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There is only one way to Skin a Cat

Joe Plourde

In all my travels across the countryside, I often hear people say, "there's more than one way to skin a cat." Well sir, I have heard this saying used long enough that I feel that it must be said: There is only one way to skin a cat.

I really don't know where the expression "there's more than one way to skin a cat" comes from, but to the best of my knowledge, it's flat out wrong. Myself, my pappy, my grandpappy, well, as far back as anyone round these parts can remember, we've been in the cat skinning business, and we've been using the very same uniform method of skinning a cat for generations.

When I go to cat skinning conventions and trade shows, well, there is certainly a diversity of products and merchandise available from a wide array of retailers. There's gutting knives, stainless steel disembowelers, leg pluckers, body shavers, protective goggles, hand lotion, barbecues-the whole nine yards. That being said, the methods in which each and every one of us within the true fraternity of cat skinning use these utensils is exactly the same.

This is exactly the point of my premise: There is but one tried, tested and time-honoured method of cat skinning. If anyone can prove to me otherwise, I will take back everything that I have just said.

You'll notice a couple of paragraphs above I used the term "true fraternity of cat skinning." Before you even mention the "methode Europonique," allow me to say that I refuse to even acknowledge its existence, as it is such an ineffective and flat-out stupid way to skin a cat.

I remember my son Jesse came back from cat skinning college a couple of years ago all excited about what his instructors were saying about a "new radical approach" to cat skinning. Apparently all these textbook cat skinners who probably never skun (industry speak) a cat in their lives were all ga-ga about the infamous methode Europonique. He came in the door saying that it would revolutionize cat skinning, improve the family business, yadda yadda yadda…..

When he explained it to me, I knew right away that this was some Euro-snob bullshit. I won't bore you with the details regarding the specifics of the "methode Europonique," but if I did, I think you'd understand the reason for my disgust with this method and my refusal to accept it as anything other than a fraud. I even warned Jesse that if I ever caught him using the methode Europonique, not only is he out of the business and out of my will, he's out of the family.

Is this what the cat skinning institutes of today are teaching everywhere? Is this what my tax dollars are paying for? I understand that higher education is supposed to question widely accepted truths, but when it comes to skinning a cat, there is only one truth. There is only one way to skin a cat.

If I'm at a convention and I see a "methode Europonique" booth or pamphlet, why it's all I can do not to punch them out. Do these charlatans not see that they are ruining a skilled trade that has been in my family for over 150 years?

Who are these eggheads in their ivory towers to come across all high and mighty telling those of us working in the business about a "better way" to skin a cat? The methode Europonique approach leaves so many entrails to waste and doesn't allow you to get a feel for the cat. Sure, it might be "quicker" and utilizing it makes it less likely for you to chop a thumb off if you don't know what the hell you're doing in the first place. I could go on for pages, but I think you get my drift.

What these disciples of the methode Europonique don't understand is that skinning a cat isn't about the bottom line and making a quick buck. You're in the wrong business if that's why you got into it. For me, skinning a cat is a way of life.

Posted on July 27th, 2001


 

 

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