT saying EVERYONE on the list bounced out of the ugly tree, hitting every branch on the way to the ground.  Most of the women on the list are actually not that bad looking.  My problem is the ever-widening chasm between ‘not that bad looking’ and the most attractive 99 female specimens on the face of God’s green Earth.

I won’t bore you by going through all 99 ladies on the list and giving you my two cents on each one.  Nobody has time for that.  What I will do, is post a link to the complete list, and then drop a handful of names and some ranks so you can see if you agree.

Complete List (Names)
Complete List (With Photos)

#99 – Miley Cyrus
#87 – Kim Kardashian
#47 – Anna Gunn
#23 – Amy Poehler
#18 – Rita Ora
#1 – Emilia Clarke

I have to say, compared to about 70% of the list Emilia Clarke is SMOKIN HOT!

But how is it that beauties like Ellen Page, Bria & Shayne Murphy, Claire Forlani, Elisha Cuthbert, Charlize Theron, Rachel McAdams, Catherine Zeta JonesGabrielle Union and Erica Durance didn’t even make the list…?

So Ask Men, you polled over one million voters and that’s the best list you can come up with?  BUSHWAH!

My blog has under 100 ‘likes’ on Facebook at the moment and I promise my ‘fans’ could come up with a MUCH better list than that!

My name is Jonathan Turrell, and that’s my two cents…

 

Snake Handler : Handled

Tags

, , , , , ,

On February 15, 2014 Middlesboro, Kentucky resident, James ‘Jamie’ Coots died from a rattlesnake bite.

This is tragic.
I do mourn for his family’s loss.
And, therefore I don’t want any hate mail on that front!

That being said, I can’t help but think Coots got what he deserved.  The third generation Pentecostal snake handler suffered snakebites on eight separate occasions prior to the fatal bite.  The ninth bite was the one that finished him off.  NINE TIMES?  That’s one year short of a decade.  That used to be the number of planets in our solar system before some loon decided Pluto didn’t count.  That’s the number of innings in a four and a half hour baseball game.  That’s the number of lives a cat is supposed to have.  According to Greek mythology that’s the number of days it takes for an anvil to fall from heaven to earth, and nine more to fall from earth to Tartarus – a place of torment in the underworld.  That’s a lot of times to get bitten by a venomous reptile, and decline medical attention, all in the name of God.

Even the snake charmers in India are questioning Coots’ sanity at this point.  After all, while the cobras the snake charmers deal with are MORE venomous then rattlesnakes, they generally aren’t being HANDLED.  In addition, cobras have a limited strike range.  While “dancing” they can only “strike” straight down, as high as their head is off the ground.  Cobras lack the ability to lunge at their prey, a fact that I’m reasonably confident snake charmers exploit when choosing how far away from the snake to sit while they play their flutes.  Given the fact that a rattlesnake’s “strike range” is close to half it’s body length, this dude Coots is in an entire different league of lunacy.

Without further ado, I have a disclaimer for you.  Far be it from me to judge anyone’s religious beliefs…

BUT…

Since the dawn of man (LITERALLY) snakes have been bad news.  It began with the serpent in the Garden of Eden.  Then there were the snakes that plagued the Israelites in the wilderness after they complained about the manna from heaven.   In Greek mythology Medusa was described as someone with a “monstrous woman’s face and living serpents in place of hair”.  Snakes have always been bad news.  With proper care and respect for their space, they make great pets.  However, I have to take issue with a “church” (used in the loosest sense of the word) that requires the handling of serpents as part of your worship to God.

Certain scriptures just weren’t meant to be taken literally.  If God wanted you to handle poisonous animals, Steve Irwin (AKA The Crocodile Hunter) would still be among the living.  That being said, I feel more sympathy for Steve Irwin.  He did what he did, and he did it to HIMSELF!

Coots not only handled poisonous snakes, but he dragged other people into his backwoods homebrewed gospel, resulting in the death of 28-year-old Melinda Brown, of Parrottsville, Tennessee in 1995.  She died after being bitten by a 4-foot-long timber rattlesnake at Coots’ church.  The victim’s family disputed accounts that Brown had been holding the snake that bit her, and disagreed with witnesses who said she refused medical treatment as she suffered the effects of the venom for two days at Coots’ home.

Bottom line being, Coots is a kook.  This is someone who has spent too many years alone in the mountains.  I don’t wish to stereotype but I have a theory that there is a direct correlation between how many poisonous snakes you’ve handled in the name of God, and how many bluegrass concerts you’ve been too.   No offense to bluegrass fans, but places like New York City, Chicago, and LA don’t have these problems.  They may have LOTS of other issues but snake handling preachers ain’t one of them!

