Not Getting It

We all have such lists. Stuff we just “don’t get.” Not just dislike — but “don’t get.” And seriously wonder why anyone else would.

Maybe yours would include modern monarchies or rap music or croquet or mosh pits or cats or slasher movies or O’Doul’s or France or Jackass The Movie or jackass the audience or the NBA. Or maybe Johnnie Byrd or Adam Sandler or David Caton or Rosie O’Donnell or Al Sharpton or Howard Stern or the Osbournes.

Mine include some — ok, all — of the above in addition to storm chasing, body piercing and curling. Plus school choice plans, religious zealots, instant messages, North Korea, celebrity autographs, racial reparations, Grand Theft Auto, the Cuban embargo, Chuck LaMar, Syria on the Security Council, hipper-than-thou ESPN personalities, Carrot Top, bumper stickers, anyone but catchers wearing a baseball cap backwards, Joey Bishop belonging to the Rat Pack and all the mundane applications of the word “awesome.”

I now add one more.

I was watching ESPN 2 the other day from the captive-audience vantage point of a stationary exercise bike at a local health club. It was the mid-morning “ESPN Outdoors” show.

I’ll confess a bias here. I’m not an “outdoors” guy. Don’t hunt. Don’t fish. Don’t camp. There are easier ways to deal with mountains than climbing them.

What I didn’t realize, however, was how visceral my reaction would be to a show about turkey hunting in Alabama. And it’s not as if I’m some card-carrying member of PETA or a vegan-gone-Visigoth.

The program was on, someone else had scored the Wall Street Journal editorial page and I looked up to relieve the tedium.

The perspective was that of a miked, hushed-toned, hooded, fatigue-ensembled hunter who meticulously stalked a gobler, lured it with a turkey call and then shot it. It was “probably looking for a hen,” he sagely surmised.

Granted, his efforts may have helped thin the herd or whatever a bunch of turkeys are called, and the 20-pounder will doubtless be eaten. That’s “get-able” in an atavistic sort of way. The part I don’t get is the fun part. The exhalting.

“Look at those claws!” the unhooded hunter clucked gleefully. He whooped and practically high-fived himself.

Actually, I come closer to “getting” Eminem.

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