A WARNING: This headline appeared in our local paper two weeks ago:
(I was tempted to say “recently,” but remembered in a nick of time that I gave reporters “nowadays” the dickens a couple columns ago for writing “recently,” because it means the reporter is a dim bulb in need of an easily-provoked editor, who would ask, “Don’t we know when this actually happened, you muttonhead? Or are you just too lazy to find out? Or is it so old that it no longer qualifies as news, but has become ancient history?” Not being a dim bulb reporter, I will refrain from using the word recently, because I know when the headline appeared, which was Nov. 18th, if you really want to know.)
So anyway, the headline said this: “Ax throwing grows in popularity.”
Given the current state of politics, the just-finished (avoiding “recent” once again) highly-contested mid-term election, and the onset of the holiday season which offers numerous family gatherings in which the threat of discussing politics looms large, it is worth noting that ax throwing, in this nation, is growing in popularity.
That uppity nephew in college who thinks socialism is a swell idea, or your uncle who listens to talk radio all day long, or your in-law who hates Donald Trump like a case of the swine flu, could also have discovered the excitement of ax throwing. This is worth considering at gatherings with a lot of cutlery lying around.
And it is one more reason to never talk politics with anyone other than your spouse, and maybe not your spouse, either. Maybe definitely not your spouse, if, say, you’re a Hatfield, and you had the misfortune to marry a McCoy.
The article, which did not appear “recently” but appeared on Nov. 18, 2018, reported that ax throwing is like “darts on steroids,” as if throwing darts somehow needed a dose of steroids, which I doubt. (Remember those lawn darts, that seemed like a fun idea until they pinned people to the ground like bugs in a collection?)
Ax throwing, of course, brings back memories of that famous Tonight Show bit in which Johnny Carson was shown how to throw an ax at a target by actor Ed Ames. Ames’ throw hits a target, depicting a man, exactly where a man would least like to be hit by an ax. The bit drew one of the longest sustained periods of laughter in Tonight Show history, and you might remember it if you’re an old coot like I am.
So anyway (I’ve used those words twice now in this column and I promise to desist), keep in mind this holiday season that ax throwing is growing in popularity, so it might be best to limit discussions to the weather.
NOT FEELING IT: Last week, in our town, the local news reported that a man took a shovel and broke out the windows of his mother’s house, then went inside and smashed her big-screen television, and generally “tore up jack,” as we say in the West, until someone called the cops.
They put him in a police car, but he attempted to break out the windows. So, according to news reports, they took him out of the car and put him in some kind of “wrap,” like a big, angry burrito, and hauled him off to jail. Turns out – Surprise! - he had a previous episode of domestic abuse.
My guess is this guy had been discussing politics with his in-laws, or a nephew who likes socialism, but I can’t be sure about that. Whatever the reason, he was clearly not feeling that holly-jolly holiday spirit quite yet.
Thank heaven he wasn’t into ax throwing. He was dangerous enough with a shovel.
WAY TOO SOON: I turned on the radio last weekend and discovered that my favorite country and western station was playing non-stop Christmas music.
I turned immediately to talk radio.
I like Burl Ives singing “Holly Jolly Christmas” as much as the next guy, but a solid month of it is enough to make a guy take up ax throwing.
Or bust out windows with a shovel.
Dave Simpson can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org