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Bourjaily: Bad Capstick Contest Winner

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August 20, 2010

Bourjaily: Bad Capstick Contest Winner

By Phil Bourjaily

While I clean up the virtual blood covering the floors and walls of my office in the aftermath of the Gun Nut Bad Capstick Parody Contest let me hand the blog over to my older son. Gordon, who discovered and devoured my Capstick collection as a fifth-grader. He read all the entries and came up with a winner. Here are his thoughts:

Bad prose is always a joy to read, and doubly so when the reading brings back fond memories of lazy summer days spent poring over PHC's glib and gory writing.

Honorable mentions:* Fellow Iowegian iowaboy gets major props from me for his truly inspired tale of squirrel hunting (and the buggy whips simile is great). Mesarich's almost Hemingway-esque contribution had me howling in laughter, although it's a little too reserved to be Capstick, and Dotcomaphobe's splatterfest of a post packed a wallop of understatement.

Here are the top three:
TM's post is a good Capstick caricature, picking up on the man's proclivity for delightfully tacky analogies, the excessive gore, the loving descriptions of Africa's delightful miseries, and the obligatory .416 Rigby:

A .416 Rigby, chloroquine, and a good hat provide some protection from lions, mosquitoes, and the noonday sun, but Africa's red soil has more ways to extract a blood tax than a team of vampire politicians with accounting degrees. The cape buffalo hunt started easier than a drunken prom date, with Mwenesi leading our track of two docile cows, a nervous calf, and a strong bull through the warm green glow of sunrise over savannah. It ended with a jammed rifle, a broken ankle, and only my machete preventing me from joining Mwenesi as a warm inside-out mass of guts thrashed and trampled by the horns and hooves of a wounded hell beast.

Paul Landry's post still has me laughing--the conceit of describing nature red in tooth and claw by way of mixology feels torn from a PHC book:

Not in everyone's Top 5, but in mine certainly, is the crocodile. An old friend of mine and legendary PH, Binky Watkins once described what spilled from a giant croc he retrieved for a poor shooting client in Botswana. The Okavango Martini: three parts wildebeast, one part native.

The winner, though, has to be Blue Buck, who also has quality bad analogies and hyperbole, but more importantly nails the insouciant attitude of Capstick in the (alleged, anyway) face of mauling, mashing, and assorted grievous bodily harm. It's the last two lines in particular that resonate with me. My favorite Capstick book has always been Maneaters, which is a survey course in the creatures great and small who are less than satisfied with their role in the food chain. Since the focus of the book was, of course, the animals, Capstick took ample advantage of the opportunities to perform one of his favorite tricks--the stop in the middle of the action to describe the natural history of the animal in question. Blue Buck gets that sort of digression spot on here (down to the invocation of the Latin name), and that makes this post the winner:

I knew from the moment the lion’s roar blew the froth off my just poured Castle Pilsner that this was no ordinary Leo. I would have about as much chance as Hannah Montana blocking Ndamukong Suh, but as the ranking CO of the district, one isn’t allowed to check the Vegas odds before sorting out a maneater. Though a quick glance at my scratched up Rolex (the result of spooring up a particularly poorly shot leopard) revealed it was cocktail hour, I dunked two 500 grain rounds of cordite death into the double, pointed the torch to impending hell and eased forward.

Before wetting our kikoys any further, it may be prudent for us to take a brief review of the taxonomy of Panthera leo………………………..

So the machete goes to Blue Buck. Congratulations and thanks to everyone who entered.
---

*I have to give an honorable mention of my own to Kansas243’s grisly tale of the gnu mauling of little Obduke because Capstick loved Africa’s underrated killers.  PB

Comments (29)

Top Rated
All Comments
from 99explorer wrote 3 years 34 weeks ago

Good choices all, but I though Beekeeper's entry would have warranted an honorable mention. He had me howling with laughter.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Happy Myles wrote 3 years 34 weeks ago

Great choices. This blog has me rereading all of Capstick, amazing how much I have forgotten

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from buckhunter wrote 3 years 34 weeks ago