My name is Jonathan Turrell, and that’s my two cents!

From Broom Closet To Principal’s Office : Movin’ On Up!

Tags

, , , , ,

Joseph ‘Gabe’ Sonnier was recently promoted to the position of principal of Port Barre elementary school in Port Barre Louisiana.

However Mr. Sonnier’s journey started many years ago.  In fact, in 1979 when he dropped out of Southern University in order to help his mom provide for his four siblings, going back to school to finish a degree of any sorts probably seemed out of reach.

This didn’t deter Joseph one bit.  By 1985, Port Barre elementary school’s then-principal, Westley Jones recognized Sonnier’s drive and work ethic, combined with his positive outlook, and gave him this advice, “I’d rather see you grading papers than picking them up.”

That one vote of confidence was all it took.  Well that, and a whole bunch of hard work on Sonnier’s part.  At the age of 39, Sonnier returned to college.  He cared for his custodial responsibilities in the early morning and afternoon and devoted the middle part of his day to furthering his education.  A few years later he was awarded his teaching degree and his first teaching job, at Port Barre elementary school.

Not satisfied, Sonnier continued his pursuit of education, and recently earned his Master’s of Science and Education, and was then promoted to elementary school principal.

His new office is significantly larger and much nicer than his first office, which was nothing more than a cluttered broom closet.  However Joseph ‘Gabe’ Sonnier still has the most contagious smile in the building, and is as down to earth as ever.  He loves his job, and it shows.

Mr. Sonnier’s drive and work ethic amaze, without question.  But his upbeat attitude probably had just as much to do with his level of success.  During his 27 years of being a Port Barre janitor, it’s hard to believe his demeanor was any different.  It’s hard to imagine this man EVER complaining about ANYTHING he was asked to do.

Westley Jones, the principal who encouraged Mr. Sonnier, also deserves a lot of credit.  This was clearly a principal who cared about more than just school-wide test scores or county-wide budget cuts.    He not only knew his staff, all the way down to the janitors, well enough to recognize Sonnier’s potential and desire, but then he had enough compassion to encourage him to pursue his dreams, even at the risk of possibly losing what no doubt was a valuable employee.

The world needs more people like Joseph ‘Gabe’ Sonnier.
The world needs more people like Westley Jones.

Too many children go through high school thinking there is nothing beyond a Wal Mart cash register.  The McDonald’s deep fryer.  The Home Depot apron.  Or in this case, the janitor’s broom closet.  Too many adults go through life thinking that just because they weren’t able to finish their degree in the “normal” time period after high school, that’s the end of the road.  Joseph ‘Gabe Sonnier and Westley Jones prove that with the right attitude and enough hard work, you really can go from the broom closet to the principal’s office.  Movin on up!

If you liked this inspirational news story, check out What’s Your Excuse?

Not In Copenhagen

Tags

, , , ,

Why was Marius, a perfectly healthy giraffe at the Copenhagen Zoo euthanized, butchered, and fed to the lions in front of a crowd of children?

According to zoo officials, this was to prevent inbreeding, and the ensuing possible genetic defects.  According to zoo officials, this was a last resort.
According to zoo officials, there was no other way.

No doubt, zoos around the world euthanize animals that truly require it on a daily basis.  It raises no red flags with the public.  These other euthanized animals don’t make headlines in every international news organization around the world.

Marius was different.  Thousands of people signed an online petition to save the animals’ life.  Unfortunately for Marius, it wasn’t enough.

A representative from the European Association of Zoos and Aquaria (EAZA) explained that, as an individual, Marius wasn’t inbred.  Nor was the giraffe suffering from any identifiable health problem. However, the spokesman stated that Marius’ parents had produced other offspring, so there were already giraffes with similar genes in the organization’s breeding program.

Marius was simply a victim of circumstance.  In essence, Marius was a victim of the organization’s success in breeding giraffes. 

That being the case, only five giraffes have been euthanized for conservation reasons, according to the European stud records, which date back to 1828.

Remember, according to zoo officials, they explored all viable options.

According to zoo officials “sending the giraffe to a zoo that doesn’t participate in the EAZA-led breeding program… could leave the giraffe or it’s offspring being sold into worse circumstances, such as those of a circus or private collection.”

Really Copenhagen?  A fate worse than being euthanized, slaughtered and fed to the lions?

Contraception and castration were also possibilities, but both would require sedation.  According to a zoo official, this option was too risky.  “This is a relatively high-risk procedure in the case of giraffes, as they are liable to break their necks when they fall while sedated.”

Again Copenhagen, how could sedation be any riskier than being euthanized, slaughtered and fed to the lions?

Face it.  There were other options.

