My phone rings.
“Is this the guy that writes the sports?”
“I don’t write sports, but I write the outdoor column that sometimes appears in the Sports Section,” I say.
“That’s what I mean,” the caller says. “Anyway, I know a guy who knows a guy who saw a tractor trailer full of coyotes come in from Texas and the DNR let them loose at Rocky Gap State Park.”
“What’s the guy’s name?” I ask. “The guy who saw the truck and the coyotes.”
“I don’t know,” the caller says.
“What’s the guy’s name who knows him?”
“I don’t know his last name.”
“How can I get ahold of him to find out the guy’s name who saw the truck and the coyotes?”
“I don’t know that either.”
“What’s your name?”
“I know a guy who knows a guy who has a video of a coyote den where the coyotes brought 14 fawns back for the pups to eat.”
“Did you see the video?”
“No. But this guy I know did.”
“How can I see the video?”
“I don’t know.”
“I know a guy who knows a guy who shot a coyote with an ear tag that had the name of an insurance company on it.”
“Where can I see the tag?”
“I don’t know.”
“I know a guy who has a friend who saw a DNR helicopter drop rattlesnakes in little blue parachutes.”
“Do you have any of the parachutes or know where I can see one?”
“I know a guy who has proof that the DNR transplanted bears into Maryland.”
“I know a guy who knows a guy who has proof that the DNR brought the blue tongue disease into (Maryland, West Virginia, Pennsylvania) to knock the deer herd down.”
“I know a guy who knows a guy who has a cousin who has pictures of the DNR releasing mountain lions on the Savage River State Forest.”
“I know a guy who can prove that the DNR makes up the deer kill numbers. You know hunters aren’t killing that many deer.”
“Which DNR? Maryland or West Virginia?”
Show me the video. Show me the ear tag. Show me the pictures. Show me the parachutes. Show me the proof. Show me the money.
Otherwise, please don’t call 301-784-2523 with any more of these stories.
I know a guy who knows a guy who doesn’t want to hear them any more.
Contact Outdoor Editor Mike Sawyers at firstname.lastname@example.org.