13 February, 2006

Veins in your teeth

Spent the blizzard at home with my parents. Cozy. Did some shoveling. The snow was extremely powdery; whenever I would hurl a load over my head the wind would catch it and stretch it out into a huge plume like volcanic ejecta.

While there my dad opined on the subject of Dick Cheney shooting that lawyer in the face. His principal objection wasn't to Cheney hitting his friend, but to the fact that Cheney was out there hunting quail in the first place. I responded that thousands of people hunt quail and it wasn't that remarkable, but he was unmoved.

"I wouldn't mind so much if they went out with no weapons, with just their bare hands, and then hunted like that. That would be okay," he said.

"And with no clothes, either?" I replied.

But it's an interesting idea. Start from the ground and see how far you can get. Just you and your wits and whatever you can find lying around in the woods. If you can make a passable bow and arrow from scratch, bully for you. If you must stalk your prey with empty hands and strangle it to death, so be it.

Has anyone ever heard of such a thing? I know some people can catch fish by sliding their cupped hands up from beneath its belly, but I've never really heard of anyone doing the above.


When I was on an Outward Bound like trip in the Sierras my instructors regaled us with tales of a man who taught courses on such raw survivalism that he and his students could walk into a forest naked and emerge three months later clothed and fed and healthy. They also told me outrageous stories about tumbling down the face of El Capitain, making out in a confessional on a Saturday night, and falling through the icy ceiling of a French climbers snow house in the Alps, so take it all with a grain of salt. But I bet a little searching would find you such people. I also bet Hedgy would know. Hell, he's probably done something close enough.

When I was little I made bows out of the elm branches in my yard.I tried making string from the English ivy, but I think that only worked once, and I ended up using twine mostly. I could shoot across the yard, which seemed huge to me then, but was probably about 20 feet wide. I was already too nonviolent to aim for birds; I was more interested in pretending I was Arjun aiming for some imaginary arrangement of rotating targets on an imaginairy ceiling above an imaginairy reflecting pool. I'm still a total sucker for archers.  

Posted by Saheli

gah. my inability to resist curiosity is going to make me late for a date, but here ya go:

killed intruding dear with bare hands .


Posted by Saheli

Google "catfish noodling." Especially if you've ever wondered what it would be like to have your entire arm shoved down the gullet of an enormous catfish. 

Posted by Alan

How about taming a wild animal once in the wild and using it to hunt? Hawking comes to mind. 

Posted by Nikhil Mulani

*falconry (not hawking)

Posted by Nikhil Mulani

Has anyone ever heard of such a thing? 

Adam Sandler did it in Happy Gilmore. The more intriguing question is whether Saheli used a similar strategy on her date with the archer :) 

Posted by someone else

I learned how to light a bow fire and nap an arrowhead at the Ohlone Days at Coyote Hills Regional Park. That was fun. Czech out these guys . These guys do this wacky hike which used to be annual and might still happen where they walk for 3 days using only local native fibers for clothes, food, luggage, and so on. Oh look, there's a whole network of them. Some like to hunt and fish. Check out the spear and seine fisheries of Native Alaska. Definitely more gracious and sensual and consequential than using a shotgun on a covey of quayle. 

Posted by hodgepodge

How is it possible that I'm blanking on a Happy Gilmore reference? My brain really is fried. And no, Saurav, there was no date with an archer.:-p Actually, there ended up being no date at all. :-p But if you find any gracious archers, send them my way. :-) Or, for that matter, a cheap bow. It was with great self-discipline that I resisted buying a beautiful bow in Switzerland that was affordable but to big for my luggage.

Hodgy--I bet the 3 days got turned into 3 months---don't know if by my instructors or my memory. Otherwise, those sound like the kind of people I was thinking of. You're so dependable. :-)

When I was looking for the bare hands link, I found this story about Elizabeth II killing a wounded pheasant with her bare hands . It raised quite an uproar at the time. I'm no fan of bloodsports, and it's not clear to me the pheasant was wounded by a hunting dog or possibly a bullet, but I have to say, it's kind of amusing that Britain's petite queen would appear to be more of a hunting mensch than our tough Texan Veep.  

Posted by Saheli

Who is this "Saurav"?

Anyway, I will keep my eyes peeled for archers. I unfortunately didn't see it among the top occupations listed for the four South Asian nationalities the census bothers to look at in depth. Perhaps you'll have to go abroad to some country where archery is at the level of crosscountry skiing in Norway. Or maybe you can find a Level 6 Elf :p or date a non South Asian would probably be the most convenient thing :)

adam sandler kills the one-eyed crocodile who stole his golf ball and ate chubb's hand. he keeps the head and tragilarity ensues. 

Posted by someone else

date a non South Asian would probably be the most convenient thing :) 

Uh, yeah. What gave you the impression I'm a South Asian only dater?

maybe you can find a Level 6 Elf

Heh, sounds good. I'm a big fan of singing the trees awake. ;-)

OMG, how could I have forgotten about the croc . . .but wasn't there a club involved? 

Posted by Saheli

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