“Hello sport,” it, he, Ernest, … C.W. actually, said.
“It’s a little early yet for a question.”
“This one is easy,” he said.
“Wait one,” I said. “I need coffee.”
I returned with a cuppa and sat near him. Determined to outwait him, I sipped.
After an uncomfortable silence, he spoke. “Been reading about this lion in Africa named Cecil.”
Oh hell. “Yes?”
“Do they give names to all the lions in Africa now?”
“No,” I said, “just the ones who are more or less pets,”
“I see,” he said.
“But …,” I said, “there so few left now that naming them all may be a possibility.”
He nodded. “So one could get a license to kill a specific one? Say pick one out of a catalog and say ‘I want a permit to come kill Ralph?’”
“Yeah,” I said, “nice and simple, and they could always use the ‘supplies are limited’ angle to boost sales.”
“Hmm,” he said. “It wasn’t like that back in my day. There were plenty of them. What happened?”
“If you are Ernest Hemingway, you should know.”
“What do you mean?”
“You helped make it a manly thing to kill them for sport.”
He changed the subject. “This dragging a dead animal carcass around to lure them into a safe place for the hunter to shoot them … do they do that here in America?”
“Of course not,” I said.
“Well that’s good.”
“They use something called deer corn.”
He ignored me. “We certainly never did anything like that.”
I stared at him.
He said, “We had ni… I mean natives that would drive them to where we waited, having our gin and tonics. Then we would shoot them when they came out of the brush, the lions that is.”
I nodded my head. “Much more manly.”
“Anyway,” he said, and I sensed he was the old C.W. again. “Anyway, we need to make some money off this hunting stuff.” He reached beside himself and produced a photo. “I have a preliminary idea for a hunting machine,” he said.
I looked at the model. “You’re mad,” I said.
|Big Dope never likes my ideas, but I think every|
hunter in America would want one of these. - C.W
“Just mad … crazy.”
“Come on Sport,” he said. “You never like my ideas, and this one is a winner for sure.”
“Have you shown this to my wife?”
“Mrs. Big Dope is more negative than you.”
“What did she say about marketing to hunters?”
“She yelled at me and I didn’t understand her.”
“Why? She’s usually pretty straightforward.”
“Not this time,” he said. “She kept babbling about, well … about men’s private parts, you know.”
“She said I should just sell them something called an ‘elongator.’ Said it would serve the same purpose, cost a lot less, and bring what she called a collective sigh of relief from entire animal world.”
“So,” he said, “I made another working model.” He reached around and produced a long cardboard box emblazoned with a brightly colored label that read, “The Hunter’s Dream.” He turned around and said, “Hey Sport. Where are you going? Aren’t we going to box awhile?”