Sunday, March 30, 2008

Accounting for Ricochets

So, I pulled up to the Deer Camp ("TDC") late on Friday night, (prior engagements kept me out later in Atlanta than anticipated), I walked in the front door, and plunked my bag down in its normal resting spot near the head of my bunk.

At this point, nothing particularly interesting had happend. I spotted a luna moth AND a tiger moth side-by-side on the lamppost, both of which allowed me to pick them up and look at them very closely without flying off - that was extremely cool; but other than that it was business as usual.

I made a couple of trips in and out, got myself situated, locked the truck, headed back inside AND GOT THAT FEELING.

You know that "something is eyeballing me" feeling? I'm extremely sensitive to that feeling on most occasions, but when I'm alone at TDC, or walking out of a swamp in the dark (for instance) - it gets out of control. The something-is-eyeballing-me-and-not-in-a-good-way feeling you might consider my 6th through 19th senses when I've got my antennas up. Its very similar to being quite afraid of the dark, EXCEPT that I am not at all afraid of the dark and I'll fight any man who says differently.

Fortunately, I didn't have to sit there and stew, paralyzed, for very long because I quickly noted that the furry figurine that I originally assumed was a new addition to our stuffed squirrel collection - was actually very much alive and looking me dead in the eye with malevolent fury.

Thats right dear friends. There was a flying squirrel loose in the house. Our eyes locked and he came at me with a blood-curdling shriek that momentarily turned my feet to stone. Before you laugh - listen - we're talking about a RODENT THAT FLIES. What could be more terrifying than that??? Unable to run, I immediately struck a defensive pose, threw myself on the floor and rolled up in a throw rug like a big, hairy, oriental-rug-wrapped hotdog.

In the ensuing melee I lost my hat, one flip flop, and somehow ended up with my Bass Pro Shops shirt around my face like a Berber desert camel herder, BUT I still had my pants on - which I consider a minor victory.

When the shrieking stopped, I peeked out of my rug-hide and surveyed the landscape for my sharp-toenailed, furry, assailant. I just managed to spot his devilish tail disappearing into the swampmoss adorning our largest bobcat mount (possibly the crowning insult to the soul of that great cat).

By this time I am not at all emotionally stable. So, I did what any other emotionally unstable person would do if attacked at home, late at night...and I went for a gun.

Now, its at this point that I suddenly realize - I'm at TDC (one of my favorite places on earth) and I'm hunting something - IN THE HOUSE. It was like the collision of my two greatest dreams - hunting something that wants to kill me, AND doing it INDOORS without having to go to Africa and get all sweaty. That was the turning point.

I bravely put my shirt back on, cocked the Red Ryder BB gun I always keep handy, hid under a barstool, and lobbed a shotgun shell up into the rafters towards the stuffed feline.

The hail of BBs that followed was nothing short of spectacular. I'm proud to say that I went down in a blazing, furious, rain of copper-coated steel.

What I DID NOT account for was: ricochets. That squirrel paid dearly for his misdeeds, but it ended up costing me quite a bit more.

I have since reached an agreement with our groundskeeper concerning such terms as "responsible behavior", "me", "gun safety", "capacity for rational thought", and "exaggeration", but I'm pleased to tell you: I'd do it all over again just to hear those BBs whizzing off the sides of that TV set on more time.

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