Many years ago, David and I visited two friends who were doing a bald eagle watch in northern Arizona. This is the kind of job wildlife biologists get: camp out all summer and keep an eye on the nest and the eaglets. Sure, there are many fun things about this job, but it also gets monotonous and the heat was unending, even at night. Desert camping usually guarantees at least cool nights, but in this place, the rock absorbed all the heat and radiated it back all night long.
So, they would make the hour-long hike to the bottom of the canyon, to swim in the little stream there. Never mind that the climb back up took longer and you arrived hot and sweaty – it was still totally worth it. We enthusiastically agreed to this proposition and made the jaunt with them.
Now, the bottom of this canyon was full of desert scrub, thorny bushes and cacti. You had to be really careful navigating it. Plus, free-range cattle had to be avoided. They told us this story about how, on one hike, they saw a bull and cow going at it. The bull was humping away until our friends startled them. The bull and cow broke apart and took off running.
Only, the bull still had his bullish manly parts extended, swinging in the breeze, as it were.
The male half of our biologist couple, appalled as the bull crashed through the thorny brush and cacti with his long pink delicate bits exposed, yelled out “Reel it in, buddy! Reel it in!”
We laugh about this story still.
And I thought of it the other day, when a friend and I had a conversation about people oversharing on the internet. There’s lots of discussion on this topic – how much is too much, etc. It’s good to connect with people in a personal way, but at some point, if you’re walking around with your entrails hanging out, people just wince and look away.
Reel it in, buddy. Reel it in.