The Problem with the United States

October 18, 2009

This post was due to be written in the Denver Airport last Friday evening, initially as I was excited by their free Wifi, which turned out to be erratic and impossible to bring up pages with.  Sigh, the disappointment of free.  I had a bunch of time there due to a late plane in, then a mechanical problem on our plane.  I spent last week flying on planes that are due to be “retired” on Oct 22 and replaced by Airbuses.  Is it just me or does it strike fear into you when they announce that the plane you are currently sitting in is about to be retired because it is “old and difficult to maintain”.  Oh well, what can you do when you are strapped in 30,000 feet up other than hope if there is a problem the death is quick and relatively painless, so you might as well knit away.

I was happy to be leaving Sioux Falls South Dakota, or Big C*#K Country as an orange t-shirt proudly proclaimed.  Not that is anything particularly wrong with that part of the country, other than hunting season of pheasants (hence the t-shirt) began on Saturday and the airport staff were busy celebrating the hunters arriving in droves.  Everyone was wearing hunter orange hats, shirts, a lovely firearm officer was waiting to give everyone back their checked rifles lawfully.  I don’t have any huge beef against hunters, as long as they are controlling populations of animals that would otherwise have problems, and I don’t like it when people take pleasure from killing an animal.  I sincerely believe if you kill an animal for food you should instantly thank that animal for the sacrifice.  And you should feel bad, and you should use the whole animal, or as much of it as possible.  AND I don’t like hunter orange, it does nothing for anyones complextion. 

I spent the week working with one of my old co-workers from Utah, who has always been a good guy to work with.  He was one of the few people during my three years at the company in Utah who would talk to me, allow me to joke with him, and was always nice to work with.  He is very right wing, ultra conservative, and proclaims his belief in small government and low taxes.  So of course I have a great time teasing him, asking him if he’s really happy Obama got elected, if he is excited that more people should get medical coverage in the States etc. etc.  He’s a good sport, and generally gets that I’m just having some harmless fun to tease  him.  One day we walked over to the restaurant to get some lunch and I asked him “Do you know what is the problem with the United States”.  He immediately tensed up, wondering if I was going to make a crack about health care, gay rights, foreign policy, any number of things on which we disagree about.  I kept him in suspense, “This really bothers me, and its something really good about Canada”.  He was worried now.  I said “Its hard to find ginger ale here, in Canada you can get it in every restaurant, store, on the airplane, in the United States you have to hunt for it”.  He relaxed, and we went on to talk about the yumminess of ginger ale, its sweet by spicy taste, its caffeine free goodness.   Next time I’ll bug him about Smarties.


3 Responses to “The Problem with the United States”

  1. Cheryl S. said

    Ah, but the problem with Canada is that the Ginger Ale is dry. ;D

    I much prefer the original sweeter Ginger Ale – golden Ginger Ale – like Vernor’s.

  2. sayingthings said

    What is the best brand of ginger ale?

    I disagree and agree with you at the same time about hunting. For me, it is impossible to not enjoy hunting. I haven’t done a lot, but I find it a very enjoyable, sometimes thrilling past time. There is a solemnity in killing an animal, no doubt, but there is thrill at the same time and I don’t know how that can be different. If taking a life has any import (and I think it does), then it seems fair to expect it to engender a blend of emotions, which can include joy. I don’t think guilt is very healthy, but respect and gratitude always are.

    Anyway, like you, I am definitely not down with dropping animals just for the joy of doing so or just for trophies. You either gotta eat ’em or be controlling a very serious pest.

    And I agree with what I think I’m reading between the lines that the hooting meat-headedness of some hunters is revolting. I also think that the (overwhelmingly male) culture of hunters makes it more difficult to express traits other than meat-headedness, even if it is actually present in some individuals. I view that as an explanation rather than an excuse.

    Also? I moved to TX when I was three. My parents’ other job prospect at the time was in Sioux Falls. I still feel relief that no one wore such shirts as you saw. Icky. And meat-headed.

    There’s my essay-ish comment for you.

  3. Heather Joins The Round said

    Well, that shirt is gross.

    Have you tried Sprecher’s ginger ale? They have it at the Dan’s near my house. Amazing.

    Ian is just singing a little song about not liking meat. Ah, I see now, he is playing with the triceratops and brachiosaurus. He really doesn’t like meat unless it’s covered in breading.

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