In Belgium, we’re used to making fun of our French neighbours, and especially their ability to find excuses whenever their national football team loses a match. “It was too windy,” “the pitch was as bad as the ref,” “the ball was flat,” etc. Fair game, I hear you say, since our French friends are past masters in the art of making fun of Belgians.
But the Belgians and the French are not so different. What’s the evidence? The Browning team has worked hard to compile ten excuses to use when you are out hunting with your rifle and don’t hit a target.
“The sun was in my eyes” is an excuse which has gone into the hall of fame of rubbish excuses. Even more rubbish since if you live in the north of France or in Belgium, you don’t know the name of that big yellow sphere spotted between two clouds in 1977. For those who don’t need vitamin D fed intravenously, your best bet is simply to buy a pair of sunglasses.
“The birds were going too fast because of the wind, which put me off my shot” is the favourite excuse of all small game hunters obsessed with meteorology. According to them, hunting is unthinkable if the wind exceeds 5kmph, if the moon is full or unless the temperature is between 14° and 21°.
“I’m too cold, and by extension “I’m too hot”, is a variation on the preceding excuse. Cold is not an excuse. Our engineers don’t slog away designing warm jackets just to kill time. As for the heat, the minute there is sufficient demand we will willingly design a range of orange sleeveless vests.
“I’ve eaten too much; I can’t shoulder my weapon any more,” chimes in Bernard, woodcock hunter and raclette-lover. Obviously it’s not Bernard’s fault. Nobody told him not to gobble alarming quantities of melted cheese before going hunting. But anyway, the excuse stands. Nobody ever criticises raclette. Ever.
“The beautiful woman on the next post put me off,” is only a valid excuse if you are hunting in the company of one of our women ambassadors. Any other time, just concentrate on the game.
“I’ve got too much work, is the hunting counterpart of “not tonight darling, I’ve got a headache”. Getting away from your daily cares is the reason for going hunting. So switch your phone off and take a deep breath of fresh air.
“I don’t like this cartridge,” is another valid excuse, as long as you can back it up. Did you choose the right shot? The right weight? Are you sure it’s Winchester ammunition?
“I haven’t got the right jacket”, is a miracle excuse which always works, as long as your jacket doesn’t carry the Browning logo. In which case, you are demonstrating bad faith of the worst hypocritical, uncalled-for and shocking kind, unworthy of a hunter. Unless you just didn’t get the right size?
“I’m never ready when the game goes past,” you sigh when a hundred ducks have just flown past without you firing a single cartridge. Just a reminder: you are the hunter. Concentrate and leave your knitting behind when you go hunting.
“I haven’t got a Browning.” Well, that’s your fault. But in that case, why not visit www.browning.eu?
So, what are your best excuses when you miss your target?