Of Fox Hunting and Politicians

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