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Pecan Pie for the Mind: My failure as a Southern hunter-gatherer
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Are you a decent hunter-gatherer who can locate food in the wild? Our Southern ancestors were good at that, and I imagine some of you are completely capable of filling a freezer with deer meat, or fresh fish, or wild ducks.

But, I think most of us are pretty bad in the wild food area. You've already read about my blackberry-gathering debacle. By the way, the chigger wounds have just about healed, thank you very much.

I've tried to be a good forager. This past week, we were off Georgia's eastern coast for some fishing and crabbing. The results with the rod-and-reels were terrible: little croakers, a few whiting, and one small shark, but we cleaned up on blue crabs. Thanks to a fancy crab trap and a teenage son who got out of bed at a record 4 a.m., we came home with 28 of the hard-shell snacks. We were hunter-gatherers, just like in the history books. Well, sort of...

Have you ever cooked your own blue crabs? First, you have to deal with all the "stuff" that boils out of them. Then you have to figure out how to open them, get the meat, leave the nasty parts, and enjoy the meal. It took 15 minutes to eat just one crab. Those crabs have more parts than my old Alfa Romeo sport car did. In fact, opening a blue crab is a lot like working on a car: pop the main latch, flip the hood open, rip out the air filter, avoid getting hurt, and take care of the main business. Yep! It's just like working on an old, smelly car, as long as your car has gills and sharp spines.

I can see why hunter-gatherers never had weight problems. They couldn't find enough to eat, let alone get fat. I don't have that problem. Just going down Ga. Highway 20, I can find more than enough to fatten me up. Sadly, I'm beginning to realize that my view of the hunter-gatherer role is to gather the family together in the car and hunt for a restaurant that everyone will like. And if you think that's easy, try striking a compromise when one kid wants sushi, one wants fresh veggies and one wants barbecue. That, my friends, is much more of a challenge than popping the hood on a blue crab and frisking him for a snack.

David McCoy, a notorious storyteller and proud Yellow Jacket, lives in Conyers. He can be reached at