Will The Dog Hunt?
J. D. Pendry
I knew only one of my Grandfathers. The other died in a mining accident long before I was even a sparkle in Dad’s eye. The Grandfather I knew was on my Mother’s side. He lived in a huge old house, which was at one time a boarding house. Grandpa had quite a reputation and a long resume. He’d been everything from a logger and saw mill owner to a fire and brimstone Free Will Baptist Preacher. I can remember Grandpa driving a 1952 Chevy. I can still see the worn fedora sitting on his head and the roll your own Prince Albert cigarette with a long ash on it hanging from the corner of his mouth. I also remember car horns blowing as they passed Grandpa in his Chevy. In the country, folks did that to signal they were about to pass you on a narrow two-lane road where it was OK to pass. A horn toot today would probably get you the commuter salute in return, but Grandpa smiled and waved at the passers. He was accustomed to the horns as top speed for Grandpa was around 35 miles per hour.
Occasionally, Grandpa raised hunting dogs and sold them. He must’ve been a good judge of dogs because someone always wanted to buy them from him. I spent a good bit of time at Grandpa’s in the summer of 1967. During this time, he had a female dog. I don’t know much about dog breeds, but I can tell you that this one looked amazing. She was sleek and when she ran, it was as if she flowed across the ground. Her waist was so small that you could almost connect your fingers around it. Grandpa said he had papers on her, which meant he could trace her lineage to other pure bred dogs known for hunting. I noticed that other dogs came and went, but Grandpa kept this particular one. I was curious about why he held on to this dog and sold others so I asked him. “Won’t hunt,” he told me bluntly. “Oh she looks good and can run all day, but if you take her in the woods she’ll hang around your feet wanting to play. She only looks like a hunting dog. Oh, I could fool somebody into buying her, but if I did that, it wouldn’t be long before people stopped trusting me. I’ll just keep her. She’s nice to look at, but no good for hunting.”
Were you one of the 60 million or so who supposedly watched the debates, or did you wait for the spin-doctors to recreate them for you? Were you waiting for the debates to help you decide how to cast your vote on November 2? If you answered yes to any of those, do yourself a big favor. Go read the written transcript of the debate. Before you do that, take a look at the questions ask of each man. Spend some time thinking about them. Ask yourself if you detect any sort of slant. I’m not implying that there is, but it’s a question you must ask before you can analyze the answers and responses. Then carefully read the responses and rebuttals. After that, stop listening to the spin-doctors.
Out here in Wild Wonderful the expression “that dog won’t hunt” is used to describe just about anything – man, critter or machine – that simply won’t work. After you’ve actually studied the debate transcript a bit, I expect that you can decide for yourself which dog hunts. Frankly, from one of these dogs, I’m still looking for “the better plan.” The Commander-in-Chief I want is a junkyard dog I can trust to lead our Armed Forces and country in an unrelenting assault on terrorists and who has a clear and unchanging message. However, if I want a debater-in-chief to report to the United Nations and ask permission to defend the country, I’ll pick the one with the sprayed on tan, lip-gloss and manicure.
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J.D. Pendry is author of The Three Meter Zone, Random House/Ballantine.
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