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I have been to the motherland. I have visited (briefly) that place that all good rednecks go just before hunting or fishing season.

I have seen with my own eyes the splendor of camouflage in a variety of colors for maximum seasonal blending with your out of doors environment.

I have seen more guns, ammo, and fellas who bear the nickname bubba (although not publicly) concentrated in one rather large retail space called Cabela’s.

Yes, ma’am, Cabela’s.

It is ALL that’s holy with the hunting and fishing folks.

Seriously.

The event:

My father-in-laws birthday present required a trip to Cabela’s for the extra special can’t find it anywhere else salmon fishing lure. I’m sure I’ll blow the name but it was something like “Flash Chartreuse” which is really just a florescent yellow/green flasher which brought to mind images of long ago trips to Florida beaches where old weathered men wore glow in the dark speedo’s tucked under flabby bellies and told fishing stories to their disinterested wives while drinking budweiser. Oh that brings me home in a very special way.

Of course the florescent green flasher, is nothing of the sort. It’s a…well…I think it’s a hunk of fiberglass (may be plastic and made in China for all I know) about the length of a motorcycle license plate, coated with a yellowish/greenish florescent paint with specks of black thrown in  for variety (or maybe to resemble a salmons side spots) and an uber cool racing stripe down the middle that reflects much like a mirror might. I’ve recently learned that this modern miracle pseudo bait/attractor is a cherished and vital part of the fellas fishing tackle, and no good fisherman would find himself without one.

Cabela's flasher 2

After spotting the spotted thing we wandered aimlessly from one fishing thinga-ma-jig to another until we found the stairs to the brass ring, the upper echelon of dude-dom.

Upstairs is where they have the gun displays. Big guns, handguns, rifles, shotguns, and ammo in little boxes, magazines, and trunks that would require a pick-up truck to carry home.

I felt like I’d had a hit of testosterone, a jolt of black coffee, and wondered if I should get some of that camouflage clothing so that I’d not stick out like a sore thumb with my tongue hanging out. Awe inspired, and more than a little confused as to where to look next I checked out the other patrons to see if my attitude was in keeping with the decorum of the place.

There was one fellow who was decked out from top to bottom in the gear. Maybe he felt a little inadequate and needed to butch up. I certainly felt like I needed to drop my voice an octave just to be taken seriously. As odd as it sounds he was strangely conspicuous standing there in his clothes designed to hide him.

Maybe the camo didn’t work indoors. At least I didn’t look stupid like that guy, I thought to myself.

To be fair, Cabela’s is a fantastic store for all manner of outdoor gear. If you need camping, fishing, hiking, hunting stuff they have it in 6 different colors and can accommodate your needs, and most of your whims too. But I wonder just how necessary it is to have that kind of firepower available and displayed like the most sparkly treat you ever laid your eyes on.

Heck I was tempted to pick up a little something so that I could blow up something else. What is that?

Good marketing.

Great product placement.

One stop shopping.

AND they’ll hold it for you during the mandatory waiting period for handguns.

Such a bargain!

If you should go to Cabela’s there are two stores in WA on I-5, one in Marysville and another south of Tacoma. Stop in and take a peek at the wildlife they have stuffed and hanging on the walls, or standing life like on the fake but impressive “mountain” in the center of the store. The Tacoma store had fish tanks where you could see cold water fish, and warm water fish in opposing tanks.

Yes! you big studly man, you too can be a mountain man with all the comforts of home, just buy their stuff and go kill something. Talk about truth in advertizing. Really?

I’m not saying I’ll not go back. But I need a flannel shirt and some beat-up boots to feel like I’m not a poser, wanna be, Cabela’s customer. Besides Marysville’s not that far away, and I could learn to fly fish (without hooks)  in between classes at WWU.Tibor Nemeth Photography

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