It struck me the other morning watching a baseball team celebrating a key victory in advance of the playoffs. The entire team was celebrating for minutes-on-end by jumping up and down, carrying the hero of the game around like a piņata and behaving like a bunch of young boys.
September is also a time when men begin to hunt migratory birds such as dove and ducks. Perhaps the season should be called boyishness season with no bag limit on laughter, foolishness and other excesses.
In these pursuits they demonstrate an energy otherwise generally unseen in their everyday lives. If we could direct the same energy toward solving some other problems the country would be out of debt, require less government and maybe realize the elusive goal of world peace. Right, then somebody would shoot a unicorn on their deer lease and we would have to have more game wardens and protesters would chain themselves to high fenced ranches holding signs that say things such as “Save a Unicorn, Restore World Peace.”
For some people it is religion whether baseball or hunting. I can vividly remember two practitioners of the hunting cult who were such devotees even the mere preparation for the event was filled with ritual.
My dad was quite meticulous about his preparation for a hunting trip. He was a perfectionist piddler who was never once tortured by a sense of time urgency once he left the office.
My lifelong friend Trey Snider recognized something dad did to prepare for those trips that even though he might not be going on the trip he would call me and say, “Hey, when your dad starts packing for his hunting trip call me so I can come watch.”
Trey was a member of the Catholic faith. After attending services with him and seeing the traditions of his other worship habits it began to make sense why he enjoyed watching dad. Their ceremonious hunting preparation was a comfort to them.
They ultimately became great hunting buddies over the years and I would occasionally join them and watch torturously while they made endless lists of projects and discussed limbs and twigs needing attention at certain deer blinds and other such projects they conceived in the midst of the obsession.
Lately I’ve been thinking a good dove hunt with my boys would be a high priority to put on my list. I will probably even watch a little baseball.
If these activities get me in touch with my inner boy then the season may be called a success.