Great stuff guys. Contest aside, it's just fun to read. Keep up the good work PB.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Kansas243 wrote 3 years 34 weeks ago

well I'm glad I got noticed, I think Capstick is way before my time and I knew nothing of his affinity for the underdog. I've only killed two things in africa -besides mosquitos and brain cells - a gnu and a blesbok. So I didn't have much to draw from. Little obduke getting mauled by a blesbok simply wouldn't be believable.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Beekeeper wrote 3 years 34 weeks ago

Thanks 99 Explorer! I appreciate that.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Tom-Tom wrote 3 years 34 weeks ago

"Insouciant"? I must look that one up in my Funk & Wagnals. Careful, Phil, someone may have their eye on your glamour job. Yours was an amazing and amusing topic, and produced results that must have been interesting to read and judge. Congratulations to both you and to Gordon.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from WA Mtnhunter wrote 3 years 34 weeks ago

Did the judges just read the last few?

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Mark-1 wrote 3 years 34 weeks ago

Good choices!!!! I thought the entries were quite clever. If F & S ever puts these lampoons into print, make sure the book's paper is pulp with chucks of wood sticking out.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from PbHead wrote 3 years 34 weeks ago

This is the only blog that keeps me reaching for my glossary of literary terms. Thanks to all.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from FirstBubba wrote 3 years 34 weeks ago

Blue Buck slipped silently forward, the new machete in .470 Nitro glowed dully in the waning light as the sun quenched itself in the lurid lava pool to the west as another African night launched itself out of the greasy darkness to the east!

congrats Blue Buck! Enjoy!

I have enjoyed all entries, even my own feeble attempt at Capstick-ness*! (*professionis-hunterous-extrodinairious)

Bubba

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Del in KS wrote 3 years 34 weeks ago

I thought Beekeeper had this one in the bag.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Jim in Mo wrote 3 years 34 weeks ago

Gordon,
Reading your words and commentary on these posts you are quite the Capstick impersonator or the real deal. Phil, you have a real card on your hands.
I'm just joking but I envy people who can write and convey their thoughts so well.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Clay Cooper wrote 3 years 34 weeks ago

Dar be a Sandbagger in every crowd. LOL!

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Jim in Mo wrote 3 years 34 weeks ago

You got dat right Coop!

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Clay Cooper wrote 3 years 34 weeks ago

Kinda reminds me of the bike race I entered when I was 15. My Parents were dead set against it worried I'd lose and be upset. Hell, I won the damn thing! Sure pissed the sponsors off, they had some French looking guy with some fancy 10 speed and I had a PugUgly Schwinn 3 speed with big tires. Suppose to have won a $100 bucks, but they only gave me a stupid trophy and walked off.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Clay Cooper wrote 3 years 34 weeks ago

O'ya. still got the stupid thing!

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Zermoid wrote 3 years 34 weeks ago

Sue them. $100 with interest and penalties for mental anguish should be able to git ya a nice new rifle at least!

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Ralph the Rifleman wrote 3 years 34 weeks ago

Hey Phil...off the topic, but have you any experience with the Winchester 101 shotgun? Saw one today in a local Gander Mtn store, at around $1,800.00, made in Belguim proof marks. Seemed worth the price to me?

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from philbourjaily wrote 3 years 34 weeks ago

Ralph --
The new Belgian 101s are a different design than the old Japanese guns and I think they are pretty good. I've shot a couple of them.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from buckhunter wrote 3 years 34 weeks ago

Ralph,

Far be it for me to give gun advice but my buddy swears by his 101.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from thebigone wrote 3 years 34 weeks ago

out of curiosity where is capstick from?

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Albert A Rasch wrote 3 years 34 weeks ago

Big 'un,
Capstick is from New Jersey USA

Congratulations to the winners!

Best Regards,
Albert A Raschâ„¢
The Rasch Outdoor Chronicles: A Chronicles' Project: Sleeping Bag Care

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Ralph the Rifleman wrote 3 years 34 weeks ago

Thanks Phil, and Buckhuter, for your input!

