The Weaponless Hunter

Whenever deer hunting season comes around, my thoughts naturally turn to Harry Brehme.

Harry and his wife Helen owned a waterfront bar on Green Bay's west side. It was popular with quite a few Packer players back in the age when a 5-cent draft beer was more appropriate than Shipwrecked 1907 Heidsieck on a pro football salary.

Harry and Helen ran the place pretty much on their own. I'm sure they had another bartender or two, but they didn't need a bouncer because Harry had a glass eye. When he wanted to get rid of a customer, taking the glass eye out and dropping it into the guy's drink was as effective as any bouncer and a lot cheaper.

They closed the bar for two weeks every November so Harry could go "hunting." Like many other supposed hunters, he and his cronies actually spent the time drinking and playing poker near a roaring fire in the hunting lodge.

Helen was well aware of that and, after enduring it for 20 years or so, she told Harry that things were going to change. As he prepared to leave on his trek toward the north woods of Wisconsin, she said, "All you do up there is drink and play poker while I sit here knitting. But this is your last hunting trip, Harry. Next year we're going to shut down the bar for two weeks in the summer and we're going somewhere I want to go."

In his excitement about his annual vacation, Harry didn't pay much attention to Helen's complaint. But, after his two weeks of drinking and playing poker, it probably began to register as he began his drive home.

Then Harry saw a man and a teen-aged boy pulling a slain deer out of the woods and toward a car parked on the shoulder of the highway. A brainstorm struck. He pulled onto the shoulder behind the other car and had a brief conversation with them. When the conversation ended, Harry had a hundred fewer bucks in his wallet, but he had one more buck than he'd ever brought home from any of his previous hunting trips. He tied it to the fender in true deer hunter fashion and resumed his journey.

When he got back to Green Bay, he pulled into the driveway at home and blew his horn. In response, Helen came to the front door and glanced out briefly, then disappeared back into the living room.

Harry leaped out of the car and ran into the house. "You say I don't do anything up there but drink and play poker. Well, you saw it … this year I shot a deer!"

"That's very interesting, Harry," Helen replied, "considering that you left your deer rifle in the garage."

So that was, indeed, Harry Brehme's last hunting trip.

Next: Justice may depend on who's crossing the street.
The Case of the Jaywalking Judge