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Celia Rivenbark: The odd couple of doctor hunters

I imagine there is nowhere safe for Minnesota dentist Walter Palmer to hide now that everyone knows he essentially killed the Lion King. The guy is beyond toxic. Even noted NRA wingnut in chief Wayne LaPierre would probably duck-dive behind the couch if he saw this guy coming up his walkway. And that’s bad.

Walter Palmer’s patients have vowed to take their root canals and routine cleanings elsewhere. In less time than it took for Blake to cheat on Miranda, this man from the land of Lake Wobegon has morphed from an image of gentle dental elf Hermie to something more on the order of Orin, the sadistic dentist in “Little Shop of Horrors.”

The only real surprise is that in the weeks since the discovery that Walter Palmer murdered beloved lion star “Cecil” during a rich white man’s safari in Zimbabwe that Donald Trump hasn’t embraced him. Yet. Trump loves to skewer political correctness and turn an unpopular stance into a “Gosh, Martha, I hate to say it but I kinda agree with him” moment.

So, it wouldn’t surprise me hugely if Donald Trump didn’t make Walter Palmer his very own Joe the Plumber, shined up and dumbed down for 2016.

“He was a dentist spending his own hard-earned money to go on a safari with a few friends,” Trump could say. “Look, I’ve killed hundreds of lions with my bare hands before ordering my personal chef to transform them into the finest lion steaks you could ever hope to eat. That’s not exactly true but most of what I say isn’t so, well, bygones.”

I’ve often thought it is odd how many physicians I know who go big-game hunting at least every other year. A now-retired gynecologist in my hometown insisted on displaying hunting “trophies” in his office, apparently clueless that most women prefer their annual exams with a minimum of teeth-bared Grizzly Bear or glassy-eyed 16-point buck staring at them. I wasn’t his patient but a friend who was complained that she practically had to shove a caribou skull out of the way just to sit down and talk birth control. While that image is off-putting, to be sure, I try not to judge. Unless, of course, I am awake.

And now we learn of Dr. Jan Seske, a Pennsylvania gynecological oncologist who is fairly famous in Zimbabwe for his many bow and arrow kills, some of them not exactly legal. (He denied being in Africa at the time of a second questionable killing.)

While we ponder the odd link between healers by day and organ-piercing-by-arrow on safari, let’s give a shout-out to Delta Airlines, which bowed to public pressure and agreed not to transport big game trophies (carcasses) as freight anymore.

Whaaaaa?

This makes that long flight in the middle seat with a whiny kid kicking you in the minions the whole way seem not so bad. It’s hard to complain when you realize there may be lions and rhinos and leopards down below who have actually suffered more.

At least I think they did.

celiarivenbark.com

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