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Mark-1 wrote 3 years 34 weeks ago

MIJ 101's of the 70's and 80's were not a premium o/u in my opinion. I thought they were overpriced and inferior to the Ithaca-SKB's and Citori's of the time. However, I noticed 101...and 3200...users swore by these shotguns for competition and were tough combo's to beat. Shows what I know. :-)

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Clay Cooper wrote 3 years 34 weeks ago

Hatcher's Notebook be my pick!

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from SD Bob wrote 3 years 34 weeks ago

This was good stuff! I tried to come up with something witty pertaing to Peter's constant reference to fiery hot, uncut gin or the similiar fated warm brews after another hair raising adventure washed down with a long drag of a satisfying smoke but I just couldn't do it? Congratulations to everyone who could! To those of you who haven't read his books, give them a try! It will be the easiest read you've ever done!

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from CONGOKURT wrote 3 years 33 weeks ago

Just a question if I may. Who decides 'good comment' rational. Cannot be readers if a comment is posted immediatley and 'graded'. Is it a computer that decides content of words, wording, adjectives, nouns, etc. ? That is the entertaining part of POST A COMMENT >>> Who does the grading ? Please let me know before a mutant megaladon -- Carcharodon Megalodon -- that is able to walk on land starts to wipe out all living things. Thank you.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Blue Buck wrote 3 years 33 weeks ago

Gosh, I'm honored! I never win anything.

I read all of Capstick's books back in college. Dreading the daily grind that awaited me upon graduation, I wrote Capstick a letter asking how to become a PH in Africa. I was amazed when I received a letter(cleverly written of course) from him. I still have it. May have to hang it next the machete in my future mancave.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from focusfront wrote 3 years 33 weeks ago

Congrats to the winners. Worth it just to get in a Capstick frame of mind again.

0 Good Comment? | | Report

Post a Comment

from WA Mtnhunter wrote 3 years 34 weeks ago

Did the judges just read the last few?

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from 99explorer wrote 3 years 34 weeks ago

Good choices all, but I though Beekeeper's entry would have warranted an honorable mention. He had me howling with laughter.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Clay Cooper wrote 3 years 34 weeks ago

Dar be a Sandbagger in every crowd. LOL!

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Clay Cooper wrote 3 years 34 weeks ago

Kinda reminds me of the bike race I entered when I was 15. My Parents were dead set against it worried I'd lose and be upset. Hell, I won the damn thing! Sure pissed the sponsors off, they had some French looking guy with some fancy 10 speed and I had a PugUgly Schwinn 3 speed with big tires. Suppose to have won a $100 bucks, but they only gave me a stupid trophy and walked off.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Clay Cooper wrote 3 years 34 weeks ago

Hatcher's Notebook be my pick!

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Happy Myles wrote 3 years 34 weeks ago

Great choices. This blog has me rereading all of Capstick, amazing how much I have forgotten

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from buckhunter wrote 3 years 34 weeks ago

Great stuff guys. Contest aside, it's just fun to read. Keep up the good work PB.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Kansas243 wrote 3 years 34 weeks ago

well I'm glad I got noticed, I think Capstick is way before my time and I knew nothing of his affinity for the underdog. I've only killed two things in africa -besides mosquitos and brain cells - a gnu and a blesbok. So I didn't have much to draw from. Little obduke getting mauled by a blesbok simply wouldn't be believable.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Beekeeper wrote 3 years 34 weeks ago

Thanks 99 Explorer! I appreciate that.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Tom-Tom wrote 3 years 34 weeks ago

"Insouciant"? I must look that one up in my Funk & Wagnals. Careful, Phil, someone may have their eye on your glamour job. Yours was an amazing and amusing topic, and produced results that must have been interesting to read and judge. Congratulations to both you and to Gordon.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Mark-1 wrote 3 years 34 weeks ago

Good choices!!!! I thought the entries were quite clever. If F & S ever puts these lampoons into print, make sure the book's paper is pulp with chucks of wood sticking out.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from PbHead wrote 3 years 34 weeks ago

This is the only blog that keeps me reaching for my glossary of literary terms. Thanks to all.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from FirstBubba wrote 3 years 34 weeks ago

Blue Buck slipped silently forward, the new machete in .470 Nitro glowed dully in the waning light as the sun quenched itself in the lurid lava pool to the west as another African night launched itself out of the greasy darkness to the east!

congrats Blue Buck! Enjoy!

