Traverse City Record-Eagle

November 17, 2013

Garret Leiva: Deer camp for this rhinestone cowboy

Local columnist

— I know it sounds weird, but Glen Campbell is stalking me.

The country crooner follows my every move. He is in the car, at work, and even in the bathroom while I brush my teeth. The “Rhinestone Cowboy” surrounds me.

Actually, it’s his words that won’t let me be. The song “Country Boy” is not merely stuck in my head; it’s embedded in my temporal lobe.

My run-in with Glen Campbell happened right before deer camp. I was scanning radio stations when I stumbled across his 1975 hit song. I’ve been stuck with it ever since.

I went out to bag a buck, but somehow I came home with a musical earworm.

While weather and beard stubble conditions vary, there are a few deer camp constants.

First, our tin-roof hunting shack weathered another year. Not bad considering it was built during the Lyndon B. Johnson administration. The Red Shed still stands; supported more by nostalgia at this point than weight-bearing walls.

Our little abode in the woods screams rustic charm. Of course, the cedar-sided outhouse draws the same reaction on cold mornings.

You can also count on a steady diet of the four basic deer camp food groups: pickled, smoked, fried and jerky. Summer sausage and nutty doughnuts is a grossly underrated breakfast combo. You will find a few vegetables – usually out on the bait pile.

While deer camp is several two-track roads from civilization, the outside word remains in range. The battery-powered camp radio, however, emits one sound: country music.

Nifty cowboy hats aside, I’m not a country music fan. I will foolishly follow Johnny Cash into a “Ring of Fire” or shed a tear in my beer with Hank Williams Jr., if you put a karaoke mic in my hand.

Out in the blaze-orange wilderness, under the cover of darkness and thermal-lined underwear, I indulge my inner honky-tonk. Although I find some of today’s country music to be indigestible auditory chewing gum.

Glen Campbell is not gum. He’s more like acid reflux that keeps coming up on a daily basis.

The bell-bottom-blue-jeans-era “Country Boy” keeps rattling around my head. Over and over I hear the lyrics, “Country boy, you got your feet in L.A., but your mind’s on Tennessee.”

Unfortunately, no amount of mental floss can dislodge this song.

While a hot shower and shave strips away the residue of deer camp, I can’t simply wash away Glen Campbell. I’m stuck with him until I can purge this useless tidbit.

It wouldn’t change my predicament, but it’s too bad you can’t file a restraining order against a song – good thing for wrecking balls like Miley Cyrus.

Glen Campbell is not the ideal voice in my head. However, things could be worse – lyrically speaking. His song “Southern Nights” contains 21 da’s and two la’s, all in one verse.

The thought of that earworm makes my temporal lobe hurt.