The Outsider: Humbled by a yim-yaw
|By Will Jones - The Outsider | Nov. 22, 2018|
When you are young, you think you know everything. Well, I did anyway. But, as you grow older, with luck your actual knowledge grows, as does a humility that comes with realizing that it’s going to be mighty difficult to really master everything in life there is to know.
And, in my case, when you add to my now pretty humble middle-aged life, the emigration from my country of birth - the land where I had been that extraordinarily wise teenager - and relocation to rural Canada, I guess I know just about nothing.
I’m just about as dumb as a post. But I’m learning. I’ve been humble enough to ask questions, make mistakes and find some pretty awesome friends, all in pursuit of becoming a Haliburtonian. And I thought I was getting somewhere, too, until my recent stay at the hunt camp.
First came beer bottle cap flipping. I never even knew there was such a thing. And yet, almost every guy in camp was a bottle cap sniper. They could slice a low hanging nose hair off of the face of a buddy sitting at the other end of the room with nothing but a beer bottle cap and a quick snap of the fingers. There were different techniques, too. Alternate ways to hold the cap or twist the wrist but all produced a high velocity beer cap, aimed and fired with pinpoint accuracy. Often to the detriment of a non-suspecting onlooker. I tried to flip caps. I tried until my thumb and middle finger were raw and my back ached from bending down to pick up the pile of caps at my feet. I was not good at bottle cap flipping. And that brings me to killing deer.
It seems that I am not good at that either. Now, I haven’t had much practice at this, as finding someplace where you can repetitively shoot at a fast-moving deer is somewhat hard to come by. But, local guys seem to do OK at it, so why not?
Well, it seems that when a deer comes bounding and leaping past me through the snowy bush I get what can only be described as ‘all yim-yawed’ – a colloquialism I’ve also learned at the hunt camp, which means kind of bent out of shape. I’m woken from my nap by the baying of a close by hound; said deer then crashes through the bush just yards away; and me? Well, I fumble with the safety, half aim, more point the gun in the general direction of where the deer was (not is) and let fly. The shot rings out, announcing to my buddies that there should be venison for supper and the radio crackles into life. “Did you get him, Willy? Buck or doe? That’s when the yim-yawing really kicks in. As the clamouring for my answer grows on the radio, I’m untangling myself from my pack, which is wrapped around my feet, while falling to my knees sprawling to catch the hound, who is dancing around just out of reach and looking quizzically at my sorry ass as I weep about another miss. I’m yim-yawed, pretty bent out of shape.
However, due to my ever-lengthening age and wisdom, I’m learning. I’m learning new words like yim-yaw. I’m learning that one day I might be able to flip a bottle cap but I’ll probably never be a crack shot with a rifle. And, mostly I’m learning to get the weeping about another miss finished while you’re still in the bush because there’s nothing pretty about a blubbering hunter, be he young and brash, old and humble, or just plain English.
WILL JONES - is The Outsider