I have enjoyed all entries, even my own feeble attempt at Capstick-ness*! (*professionis-hunterous-extrodinairious)

Bubba

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Del in KS wrote 3 years 34 weeks ago

I thought Beekeeper had this one in the bag.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Jim in Mo wrote 3 years 34 weeks ago

Gordon,
Reading your words and commentary on these posts you are quite the Capstick impersonator or the real deal. Phil, you have a real card on your hands.
I'm just joking but I envy people who can write and convey their thoughts so well.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Jim in Mo wrote 3 years 34 weeks ago

You got dat right Coop!

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Clay Cooper wrote 3 years 34 weeks ago

O'ya. still got the stupid thing!

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Zermoid wrote 3 years 34 weeks ago

Sue them. $100 with interest and penalties for mental anguish should be able to git ya a nice new rifle at least!

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Ralph the Rifleman wrote 3 years 34 weeks ago

Hey Phil...off the topic, but have you any experience with the Winchester 101 shotgun? Saw one today in a local Gander Mtn store, at around $1,800.00, made in Belguim proof marks. Seemed worth the price to me?

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from philbourjaily wrote 3 years 34 weeks ago

Ralph --
The new Belgian 101s are a different design than the old Japanese guns and I think they are pretty good. I've shot a couple of them.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from buckhunter wrote 3 years 34 weeks ago

Ralph,

Far be it for me to give gun advice but my buddy swears by his 101.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from thebigone wrote 3 years 34 weeks ago

out of curiosity where is capstick from?

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Albert A Rasch wrote 3 years 34 weeks ago

Big 'un,
Capstick is from New Jersey USA

Congratulations to the winners!

Best Regards,
Albert A Raschâ„¢
The Rasch Outdoor Chronicles: A Chronicles' Project: Sleeping Bag Care

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Ralph the Rifleman wrote 3 years 34 weeks ago

Thanks Phil, and Buckhuter, for your input!

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Mark-1 wrote 3 years 34 weeks ago

MIJ 101's of the 70's and 80's were not a premium o/u in my opinion. I thought they were overpriced and inferior to the Ithaca-SKB's and Citori's of the time. However, I noticed 101...and 3200...users swore by these shotguns for competition and were tough combo's to beat. Shows what I know. :-)

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from SD Bob wrote 3 years 34 weeks ago

This was good stuff! I tried to come up with something witty pertaing to Peter's constant reference to fiery hot, uncut gin or the similiar fated warm brews after another hair raising adventure washed down with a long drag of a satisfying smoke but I just couldn't do it? Congratulations to everyone who could! To those of you who haven't read his books, give them a try! It will be the easiest read you've ever done!

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from CONGOKURT wrote 3 years 33 weeks ago

Just a question if I may. Who decides 'good comment' rational. Cannot be readers if a comment is posted immediatley and 'graded'. Is it a computer that decides content of words, wording, adjectives, nouns, etc. ? That is the entertaining part of POST A COMMENT >>> Who does the grading ? Please let me know before a mutant megaladon -- Carcharodon Megalodon -- that is able to walk on land starts to wipe out all living things. Thank you.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Blue Buck wrote 3 years 33 weeks ago

Gosh, I'm honored! I never win anything.

I read all of Capstick's books back in college. Dreading the daily grind that awaited me upon graduation, I wrote Capstick a letter asking how to become a PH in Africa. I was amazed when I received a letter(cleverly written of course) from him. I still have it. May have to hang it next the machete in my future mancave.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from focusfront wrote 3 years 33 weeks ago

Congrats to the winners. Worth it just to get in a Capstick frame of mind again.

0 Good Comment? | | Report

Post a Comment

bmxbiz-fs