However, the atrocity didn’t end there.  Marius; was then skinned and slaughtered in front of a crowd of children.  Peter Sandoe, professor of bioethics at the University of Copenhagen, who is well acquainted with the zoo, said he sympathized with the decision to put down the giraffe.  “When small children can go and see this giraffe and see it being turned into lion food, it’s a very good picture of what nature is like,” he said.  “On the savannah,” Professor Sandoe explained, “many will die young, killed by lions, killed by diseases, killed by accidents, by lack of food”.

Apparently, Mr. Sandoe missed the point.  These animals, be it the parents, or grandparents of Marius were removed from the savannah and put in cages, all in the name of conservation and protecting them from dangers that giraffes might face in the wild, like accidents and lack of food.  Typically, one would expect that an animal under the care and protection of trained zoological professionals would live LONGER than an animal in the wild.

Apparently, not in Copenhagen. 

Drugs Are Bad…

Tags

, , , ,

Seriously.  Drugs are bad…  I promise!  And I’m not talking about Colorado and Washington legalizing the recreational use of marijuana.  Pot might make you dumb and hungry, but as long as you don’t operate heavy machinery while on it, pot rarely kills you.  I’m talking about the pills that doctors prescribe.  The ones that were designed to cure a very specific illness.

Photo courtesy of Youtube. Lyrics courtesy of Lazyboy TV.

Very specific illnesses may include the following… ‘sore quads after track meet’, or ‘post chili-eating-contest indigestion’, or the ever-growing pandemic of ‘lasagna over-indulging obesititus’

Heard an ad for a new drug on the radio a while back.  I had to laugh.

Nuvigil is a drug prescribed to combat drowsiness in shift workers.  These are people who work the most absurd schedule on planet earth.  Many of them work strenuous, factory jobs.  I’ve done shift work.  It makes you tired!  It’s NATURAL!

But the FDA has you the tired, factory worker convinced that you need a pill to cure your drowsiness…  Good luck with that!

By the way the following, is a list of ADVERTISED POSSIBLE SIDE EFFECTS : Diarrhea; dizziness; dry mouth; headache; nausea; stomach pain or upset stomach; tiredness; trouble sleeping.

Wait a minute.

A) I bet it is tough to be drowsy while losing your intestinal contents from both ends!
B) A non-drowsiness drug that causes TROUBLE SLEEPING?  Say it ain’t so!
C) A non-drowsiness drug that causes TIREDNESS…  Seems slightly counter-productive.

But wait, there’s MORE!!!

Seek medical attention right away if any of these SEVERE side effects occur when using Nuvigil: Severe allergic reactions (rash; hives; itching; difficulty swallowing or breathing; tightness in the chest; swelling of the mouth, face, lips, throat, or tongue; unusual hoarseness); blisters on the inside of the eyes, nose, or mouth; chest pain; dark urine; fast or irregular heartbeat; fever, chills, or sore throat; increased urination; mental or mood changes (eg, aggression, agitation, anxiety, depression, exaggerated sense of well-being, hallucinations, irritability, nervousness); red, swollen, blistered, or peeling skin; shortness of breath; suicidal thoughts or actions; swelling of the legs; unusual bruising or bleeding; vomiting; weakness; yellowing of the skin or eyes.

And if that wasn’t enough… They hit you with this parting shot…

This is not a complete list of all side effects that may occur…
Way to cover all your bases Nuvigil…

Exactly 4 seconds into the radio commercial for Nuvigil I decided napping was easier.  Cheaper.  And probably safer.

All kidding aside…  I’ve fallen asleep at the wheel of a Chevy Cobalt on a windy country road and somersaulted my vehicle over a creek, and walked away healthier then a single dose of Nuvigil would leave me.

That being the case, I still can’t, in clean christian conscience, recommend napping and driving simultaneously.  All I’m saying is, IF it is AT ALL POSSIBLE (and I understand in certain cases medication is necessary for a person to function) go natural.  Eat healthy.  Exercise regularly.  Get plenty of rest (the old fashioned way) and by all means, keep the pill-popping to minimum.

You’ll live longer.  You’ll be happier.  And probably healthier…

Thank me later!

My name is Jonathan Turrell, and that is my two cents!

Oh Deer!

Tags

, ,

I readily admit it.  I don’t get it.

I moved to Tennessee from Maryland in June, 2006, and I still don’t understand the thrill of deer hunting.

Before I get buried under an avalanche of hate mail from the avid outdoor enthusiast crowd, I am in no way shape or form one of those sappy animal rights, “Don’t kill Bambi !!!”, type people.  I’m not a vegan.  I’m not even a vegetarian.  Meat is my third favorite food group.  It’s right behind  Coca Cola Classic and Pizza.  Ironically enough my pizza is normally piled sky high with some form of meat as well.  As the bumper sticker says, “I didn’t climb to the top of the food chain to become a vegetarian.”

