Has anyone been to Bass Pro Shop?
I was there this weekend.
Yeah, you read that right.
It’s like…Disney Land for outdoors people…there are things to buy for fishing, hunting, camping, skiing, snowshoeing — that stuff I’ve spent 52 years avoiding. Some people like that shit so much — like cartoon characters — they’ve turned buying these necessities into a theme park experience.
There’s a waterfall with local fish in the pool below. Little kids had their faces smushed to the glass wall, matching the fish drawings with the real things. There is a diorama of two stuffed elk, antlers locked in an epic battle. There’s a plaque about how someone came across their decomposing bodies in the woods and how he made it his mission to have them taxiderm-ied in the pose in which they were found.
There were food samples. Camp stove demonstrations. Families were milling around with all kinds of obedient breeds of dogs tethered to most of them.
I digress. Stay with me.
What one shouldn’t do is this: spend 52 years making fun of “red necks,” “hillbillies,” “biker chicks,” “swamp people,” and whatever other two-dimensional derogatory label I’ve used to describe this lovely and diverse group of people.
Like me, they are three-dimensional, multifaceted people with kids and dogs, fishing poles and pink camo, corporate jobs and boyfriends who live in the woods.
I apologize Bass Pro Shop shoppers! I walked away with boots, long underwear, and a Christmas ornament of a red robin with an Elmer Fudd cap on it’s head. Christmas gifts from Santa…baby.