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For the past 10 days or so, I’ve had the flu. Or, more accurately, the flu has had me. There were chills, fever, headaches and body aches, but the worst part by far was being stuck inside, lying on the couch and watching hunting season slowly slip past.
Make no mistake, I did fight it.
In fact, on Day Three, I decided I was going to “power through” and will myself to be better. So I got up at four in the morning, dosed myself up with Dayquil and went duck hunting.
The hunt was good, but the aftermath was horrible.
Four hours later, I was “powered down” on the couch, shivering and promising God and Mary that I wouldn’t be stupid again.
So, for the next several days, I got to enjoy being cramped inside our post-kids-downsized house. Here’s what I learned during that time:
As bad as nighttime television is, daytime is worse. The outdoors channels are about the only things I can watch that don’t make me want to shoot the set. But even that gets old after a while. Especially the hunting shows where they pass up a monster buck because “he doesn’t have the mass we like to see.” A statement like that is a sign you need to stop hunting and start ranching.
Fishing shows are just as bad. I watched one guy reel in a nice snapper. The guide took the fish off, showed it to the camera and tossed it back in the water. My only thought was that Gene McClellan would have tossed the guide in right behind him. (Daddy wasn’t a big believer in catch-and-release.)
R. Lee Ermey has way too much face time on the Military Channel. I love him in the movies, but if I hear him tell me how a tank works one more time, I may go Private Pyle on him. The same goes for Hunter Ellis and the special tape they put on stealth aircraft.
I hate my cats. I’m barely cat-tolerant to begin with, but after a week of letting them in and out and having them use me as a scratching post, I started to wonder why we ever domesticated them in the first place. Oh, wait. We didn’t. Cats domesticated themselves. Freeloaders.
The movie Captain Phillips could have been much shorter if the crew of the Maersk Alabama had a good shotgun. Seriously, I don’t care how many guys with guns are in the skiff, if the only way aboard is one at a time on a ladder, a 12 gauge could end their pirating gig in a matter of seconds.
I’m not nearly as patient as Mary. I can’t say enough about how well my wife treated me while I was sick. She got me medicine and water, cooked me chicken soup, brought me blankets and a heating pad, and generally tried to make me as comfortable as possible. I would have done the same for her, just with a lot more complaining and of course I would have taken much more credit.
The most important thing I learned is that, if you write a column about the outdoors, the last place you want to be stuck is inside a house. Otherwise, you run out of fun things to do and end up writing a column about television shows, cats, movies and the inevitable insanity that comes from being cooped up for extended periods of time.