I have one of the most interesting jobs in the world. One day I am advising world leaders on the nuances of international monetary policy. The next day I am consoling a distraught reader who thinks I need to "look within myself spiritually." The last time I looked within myself, I saw my navel. It was full of lint. Never again.
This week, I was contacted by a group of deer on Jekyll Island seeking my counsel. They are in a tizzy. It seems that members of the Jekyll Island Authority have decided that there are too many of them - deer, not members of the Jekyll Island Authority - on the island and that the herd needs to be thinned out.
One of the suggestions is to shoot a bunch of them. This has upset the deer. I don't blame them. It is a known fact that there are more lawyers in this world than there are deer and that lawyers can do a lot more harm to the environment but nobody ever talks about thinning out lawyers. That seems a bit unfair.
The deer wanted to meet and talk about their options. While I usually try and maintain strict neutrality in such matters, I was flattered that the deer seem to have a great respect for my opinions and don't care about whether or not I look within myself spiritually. They are more concerned with how to keep from getting themselves shot. Say what you will about deer, but they have their priorities in order.
Their leader was a male who called himself Claude. I suspect that was a pseudonym because I have never heard of a deer being named Claude. Bambi, yes. Dasher, yes. But Claude? Never.
The first thing Claude and his companions wanted to talk about was Georgia's new gun law. They wondered since it is permissible to take a gun into a church or a bar or most anywhere else in the state except the state Capitol, was there a provision that would allow deer to arm themselves as well?
Claude said deer don't mind getting shot at if they are able to shoot back. He thought that would pretty much take care of their problem right there. Claude thinks deer hunters are a bunch of wussies that would turn tail and run the first time he or one of his associates took a shot at them.
He was pretty sure it was one of the members of the Jekyll Island Authority that had shot his Uncle Fred a couple of years ago. It is obvious the deer don't care much for the Authority.
I suggested to Claude that if the deer survive this dilemma in which they find themselves, they would do well to hire a lizard-loafered lobbyist next session and take a few legislators to play golf. That seems to work for a lot of groups and maybe it would work for the deer.
Claude said that was impractical. In the first place, deer have no money to hire a lizard-loafered lobbyist. As for taking legislators to play golf, most courses don't allow deer, although they will permit legislators. I must admit I was a bit surprised at that. Logic would say it should be the other way around. I need to get out more.
Claude asked to speak to me privately. When we were alone, he said he was aware that some backlash had developed regarding the plan to shoot them and that some animal lovers were promoting a program called TNR. He wasn't sure what that meant and didn't want to ask in front of the others. I told him the initials stood for "trap, neuter and return." Claude asked if I was kidding. I told him I was serious. I added there was also talk of sterilizing the female deer.
Claude asked me if all of this meant what he thought it did. I said it did. In other words, he said, deer would no longer be able to do what they do best and enjoy more than eating rhododendrons. I said to the best of my understanding that would be the case. Claude wanted to know if I had any contacts with the Jekyll Island Authority. I told him I had a few. He said would I please tell them that given the alternative, he and his colleagues would just as soon be shot.
Say what you will about deer, but they have their priorities in order.
You can reach Dick Yarbrough at firstname.lastname@example.org; at P.O. Box 725373, Atlanta, GA 31139; online at dickyarbrough.com or www.facebook.com/dickyarb.