It is December 28, 2015 as I write this. My town is underwater. *Slight* exaggeration, but not too much. I’ve received texts from various friends across the state sending me photos of their watery surroundings. There are raging rivers where streams used to amble by, valleys are filling with pools of murky rainwater, and in the small college town where I spent my last four years, levee gates are breaking and beginning to leak water on Main Street.
But the worst news to come of all this? Hunting has been cancelled for the third time this season, and second time this week, due to a ridiculously large amount of rain. It’s nobody’s fault; the land and, in some cases, roads are just too flooded to hunt all because El Niño decided to dump more water than should be possible on the earth. But it doesn’t seem to make the sting any less agonizing.
I’m not entirely sure who started it or when, but University of Alabama fans have a social media movement they call “Things I Like More Than Auburn”, in which they list typically unpleasant things as being more enjoyable than Auburn University. So in an attempt to ease my pain, I’ve compiled my own list of things, both hunting related and not, that I like more than El Niño.
Things I Like More Than El Niño:
-Trying to clean up spilled cat litter from the carpet
-A blank day hunting
-Hearing that the game has crossed out of country
-The song “Hotline Bling”
-Viewing the game cross out of country
-Having the dentist stab my gums with sharp metal objects and then blame the bleeding on a lack of flossing
-Riding a horse with limited steering in a small indoor arena with the vet flexing and jogging a pony for soundness and seven other riders, one of which is on a psychotic medium pony
-Getting a flat tire on the way to the hunt and having to change the trailer tire in a random parking lot at 6 a.m.
-Overly passionate Alabama fans. You all can just “ROLL TIDE” on outta here.
-Road whipping on Highway 106, also known as “Highway one-oh-s***” due to its tendency to lead to excessively intense hunting for the road whips
-A chorus of small children poorly singing “Feliz Navidad”
-Braiding horses in thirty-degree weather
-Retail stores at Christmas time
-Standing completely still, holding my breath waiting for the game to emerge from the tree line where I can hear hounds screaming after him, only to have an exceptionally loud motorcyclist rip up and down the road not once, not twice, but three whole times, and thus turn the game back.
-Retail stores at any time
-Hunting in a new saddle/new boots
-Craving Chick-Fil-A and then remembering it’s Sunday
-That feeling you get when you’re waiting and hoping and praying to view the game and you think you see it jump out of the woods only to realize that it was just a deer
Until next time, I’m off to fit the hounds with floaties and invest in a jet ski to follow them. Stay dry everyone.