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Outdoor Life - Here's my Christmas wish list for 2011
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Dear Santa:
    I know this list is a little south of late but just thought I’d go ahead and try to sneak it in at the last moment. I have strived to stay in the vicinity of the straight and narrow path which you so earnestly urge us to do.
    With that in mind I believe that my requests are deserving of your attention. If you think otherwise please reply soonest so that I can try to find a genie that will grant my Christmas wishes. I don’t like doing business with those crafty little devils but I did find a strange-looking bottle the other day that might contain one.   
    First off, I’d like this to be a banner year in terms of trophies. With that in mind, let me ask initially for a 10-pound bass, a striper that is a minimum of 30 pounds, at least one crappie a month that tips the scales at over 2 pounds, and a deer that will score at least 150 on the Boone and Crockett scale. If possible, could you throw in a couple of successful mallard duck hunting excursions and two saltwater fishing trips that result in something other than thirty-knot winds and 6-foot seas?  You don’t have to tell me when these things are going to occur. I’d like that to be a surprise. Oh yeah, please include enough cash to get these upcoming trophies mounted in a fashion befitting a sportsman of my stature.
    The second phase of my list is related to physical skills. First, I need for you to restore my hand/eye coordination, which has deteriorated to the point of embarrassment. First and foremost, it would be good to actually see clearly what I’m shooting at and then it would be important that I be able to get my gun pointed in that general vicinity before the game escapes into the wild blue yonder. With those things back intact I can go on these adventures without fear of being the laughingstock of my community. It is bad for business when the outdoor writer consistently comes home from hunting and fishing trips skunked.
    Next, let’s discuss equipment and clothing. First of all, my shotgun keeps jamming, thus making it difficult to consistently bag my fair share of game animals.  I cleaned it three years ago so it should be good to go, but such is not the case.  With that in mind, please send along the model you deem as the best on the market. I also need a new pair of waders because the ones I presently own must have a hole in them. The last time I went duck hunting, they filled up with icy cold water and were so heavy that I had to be airlifted from the swamp in which I was stranded.
    I’m trusting you on these things Santa. I have heard some real horror stories about guys who delegate their wishes to the aforementioned genies that are found in bottles rather than hanging their hopes with you. The old saying about being careful what you wish for comes to mind here. I heard about a fellow who fancied himself a ladies man and made a wish with his personal genie to get a chick with long legs for Christmas. He wound up with an ostrich. Those evil genies will do anything for a laugh.   
    I also heard about a woman who (while doing business with a genie) wished that she could meet a real live hero. She was in a restaurant one day and began choking on a piece of food. Two of the good old boys were sitting nearby drinking beer and one jumped up, ran over to her, raised up her skirt and gave her a lick on her behind. The woman was so astonished that she coughed up the food.  The good old boy returned to his buddy and said, “I always wondered if that “hind lick” maneuver worked. I suppose heroes come in all shapes and sizes.
    For those reasons, I have tried to be clear and concise with my list and make sure you know that I have not consorted with genies of any kind. You are the man, Santa.
    There are a few minor things I forgot about. Since I’m as skinny as a stable boy, maybe you could send me a year’s supply of weight-gaining vitamins or maybe just some dietary information on how to cram more fat into my daily meals. I’d also like to become more efficient in my tomato-planting methods so that less time and money would actually result in more tomatoes.  Last, send along a few parcels of clothes for my wardrobe so my wife and friends will quit poking fun at my 20-year-old sweatshirts and jackets that I wear to Christmas parties.
    That’s about it for this year. Don’t bother with trying to come down the chimney because it’s already leaking and you’ll just make it worse. Leave the bill for extra shipping next to your food plate. Thought you might want something different this year so I’m leaving you some caribou sausage rather than cookies and milk. Wanted to make it abundantly clear up front that it is certainly not reindeer sausage because I don’t want to offend you. Those genies will mess up a good Christmas list.
    Articles and columns by Alvin Richardson about hunting, fishing and other outdoor sports appear weekly in the Statesboro Herald. Richardson can be reached at