And Then There Was The Time…
So after having a confession yesterday about my snake flinging incident, commenter Andy D mentioned that if I’d slung the snake directly onto instead of simply near my mom, that likely I’d remember the conclusion of that story a lot differently.
Which reminded me of yet another story that took place at that family vacation house near Ute Lake.
My dad was an avid hunter and we always had guns in the house. Since my dad didn’t want us to be either scared or a little too curious about the guns, he made sure we all knew how to shoot each and every one.
On the small bit of property we owned in Cuba, New Mexico, there was a tree that had been felled by lightening. It was a huge tree, and it made a really good location for target practice. Whenever we’d go camping, my dad would bring along guns and each kid (and mom too) all had to take a turn. Dad supervised while we learned to load and shoot the gun.
I was shooting my dad’s deer rifles from a young age. All this is by way of saying that I grew up fairly comfortable around guns.
My brother had himself a BB gun when he was a teenager, and when he went off to college, that BB gun was left at the Lake House. For a while, around age 12 or so, I adopted that BB gun as my own. It had seen better days, but it worked fine and there was a big box of BBs available for my “ping!” pleasure.
I liked to shoot the gun mainly for the sound of the BBs pinging off the side of something like the old metal sided chicken coop.
Not the most ambitious of kids, was I.
On the property was a telephone pole. For reasons I still don’t fully understand, that telephone pole was covered in a very thick layer of tar. When the baking heat of a New Mexico summer day would get going, that tar would soften into a gooey mess.
So in my eleven year old mind, I had the brilliant idea that if I shot BBs at the tar covered pole, they’d stick. Wouldn’t that be so cool?
I filled the BB gun full to the brim and got to work out back shooting at that pole from a fair distance. I wanted to make it sporting. Now, hitting a decently narrow pole from a good distance is tougher than you may think. Or at least it was for me. What I lacked in aim, I made up for with single minded focus.
Well, so there I was, pumping BB’s in the general direction of the telephone pole, and my mom, wearing shorts and a sleeveless shirt, was working out in the back yard pulling weeds.
You can see where this is headed, right?
Sure enough, it was only a matter of time before I pulled the trigger, my aim was a bit off the mark and I…
Yes, I did.
I shot my mom in the arm.
She was, as the saying goes, mad as a wet hen. Quickly enough, a big red welt began rising on her right arm.
Let me just tell you this: I was no longer allowed the use of that BB gun. I was done. For good.
Flinging a snake? I got off easy. Shooting my mom? My oh my. I was in quite a bit of trouble which included a “talking to” from my dad.
That’s never good.
And so in the course of two blog posts, I’ve created quite the Mother’s Day meme.
(I did not, in fact, shoot my eye out. I shot my mom. Whoops.)
Photo is a still from the movie, “A Christmas Story.”