Sunday, July 29, 2012

My Husband, the “Sniper”!

Note: No, I have never seen Caddyshack. But I can relate!

You know what they say: “When in the Wild West, do as they do!” – right?! Right!

Well, I have been waiting (and watching) patiently for two years to learn how things are done out here, in The West – where the skies are tall and the land just strolls for hundreds of thousands of miles with no shame, into the sunset.

Things are different, here, my friends. They shoot people who walk into their houses, they still sit on the signal when the train goes across the plains, because, you see, the rails have made it out so far – it’s a big deal when the train arrives in town! They still look for fortunes – lost people of The East, moving here, in search for a better, richer, simpler, less “political” and more free lives. People still make their own justice here . Sure they do. Who knows whether they even have a sheriff in these parts, right?! Or when the sheriff is out of the bar and ready to take action.

You get the idea! Whatever the John Wayne movies taught you, back in the day – it’s all alive and well, out here in the Wild Wild West. And that’s part of the charm!

But I never would have thought that the Wild West would be alive and well in my own back yard. Literally. Let me explain.

We have had gophers. Since early last fall, we have lived with mounds and mounds of dirt being unburied by the little (or huge) cheeky creatures and with plants dying all over the yard. We have tried poisoning them – no good! Not sure if they eat the poison, but if they do, it’s definitely agreeing with them. We have the “buzzers”, these rods you stick in the ground and they vibrate, making these “horrible” electric noises, apparently meant to shoo them away. These devices moved them about 10 feet away from the flower beds, … till last week (for about 2 months). But now, they can’t hear the buzzing, either. Or if they can, they don’t care.  

Pest control people didn’t want to kill them last winter, because, apparently, gophers hibernate, and they don’t eat poison during winter months. Wrong! No hibernation here! Feeding off of plant roots?! Definitely! Now, in the summer, pest control people are not returning calls. Evidently, too busy killing the suckers everywhere in town! Or who knows …

Well, this weekend, my husband decided to do what every good Westerner does – take the matter in his own hands! So, while sipping coffee on a lazy Saturday morning, on our kitchen bar stools, I point to him the little rodent digging in the back yard. Before I could even say “gopher”, Aa. stands up and marches, resolute as anything, to the basement. He comes out with a freaking huge (to me!) rifle  to shoot the thing.

Calm as ever, he pries the back patio door open just a few inches, sits on the floor, Indian style – so that he could “hide” behind our fence so the neighbors across the road won’t see a tall man pointing a rifle at the road, with the rifle to his eye, waiting for the thing to come back out. This gopher was the size of a small rat. Same color as the dirt. I doubted very seriously that he could shoot him with one bullet. I am all freaking out, because I think: “oh, crap! The gun will make so much noise, the neighbors will call the police on us, for hearing gun fire within the city limit.” Aa. explains that “the gun is a .22. It makes no more noise than a firecracker”. – like that’s supposed to mean anything to me.

A gun is a gun is a freaking gun for me!!! What do I care?!! It will make noise and it will make damage – that much I know! I am freaking the hell out!  I am sitting on the floor, in the front room, caressing, and reassuring my cats, who, in their infinite wisdom, are hiding away from the back of the house, where Mr. Aa. is on the lookout, carefully, and feeling that something is “off”. I can see Aa. but I can’t see the back yard.

After about 3 minutes of waiting, a short, brief, very confident shot is fired. Aa. was right. Not louder than a firecracker! No resounding noise. No echo. Almost no pull!

“Did you get him?” – I ask full of fear and awe.
“Yep.” – he comes back in one breath.
After a few seconds, he says: “Oh, sh^t! Not all the way. He’s walking away, but he’s hurt!”
“Go out there with a shovel and finish him off!” – I find this voice inside of me coming out with definite hatred!

And off he goes. And I watch him bury the thing, after finding  “lots of blood” – making the mound all “clean” and all.
And there the gopher goes … Hopefully, one down, the rest of them left for the pest man to “finish off” on Wednesday, when we finally made the appointment.

I am not sure how to put into words how I feel about this whole thing?! I didn’t grow up with guns! I hate guns! I am even scared they could misfire and kill me if they just sit there, in front of me, laying down! I am that scared of them. Is it right to shoot a gun within the city limits? I am not sure. He has a permit and everything, but is it OK? As long as we’re safe, and he was!, is it still wrong to protect your house? As I have said – nothing else worked. I am sick of the critters! I am sick like you would not believe it! I would kill them with a shovel, too, but some of them are enormous – the size of a medium dog, even! A shovel and my lack of strength would only annoy them! We need something sure. A gun and a precise gunman is definitely that! Sure.

I am positive my “gun friends” are laughing out loud reading this, but I am still nervous! Although a small piece of me smiles with joy that one set of teeth is not going to ruin my work of two years anymore, a huge part of me is afraid of what consequences gun use can have. My best friend shoots foxes in her back yard in Virginia, who threaten her chickens, and she lives smack dab in the middle of a bigger city than we do. So, I guess it’s all OK. But such an out-of-body experience for me to witness!

Apparently, I am not all the way American, and definitely, not all the way Western, yet! *sigh*.

A shallow grave: somewhere, under this mound, there is a dead gopher - next to their favorite plant.

1 comment:

TonyaB122 said...

I am laughing so hard right now! Way to go Aa! Where's the picture of him with his trophy kill?

You left off the groundhogs who eat the garden, they're not safe either. ;-) By the way, it is breaking the law to fire a gun within our town limits. Growing up with LOTS of guns surrounding me meant I have a deep respect for the damage and trouble they can cause (dad was fanatical about teaching proper handling), but I still don't want to live in a home without one. Thanks for the smile this morning, it came at the right time.