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A Redneck Holiday

A Redneck Holiday
A Redneck Holiday
A Redneck Holiday
A Redneck Holiday
I could regale you with tales of my boring Thanksgiving, which consisted of a very healthy baked turkey, steamed green beans, mashed potatoes, etc. I prefer my turkey served in a vat of Crisco, my potatoes swimming in a pool of butter, and my green beans submerged in melted cheese. But, you know, this healthy stuff worked too. My arteries will thank me later.

After dinner, I suited up in a bulky sweatshirt (A GIANTS sweatshirt, which was definitely not appreciated by my boyfriend’s New England Patriots loving family!). I pulled the hood up around my ears and over the enormous ski cap that was tightly hugging my skull. Tucking the frayed hem of me jeans into blue Ugg boots, I slipped gloves over my fingers and headed out with the boys.

I was being taught how to shoot a gun. His dad showed me how to load the bullet into the chamber and the proper way to position it—against your shoulder so that there is no kick back (or something to that extent). Pretty much all I heard was “Blah, blah, blah…aim at the target…blah, blah, blah…pull the trigger.” I have a very bad tendency to get a tad overzealous and not pay attention to important details…like instructions.
The conversation went a bit like this:

Sean’s Dad: Now, you pull the lever back and you’ll see the bullet be shifted into the barrel.
Me: (I put my finger on the trigger)
Sean’s Dad: No…not the trigger, the lever.
Me: Isn’t the trigger also a lever?
Sean’s Dad: No, it’s the trigger. THIS is the lever. It cocks the gun.
Me: (Chuckles to myself that Sean’s dad said “cock”)
Sean’s Dad: Ok. So, go ahead and pull the lever.
Me: (I put my finger on the trigger. Mainly to amuse myself; I know this is the wrong “lever”)
Sean’s Dad: That’s the trigger!
Me: Oh, right. (I load the bullet)
Sean’s Dad: So, now the gun is live.
Me: The gun’s alive?
Sean’s Dad: No, the gun IS live. As in it’s ready to shoot.
Me; (I lower the gun from my shoulder) Oh, so that means, it’s like—
Sean’s Dad: Don’t lower the gun! Once it’s cocked, you want to keep it pointing at the target. Just in case.
Me: Oh, ok. It doesn’t seem to safe though to be yelling at the girl holding the loaded gun.
Sean’s Dad: Now, to aim, you align the front thingy and the back thingy (I can’t remember the proper terms) with the target. Then just pull the trigger.

I squeezed one eye shut and looked through the alignment thingy that was just in front of my face.

Sean: Nice face, hun. You don’t have to growl at your target though.
Me: So, who could this gun kill?
Sean and Sean’s Dad: Who could what?
Me: I mean, what type of game would you shoot with this.
Sean’s Dad: Well, it’s a 22 bullet. It could kill just about anyone, if aimed right, but I wouldn’t go hunting any moose with it or anything.
Me: Wow.
Sean: You’re scaring us, Colleen.

I ignored him. Through the metal viewer, I saw the brown cardboard target. The power I held between my delicate hands was tremendous. My knees shook. This metal thing that was only a few pounds, resting against my bony shoulder could take a life. Whether that life was a bird or a person, it had the power. I had the power. And I liked it just a little too much. My finger wrapped around the trigger like a snake coiling around its prey and I squeezed, gently at first. Then a little tighter, I heard the loud BANG. I lowered the gun and 40 feet in front of me, a tree branch rocked back and forth.

Sean: Hey, you hit the target!
Sean’s Dad: And you hit that leaf! See it swaying?

Oh, I could see it. But that leaf—that leaf never even saw it coming.

3 Responses to “A Redneck Holiday”

  1. Merry Jelinek Says:

    Umn… the front and back thingies… those would be ’sights’ I’d imagine… I’ve never shot a thing in my life but my husband’s very into it and man, if I busted chops like that while he was trying to show me how to use a gun…hmmm… gee, maybe I should ask to go shooting, could be fun just to annoy him that much…

    Tell Sean he should be proud of his dad’s patience. Too funny, Colleen.

  2. Jerseygirl89 Says:

    Oh that was funny! I laughed out loud at the “cock” part of the conversation. This may be why my father in law has never used the word in front of me, even though we have discussed shooting and male birds.

  3. Ello Says:

    Well, gee it sounded like you had a nice Thanksgiving with your boyfriend’s family! And what a shot!

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