October 14, 2008

The post in which I make you cry

Here, you might need these:

In Texas, hunting, and deer hunting, specifically, is a huge part of our culture. And here in East Texas, it's an even bigger deal. I've been deer hunting one time, about twenty years ago, doing it with several die hard hunters. The "peer pressure" was tremendous to shoot one. I got to the moment of truth where I actually had a deer in my scope. And. I. Just. Could. Not. Do. It. Couldn't do it! And I knew/know well why -- Bambi. I'd been effectively and irrevocably "Bambi-fied." Sounds like I share some good company, based on a recent poll reported by Telegraph.co.uk:

Walt Disney's classic animated film Bambi has been voted the best "tear-jerker" of all time, despite being 66 years old.

The tale of love, life and loss which follows the story of a young deer has touched generations of young fans since its release in 1942.

Its "lump in the throat moment" comes when Bambi's mother is shot by hunters.

Her actual death is never shown, instead, the fawn's father tells him quietly: "Your mother can't be with you any more," as they walk off into the snow together.

The film was named best tear-jerker in an online poll of more than 3,000 people, carried out on behalf of Pearl and Dean, with 18 per cent of the vote.

Sir Paul McCartney has credited the film with turning him vegetarian.

In an interview three years ago, he said: "I think that made me grow up thinking hunting isn't cool."

Are you ready for this? Sure? Allrighty then:

Okay, that is pretty rough, but I still think this scene from Dumbo tops even that one. I can clearly remember my mother (who brought my little sister and me to see it in this Galveston theater, during the October 1972 re-release) crying during this:

Are you sure you want to do this to yourself?
The brief, minor chord reprise of the "Baby Mine" melody at the end gets me every time.


Michael Suzich said...

Hello Chris,

Yes, the peer pressure can be quite intense here in Texas, even in middle school. While in my teens, my father would take me several times a year to a lease ranch near Rio Grande City for deer hunting. I never shot one, though I'm not sure if it was due to the Bambi Factor. I remember digging waking up at 3:00 AM, drinking instant Sanka in a trailer with my Dad, and freezing my behind off in a blind all morning long. I would have never admitted that at school, though.

I want you to know that I tried my best to cry at this post. I just couldn't get choked up. Now, if I had watched the final scene of Willy Wonky, where Wonka delivers that final line to Charlie and Grandpa ("He lived happily ever after") in the glass elevator, I would have been reduced to a blubbering fool. (It gets me every time.)

I must say, it was very considerate of you to provide us Bored in Nac fans a box of tissues, just in case!

Chris said...

But...you were supposed to cry, dammit! Salty tears! You must have some Vulcan in you.

I can't say that the Wonka scene affected me in the same way, at all. I assumed the Bambi and Dumbo scenes were universal in their manipulation of the viewer.

It's too bad some people one's "manliness" or "chutzpah" or "testicle size" with their ability to take a firearm, point it at an oblivious wild animal, and pull the trigger. Maybe that means because we live in a time wherein we don't have to kill the food we eat, we just simply don't want to kill something!

Anonymous said...

When I was a kid ... I never was much interested in hunting. It's not that I felt bad for the animals or anything; it's just that getting up before the crack of dawn to sit in the freezing cold till some deer walked by to shoot it seemed rather boring.

My dad was from Nacogdoches, so of course the start of deer season was marked on his calendar. One year, he took me up to my Grandma's near Columbus, and finally dragged me out to the dear stand near an oats patch that my Grandpa and him had planted. And we sat and waited, and along came a deer. He wanted me to shoot it, but I declined.

Years after that, he went out of his way to mention the event to everyone he ever met. He said something like "... he just said 'Daddy, let's just watch the deer' ..." or something like that.

The real reason I didn't want to shoot the deer is that I didn't want to have to skin him afterward.

Shooting the deer is always the easy part. Skinning them afterward - that's the hard part.

Chris said...

Ha! That's for sure, Billy. The smell! My God. And there are guys who'll get in a gutted deer up to their elbows and not even flinch. I always thought about that scene from Empire Strikes Back where Han says: "And I thought they smelled bad on the outside."

Michael Suzich said...

Right. Armed with an half-full glass of Jack Daniel's and a firm commitment to shed a tear, I watched the Bambi clip again. Did I cry? No, but it primed me for the Dumbo clip. With the glass now emptied and my sentiments stirred, I watched the clip. The result? Mind you, tears did not traverse my visage, but my eyes welled up a bit. Does that count?

Chris said...

I guess even the "tear in your beer" type of reaction is relevant, michael. And see, the Dumbo scene packs much more of a wallop!

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