By Chad Love
The noted French existentialist philosopher Jean-Paul Sartre once famously opined that “Hell is other people.” As a lifelong misanthrope, I’ve found that little gem to be not only a great way to kill conversation at dinner parties, but a wholly satisfying life philosophy. It’s not that I don’t like people; it’s just that I try to avoid large numbers of them at all costs.
So when the website informed me that I would be attending SHOT this year with some 65,000 of my closest friends, and that I would even be allowed to wander the show floor unsupervised, I questioned the decision as either a gracious but misguided act of charity or the result of a lost bet.
I took pains to point out to my editors that in matters of tact, wit and other social graces I’m roughly on par with Bat Boy from the Weekly World News. I reminded them, too, that, frankly speaking, I prefer the company of dogs to outdoor industry types, and that as a preferred destination for the third week in January I’ll take a CRP field in Kansas over Las Vegas, Nevada, oh, about ten times out of ten.