Sunday, October 16, 2016

Lee Pitts: Annual hunting trip ends unexpectedly

In their 28 years of being married it was the only thing they ever fought about. I’m referring of course to THE TRIP. Once a year, Phil and three of his buddies would go on their annual hunting expedition. They had hunted for white wing dove in Texas, caribou in Canada and “dears” in Las Vegas. (No matter where they went the trip was always routed through Las Vegas). The key word here is “hunt,” notice that I did not say “find”.

Every year they went a different place and every year Phil’s wife got raving mad about it. She was always complaining to Phil about the work she had to do while he was away and about the cost of the annual trek. She wouldn’t really mind all the fuss, she said, if Phil would just come home with something to show for his efforts other than a $500 marker from the Tropicana Casino. After countless hunting trips that had not resulted in any food being placed on the table she was beginning to wonder.

Preparations for the annual trip usually began eleven months in advance and that’s about when the nagging would begin. As with any vacation, the time spent in planning the trip was more fun than the actual vacation; applying for tags and out of state licenses and the much needed planning sessions for the trip with his hunting pals down at the Pastime Bar. These planning sessions really got the wife’s goat. (Although Phil never did.)

Phil looked forward to The Trip because it was the one week of the year that he could escape from the pressures of calving, feeding, and his wife. Although Phil loved his wife dearly, he needed an escape, a chance to fraternize with other men and a chance to speak. The last time he got a word in edgewise with his wife was when he said, “I do.” Since then it had been nag, nag, nag. And always the subject was the same, The Trip, and the fact that Phil never brought home any game.

Bring Em Back Alive Phil was very excited about this year’s expedition, an elk hunt near Show Low, Arizona (via Las Vegas of course). Phil left home with the words of his wife still ringing in his ears, “You better bring back an elk.”


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