[dropcap]I[/dropcap]’m ashamed to admit, I’ve watched three presidential debates. And for this recent match-off, I did what any average person in their right mind would do. I watched it at a bar. Whenever the candidates opened their mouths, you should’ve heard the place come unglued. It sounded like the Iron Bowl was underway. Except I wasn’t winning any money.

In the middle of the it all, the white-haired owner of the place cranked down the volume. Then, he polled the audience, questioning who folks were voting for. That got a few laughs.

Patrons of his establishment were of varied backgrounds; businessmen, blue-collars, old codgers, and gout victims like me. We all gave a show of hands. I kept score on a bar napkin.

The results: 6 Trumps; 6 Rubios; 4 Hilarys; 2 Bernies; the bartender was pulling for Gus Malzahn; 5 had to pee; 29 would’ve rather watched football.

So we shut off the television.

I’ll be dead-honest. These debates remind me of coon hunting. And if you’ve never been coon hunting — a favorite sport among people of my pedigree — here’s how it goes:

Just like the debates, raccoon hunting is a nighttime activity. And just as in the debates, participants are encouraged to drink.

You’ll note that like the candidates, raccoons are filthy little pricks. They survive on a diet rich in nuts, berries, residential garbage, and — if times are lean — poop. You’re getting the picture now.

Like the presidential race, a session of coon hunting can endure forever. Hunters often trail miles through the woods, hiking rugged terrain. Sometimes, going hours without a single beer.

Once the coon is in sight, hunters turn loose the dogs. The raccoon (politician) darts up a tree, thus becoming, what we call in the South, “done for.”

The coonhounds, of coruse, are a lot like debate moderators. All they do is stand at the tree and bark. The raccoon is so frightened, he just sits there promising lower taxes.

And then there’s us, the hardworking coon-hunters. When faced with a treed coon, we have options. We can (a) watch the dogs and coon fuss, which is pointless; or we can (b) shoot the coon, cook him up, and eat dookie-flavored meat for supper.

Either way, we’ve wasted our night.

I wish football season was here.