Thursday, June 27, 2013
Three's a crowd...
Some time ago I read an article in an outdoor magazine where the writer reminisced about his boyhood and when his father decided that he was old enough to go hunting without an adult. His father gave him permission to have a friend along on these hunts, but absolutely forbade him to go with two boys. That father apparently felt that a third party significantly changed the dynamics and that three boys were much more likely to indulge in bad behavior than two.
I've often thought about that story and have always felt that the father displayed wisdom in setting down that rule. I'll leave it to the behavior scientists to analyze, but the point seems to me to be true about humans in general and not just young men.
It came to mind Monday when I was canoeing in the reservoir. I was drifting along casting to the shoreline for bream and thinking how quiet and restful the moment was when the peace was suddenly disturbed by the presence of three male teenagers moving through the woods. They were loud and profane and I instantly became alert to a possible threat, but they either didn't notice or ignored me. Most likely they were harmless and no worse than I was at their age. I don't know if they were there to fish or for an illegal swim, but I soon paddled across the lake to get away from their noise.
As I resumed fishing I had the intuitive thought that two of them would have been much more than one third quieter, that the addition of boy number three increased the sound exponentially. Obviously, I don't know this for a fact but I believe it based on my memories of my own boyhood as well as the article read long ago.
After catching a few fish I hurried off the water when I heard thunder rumblings getting closer. The chatter of the three boys was still carrying across the water, seemingly louder than the thunder.