COLUMN: "Ask a Stag"

This is my weekly column for the Sunday, Nov. 8, 2009 edition of the Hibbing Daily Tribune. I performed a live dramatization of this script for the Nov. 7 edition of “Between You and Me” on KAXE, Northern Community Radio. Click over to that if you have the time. (You can find it in the archives in the files from 10:15 a.m. and 10:30 a.m. on Nov. 8. I’ll post the direct link when one is ready).

Ask a Stag
By Aaron J. Brown

For almost everyone, deer hunting conjures at least one touchstone memory: the Disney animated movie, “Bambi.” Hunters shoot Bambi’s mom and then Bambi’s dad emerges from the woods to protect him. Later, there’s a thing with a forest fire and blah, blah, blah, Bambi grows up strong. Some find Bambi’s dad a reassuring figure of strength amid tragedy and injustice. Others, especially those out in the woods this weekend, find him to be a trophy buck, and also delicious. Well, this week I’ve really scored a coup. Joining us now is Bambi’s dad, the Great Prince of the Forest, for what I hope becomes a regular segment: “Ask a Stag.”

STAG: Good morning.

AB: Good morning. Say, can you, uh, do the line.

STAG: The line?

AB: You know. The line. You know which one.

STAG: (Long pause). “Bambi, your mother won’t be coming back.”

AB: Awesome. “Your mother can’t be with you anymore.”

AB: Awesome. You hit that so well. (imitating) “Bambi … Bambi.”

STAG: Yes, yes, well, let’s just move on.

AB: Right, so I have some questions here from listeners and I figure you pass along your wisdom like we’re all Bambi and you’re our single dad, Great Prince of the Forest.

STAG: Right.

AB: OK, so, first question. This one is from Zack. “Dear Stag. I’ve been having some problems with my girlfriend. She just doesn’t understand me. What should I do?” What do you think, Bambi’s dad?

STAG: Zack, perhaps you are a mighty buck, capable of bounding through a forest at high speeds. Perhaps your hooves are made of steel and your antlers glean with the moonlight. That’s no excuse for not being a sensitive lover. You must cherish your doe. Nuzzle her snout. Briefly copulate. And in 25 to 31 weeks she will bear you a fawn.

AB: Excellent advice, Great Prince of the Forest. Good luck, Zack. The next question comes from Chad who writes “Dear Stag, sometimes I feel like everyone is out to get me. Am I just being paranoid?”

STAG: Chad, yes they are trying to get you. In every tree, in every ditch, along every country road there lies the very real possibility that you will draw your last painful breath from a cruel world. You might wonder if they are not trying to get you, and that the urine you smell is real urine from a fertile doe, but it is not. They are trying to get you and they will. Maybe not this year. Maybe not next year. But eventually.

AB: Well, time is running out and we have time for just one more question. Diane asks “Dear Stag, any tips for someone going through menopause?”

STAG: Well, the first thing, Diane, is that what you’re going through is a beginning, not an end. (GUNSHOT) …. Oh, my. (groaning, sounds of painful struggle).

AB: Stag, Stag, are you OK? Oh my God, you’ve been shot. Someone shot you.

STAG: (muffled) I know, idiot. Of course I’ve been shot.

AB: Why are you rubbing on that tree ? Doesn’t that hurt.

STAG: It’s a flesh wound … I’m working the bullet out … to avoid infection. Yaaa (more painful moaning)! Listen, man, I’m going to ditch.

AB: Hey, now, Stag. We signed you for six episodes and an option. We had a deal.

STAG: (continues to struggle, pain). Call my agent.

AB: Stag, I’m in for a million five on merchandising and cross promotion. I’ve got a garage full of “Ask a Stag” keychains. Don’t screw me on this!

STAG: (continued painful cries) Hey, pal. Don’t forget who you’re talking to. I’m Bambi’s dad. B-A-M-B-I. Cultural icon. And I’m bleeding out my haunches.

AB: You’ll never work in this wooded hallow again!

STAG: I’m out (sounds of bounding deer through forest).
AB: Hey. You’re leaving a blood trail … just sayin.’ (pause) Well, there he goes. Happy Hunting, everyone.

Aaron J. Brown is a columnist for the Hibbing Daily Tribune. Contact him or read more at his blog MinnesotaBrown.com or in his recent book “Overburden: Modern Life on the Iron Range.”

Comments

  1. Ha! I love it. Stag sounds an awful lot like Ron Burgundy though…hm.

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