Insert. Twist. Pull

Once, on an episode of the old Lum & Abner radio show, Mousy Gray decided to start a line of greeting cards not offered by the major manufacturers, and he talked Abner into going into business with him. One of their main cards was for people who had received a gift they couldn’t identify. The idea was to find out what the gift was. The card said, ‘Thanks for your gift but it never arove. Must have got lost or throwed in a stove. But tell me what it was you give me, and I’ll get me another one in a jivney.’ As I recall, Lum pretty well shot down the greeting card business. He didn’t like the poetic license Mousy took with words like “arrived” and “jiffy,” and he didn’t like Mousy’s presentation much. But mostly, Lum didn’t think there was a market for the cards. He was wrong. Outdoorshumans could use those cards on a regular basis. For example, I just got an email from Gretchen Holzhauer, my librarian friend in New York who sends me interesting stories about people who do strange things, such as push outhouses across frozen lakes. Without people like Gretchen, a lot of the weirdness of the world would escape me, which would be a shame. I would probably have to actually do research to come up with column ideas. Anyway, Gretchen is the librarian at the Franklin Correctional Facility in Malone, N.Y. I imagine this is, for a librarian, a great job. If the library visitors don’t quiet down when Gretchen shushes them, she can probably have them thrown into solitary confinement, or put on the rack or something. And, if they don’t return books on time’well, I’ll just bet they return books on time. One of the officers at the Franklin Correctional Facility was selling raffle tickets recently. The proceeds were to benefit the Parishville Volunteer Dive Team, which is part of the Parishville Volunteer Fire Department. So Gretchen bought three tickets for $10 and put her brother’s name on the tickets, since all the prizes were hunting equipment and her brother is a hunter. Sure enough, Gretchen’s brother won two items, a ladder stand and a tree cam. She learned about the prizes and had no idea what a tree cam was, so she emailed me to ask. For some reason people expect me to know stuff like that. It’s possible her tree cam is a camera designed to be set up at a deer feeder. Those usually have motion sensors on them, so they take pictures of anything that moves at the feeder, as long as the film lasts. That way you get to look at the coons, squirrels, rabbits, pigs and everything else that comes around, and you’re out of film by the time any deer show up. Either that or you get pictures of yourself filling the feeder, because you forgot to turn off your camera first. But then, it’s possible the tree cam is a camera designed to be attached to a tree while you’re hunting, so you can film yourself or take pictures when deer show up. Or maybe it’s a camera for taking pictures of trees. Or something. The bottom line is that I don’t really know what a tree cam is. I guess Gretchen’s brother’s best bet is to read the package when it “aroves,” and see if there are any “destructions” on it. It’s too bad he can’t send the Parishville Fire Department one of Mousy’s cards, but there you go. I could have used one of those cards myself about 10 years ago. I was at an archery tournament in Valley Spring, and my name was drawn for a door prize. I won a package containing two neoprene straps about three inches by about 10 inches with Velcro on the ends. The label said something about fly-fishing, but it didn’t elaborate. I showed my prize around among the other archers there, but no one could figure out what it was for. Those straps are still in my closet, gathering dust, because I’ve never been able to figure out how to use them. Then, there’s the “Butt Out,” which Kevin Howard handed me at the last Texas Outdoor Writers Association conference. Kevin represents, among other companies, Hunter’s Specialties, which makes some really good stuff. So he’s always got something interesting to show me, but the Butt Out was a puzzler. It’s about eight inches long, with a T handle on one end and the other end looks like a broadhead with a blunt nose. The package shows a picture of the back of a deer, and says, ‘Field dressing made easy and safe. Only takes three seconds. Insert. Twist. Pull.’ I thought the Butt Out was a joke, but it’s not. It’s an aid to the first step in field dressing a deer. And if you want more information than that, you’ll have to call Kevin Howard. He explained it to me, but I’d rather not get into it here. All I can tell you is that you should definitely turn your tree cam off before you use your Butt Out’ ‘ Kendal Hemphill is an outdoor humor columnist who never arove. Write to him at P.O. Box 1600, Mason, Tex. 76856 or

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