The author’s wife, Yami, on federal land in Arizona where they “own no timeshare.” (Steve Hill photo)
The author’s wife, Yami, on federal land in Arizona where they “own no timeshare.” (Steve Hill photo)

My friend Lester Robert Peeples sent another letter. I’m calling him “friend” now because he’s my most regular correspondent besides Mom, who writes plenty but doesn’t mention my column much.

Of course, she doesn’t discuss all my junior high embarrassments publicly, either, so maybe that’s a good thing.

I also call Les Rob “friend” because he claims to be rich, and we probably all can use a rich friend or two right now. While I’m still not sure he’s real, this is a case of being safe rather than sorry.

So here’s Les Rob’s letter, despite parts that may seem politically incorrect.

After all, what is February for, if not piling snow at the end of the driveway, locking your door and hoping your mom doesn’t lead the keyboard-smashing masses up the porch, pointing the way to your computer?

Too many white guys in the wilderness?

Dear Steve Hill,

Thank you for printing my last letter.  I know that must be a painful experience for you and other pinko, trail-loving, snowboarding, Lady Gaga-listening, espresso-stained louts hiding behind newspaper desks writing subversive anti-American tripe about us being a nation of immigrants. 

If we’re a nation of immigrants, how come we have pizza and bratwurst and tacos and other patriotic food on every corner?  Foreigners would put alfalfa sprouts, peanut butter and graham cracker franchises everywhere instead.

By the way, your mom wrote me and said I shouldn’t be so hard on you and your fake-news-creating journalist friends. She said you all are doing your best on limited resources and surely I could be “a little less antagonistic.”

From where I lay on my gold-covered mattress, dreaming up ways to sell things to unsuspecting hippies, I’m too easy on you folks. But my own sainted Mama taught me never to disrespect anyone else’s mama, so I’m gonna ease up for the rest of this letter.

The point of which is to address something that made me mad at first, but truth be told, just confuses me now. And that’s probably a result of fluoride in the water and maybe some runoff from alfalfa-sprout fields, because everybody knows alfalfa sprouts will addle the brain.

Outside Magazine, a communist outfit if I ever saw one, recently published a gear column headlined “The Outdoor Industry Has Too Many White Dudes.” It was about the need for more diversity in businesses making recreation gear.

I’m not sure, but I think it was talking about the industry that makes fancy camping espresso makers and $400 sleeping bags and stuff like that.

The consumption of the article was that more diversity in the industry would encourage diversity in the outdoors themselves. I puzzled over how the first thing would lead to the second and saw no arguments like, “Well, maybe we should make fewer $400 sleeping bags,” but whatever.

Now, many folks might think I’m some ignorant yokel who knows nothing about the outdoors or race relations or anything at all. But any business person with a brain knows diversity is a good thing, and I’ve made gazillions of dollars in business, primarily in time shares but also other investments. So it’s important to keep up with the latest trends in sheep-like market behavior and human illogic.

Otherwise, how could I best meet the needs of my fine customers who gave me seven houses, 30 cars, and a jet ski in each of my Olympic-sized pools?

I’m a white guy, so of course, when I see headlines like that I tend to get sorta offended. Then I remember that us rich folks can plunder the kingdom way more easily when all the subjects are fighting with each other. 

I thought, “Good headline. Y’all keep arguing and making your solar-powered granola-mixing cellphone chargers with single-serve kombucha dispensers. I’ll keep selling $99 annual memberships to places where you’ll never get kombucha because you’ll never be able to get reservations anyway.”

Then, when Congress goes to sell off huge chunks of public land for an amount that might buy a couple of gallons of gas for my custom, turquoise-encrusted, 2,000-horsepower, six-seat snowmobile with “Les Rob Peeples!!!” in sterling-silver raised lettering on the sides, I will be ready to snap up that land because even though they sell it dirt cheap, you can’t get a bid in the hopper unless you personally own at least four or five legislators.

But a funny thing happened last week. And by “funny” I mean pathetic.  Truly disgusting.

Attack of the angry white dudes

Folks paying attention to Congress, which is not many, know that Feb. 1, Utah Republican Jason Chaffetz said he’d withdraw a bill that would force the sale of about 3.3 million acres of federal land.

That’s too bad. I had planned to buy Oregon, move one of my 40-room houses there, and whack down a couple of mountains so I could see directly onto my timeshare properties next door in Arizona.  Then I could check whether they’re filling too many vacancies with share owners instead of regular tourists who pay twice as much.

But it turns out ol’ Chaffetz took heat from hunters, anglers and other outdoor sorts who didn’t want the feds selling land belonging to “the people.” As if the people deserve that land, rather than somebody providing a legitimate service – like me.

Chavetz tweeted, “I am withdrawing HR 621. I’m a proud gun owner, hunter and love our public lands.”

Huh? My own kind – “white dudes” – betrayed me.

According to the last National Survey of Fishing, Hunting, and Wildlife-Associated Recreation, 86 percent of the nation’s 33.1 million anglers in 2011 were white, as were 94 percent of its 13.7 million hunters. Not only that, but 73 percent of anglers and 89 percent of hunters, disrespectively, were males.

Well, dern it all. I always knew communists, columnists and kombucha drinkers were not on my side, but white guys? Can’t a rich fella get a break? 

So here’s the point. I’m serious about Oregon, because I love Great Lake States. But according to that survey and population trends, it appears at least 100 million Americans enjoy wildlife-based recreation, including fishing, birdwatching and other depravity.

Would it be too much to ask of you to write an outdoors column that will get those folks fighting with each other some more? You know – men grousing at women, whites fussing at nonwhites, kombucha-shaming, that kind of stuff.

In return, I will allow you a ride on my turquoise snowmobile.

Just don’t mention anything about folks working together.  I don’t think that I and the few thousand oligarchs who own Congress and the courts could face 300 million Americans who just lost the cheese off their pizza.


Les Rob Peeples

P.S. Please do not tell your mama I wrote this letter.