Of Fox Hunting and Politicians

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I used to hunt
foxes. (Not the four-legged kind, the two-legged kind.) That was
what all of us young hip dudes called good-looking girls back in
the 70's. I'm not sure what they call them today — is "babes"
still cool? Since I've not been fox-hunting since 1979, I'm a little
indifferent to what's "cool." If you think President Bush
is out of touch with pop-culture, you wouldn't believe my detachment.
As a matter of fact, not only do I not listen to Britney Spears;
I don't even know what he looks like.

I'm so out
of touch, I can't even stand to go to the local mall anymore. The
sight of 50 year old pubescent, pierced, pony-tailed, pot-bellied,
playboy wanna be's, strolling the mall thinking they're cool, is
just more than I can handle. Besides, I have three teen-age daughters
in my household – do I really want to risk my solvency by taking
these females to the mall?

No, my pop-culture,
fox hunting days are over with. Becoming a Christian and getting
married in 1980 ended my days of pursuit. Which brings me to my
real point. Scotland is also trying to end fox hunting. (Not the
two-legged kind, the four-legged kind.) Although if these sissies
get their way, that's probably next. Yes, it's true, the land of
William Wallace and Robert the Bruce, has been taken over by a bunch
of panty-waist politicians — sound familiar? After a heated six-hour
debate, the bill passed the Scottish Parliament by an 83 to 36 margin.
And these folks are quite serious. Participating in a fox hunt could
land you in jail for up to six months. The vote did not come without
protest however. Quoting the BBC article on the vote,

"Countryside
campaigners have warned that the passing of the hunting ban by the
Scottish Parliament could lead to chaos on the England-Scotland
border."

Ah yes, the
vision of kilt-clad, broad sword wielding, blue-faced Scots routing
a bunch of sissy pols causes my Scotch-Irish spirit to soar. Where's
Mel Gibson when you need him?

Actually, I
only recently became familiar with fox hunting. (The four-legged
kind, not the two-legged kind.) Not long ago, I had a discussion
with a real fox hunting club huntmaster here in Western Virginia.
This particular hunt club holds an annual fox hunt every year and
I was gathering a little information from this gentleman to satisfy
my own curiosity. Being a 7th generation Virginian, I
thought it was high time I found out why every professional office
in Virginia (Including mine.) has a painting of effeminate looking
types in red coats on horseback, toting bugles following a pack
of dogs, hanging on its office wall.

Unfortunately,
our conversation raised more questions than it answered. For example,
the hunters don't carry guns. Yes, it's true, hunters without guns.
Even in our feminized, politically correct society, that struck
me as a little odd.

"Why don't
you carry guns, this is a hunt isn't it?"

"Guns?
Oh my, no! Someone could get hurt!"

(I thought
that was the point, hurt the fox.) So I asked the "huntmaster,"

"Soooo…what
do you do, choke it to death when you catch it?

"Oh no,
we don't want to catch it!"

"You don't?"

"No."

"And why
not?" I asked incredulously.

"Because,
then we wouldn't have anything to do the next day."

"Oh, I
see."

The huntmaster
continued, "Besides, the dogs really aren't chasing a fox anyway."

(Since fox
hunting — the four-legged kind — originated in England, I was beginning
to understand why we kicked their butts in our struggle for independence.)

"No fox?"

"No fox.
You see, by the time we start the hunt, the fox is long gone. The
dogs are actually just chasing the scent." (That statement
reminded me of my fox hunting days.)

"Wait
a minute, let me make sure I understand. You folks purchase $500
dogs, dress in $700 sissy outfits, mount expensive horses, run across
wood and dale at break neck speed chasing a fox that really isn't
there, that you really don't want to catch anyway, and if by some
quirk of bad luck you were so unfortunate to catch one anyhow,
you wouldn't know what to do with it because none of your hunters
carry guns. Is that an accurate description of a fox-hunt?"

"That
pretty much sums it up. Would you like to join us some time"

"Thanks,
but I think I'll pass."

Maybe banning
fox hunting isn't such a bad idea after all. (The four-legged kind.)
Now, if we could just ban jackass politicians. (The two-legged kind.)

February
18, 2002

R.G.
Williams, Jr. [send him mail],
is proprietor of Virginia
Gentleman Books
.

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