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