The Hunt

by Dale Connelly

The kids who collect Beanies will be all right. It’s the adults who are frightening. The hardened adult Beanie collector drives a station wagon so packed with spoils that they need trailer mirrors so they can see what’s behind them. They speed into parking lots, park across two spaces, throw open the door with the engine still knocking, and stride up to the counter to say, “You got any of them monkey dolls? All I need is that one and that cat.” And somewhere deep inside there’s a tiny voice that says, “This is sick. You’re twisted. You sap, why did you fall for this?”

There is a reason, and I think it’s ancient. It’s the hunt. The prehistoric urge to track something down and bag it before someone else does, so that you and yours can eat and propagate. Most people don’t do that anymore—we’ve become softened by consumerism; we can buy what we need. But now these big corporations have found a way to tap the compulsion, to tie marketing to survival and re-create the hunt.

That’s why the beanbags are shaped like animals. That’s why otherwise reasonable adults find themselves milling around by the condiment counter mumbling things like, “I heard they had Doby at the Shop ’N Save.” It’s the thrill of victory. The seduction of the chase.
If it weren’t for this we might be out in the woods, waiting for deer. That would be dangerous.

—Dale Connelly is the cohost of The Morning Show, on Minnesota Public Radio.

Return me to the
main page.

I want to read some

I want to read more EXCERPTS from the book.