January 14, 2005
Ducks & Cover
By David A. Zimmerman
You hear some stories and you feel compelled to comment. Forgive me . . .
Arkansas attorney Ben Lipscomb decided recently, as he is given to do, to spend the day duck hunting with his friends and his beloved dog. Eventually he separated from his friends to find more ducks to shoot. He hit the gold mine--ducks to his left, ducks to his right, ducks above and all around him. He just kept turning in circles, shooting and reshooting, while his dog retrieved his bounty for him. By the time he hit the legal limit of dead ducks, however, he had turned so many times that he couldn't tell where he had come from.
He couldn't find his friends, and they couldn't find him. All he had was his dog, some dead ducks, a rifle and the clothes he was wearing--camouflage hunting gear over bright white unmentionables. He ate a duck raw to stave off his hunger, he sloshed through the ice-cold waters to find some indicator of the way he should go, his dog barked intermittently to draw someone's attention to his plight. But no luck--they had been left behind.
The hunter's friends, realizing the problem, had returned to their car and called emergency services for help. So began the manhunt. Helicopters flew overhead in crisscross patterns trying to find this solitary hunter somewhere in the expansive hunting grounds. They actually flew directly over him a number of times during the search, but they couldn't see him, despite his jumping, waving and shouting, for, you see, he was wearing camouflage.
The purpose of camouflage is to conceal its wearer so that no one can see him (or her, I suppose, although I don't recall ever seeing a woman decked out in cammies from head to toe). In this case, the camouflage did its job too well: Ben Lipscomb was in danger of being hidden to death.
What would you do? Our hero came up with an idea that sounds as insane as it was pure genius: He took off his clothes.
Underneath the camouflage, as I mentioned, was a pair of bleach-white underwear. Lipscomb dropped his hip waders, ripped the underwear from his waist, tied the undies to the barrel of his rifle, and waved his makeshift flag as the helicopter was making another pass. Presumably he paused to pull his hip waders back up.
His trick worked. The Arkansas State Police spotted his flag and made a beeline for his briefs. Shortly thereafter, he was out of the woods.
Fortunately for Lipscomb, he was smart enough to wear white at night; camouflage underwear, while undeniably stylish, serves no real purpose and, as we learn from this story, could very well kill you.
If that moral to the story doesn't do it for you, try following one of these two paths:
1. At a certain point, concealing your true self becomes counterproductive.
I've had the opportunity recently to talk to a lot of people about my book Comic Book Character, although people seem quite a bit more interested in talking about my spandex body suit. If you want to talk comic books or superhero movies or how someone who believes in God could waste their time on such silly fantasy stories, shoot me an e-mail at email@example.com.