"I didn't climb to the top of the food chain to become a vegetarian"

“I didn’t climb to the top of the food chain to become a vegetarian”

Not that there’s anything wrong with being a vegetarian, I’m just making the point that I really do like meat!  That’s NOT what I have against deer hunting.  To all my friends who enjoy deer hunting, GO FOR IT!  Knock your socks off.  All I ask is that you bring me back some cubed venison for stew, or some ground venison for chili.  If you could bring me back some venison steaks to fry up with my eggs this weekend you’ll have made a friend for life!  As they say in the sticks, “That there is good eatin!”  That aspect of hunting I totally get.

I also understand enjoying time in the great outdoors and communing with nature.  I love the woods.  I grew up hiking and camping.  In fact there are certain skills that a hunter possesses that I would love to have.  I think knowing how to  skin, field dress and butcher a deer (or any other animal for that matter) so as to get the best cuts of meat and save any other useful parts of the animal would be a very handy skill to have.  I think if an end of the world, every man for himself type apocalypse ever comes, knowing how to track or at least what a good tracker looks for could be useful.  Whether you’re being hunted, or the one doing the hunting, having those skills could make all the difference in the world.  I get that!

What I don’t get is waking up at 3:30AM in hopes of spending the next 16 hours, sitting stone-statue-still, in a tree stand, clad in head-to-toe camouflage, shivering, teeth chattering, soaked up to the armpits in doe urine just to attract that one trophy buck…

And what I really, really don’t get is going through all of this, and STILL COMING HOME EMPTY HANDED!

Some mighty hunter you are!  Tell the truth, your ancient ancestors were of the “gathering” persuasion during the “hunting and gathering” phase of human existence!

I hear what you’re saying.

“Boy, you just don’t git the thrill of the hunt, that’s what!”

That might be true Bubba, but let me explain something to you.  You’re not exactly hunting the most elusive creature in the forest.  I’m pretty sure when God was handing out brains to all the different mammals, deer were the last ones in line. Deer got what was left in the bottom of the brain barrel, before God moved on to lower life forms.  Like slugs.  And jellyfish.

As kids, my brother and I used to chase deer through the woods.  Literally CHASE them.  Jumping logs and barbed wire fences, splashing through creeks and dodging thorns.  All without jostling our 20oz Cokes or spilling our Cheetos.  We did this on foot.  Without an ATV or a GPS navigation system.   Sadly, the deer, being exceptionally fast, would always outrun us.  Then, after getting a couple hundred yards away from us, they would stop.  And wait for us to catch up before running again.  Oddly enough, no doe urine was ever used on these “hunts”.   We wore Vans Skate shoes and Nirvana tee shirts.  Our socks weren’t even camouflage!  (Seriously Wal Mart, what kind of high-water pants are you selling to hunters in order to convince them that they need camouflage socks?)

For a more recent example than my childhood memories, I present Deer Stupidity Evidence, Exhibit 39.B.  This morning, on my way to work, I drove roughly 40 miles.  I saw a total of 19 deer in 4 different locations and not a single one of them was more than 20 feet from the interstate.  Two were crossing the interstate at a leisurely pace, and one appeared to be ‘grazing’ in the slow lane.  I wasn’t sitting in a tree stand, shivering, soaked in doe urine.  I was doing 75mph in a heated Ford Focus and smelled faintly of Axe body wash.

We’re talking about animals that not only routinely get hit by moving vehicles, but often times hit moving vehicles.  These are creatures that for no apparent reason will suddenly bolt from the comfort and safety of their forest abode only to face-plant into the passenger side window of a Chevy Cobalt at full speed.  Try explaining that one to an insurance agent.

“So you hit a deer Mr.  Turrell?”
“No sir.   This time the deer hit me.  I think he got angry that I took out his girlfriend last month.”
“You’re serious aren’t you?”
“Aren’t I always serious?”

My advice to anyone even considering getting into deer hunting is this…

Take the money you will end up spending on tree stands, rifle scopes, camouflage boxers, doe urine by the gallon, not to mention having the majority of your frostbit extremities amputated, and just buy a used car.  Weld a steel cattle catcher to the front bumper and you’re set.  I recommend something low to the ground with good fuel economy.  Do this and only this.  With enough patience and a little practice, I’m confident you’ll bag that elusive trophy buck.  My way has to be much easier and far more comfortable than your way!

My name is Jonathan Turrell.  And that’s my two cents.