Tuesday, September 4, 2012
So, a woman in Texas tries to shoot a skunk but hits her husband instead.
The skunk was eating food left out for the family cats, and last week the woman was fed up. She fetched her trusty .45 caliber from her purse (this is Texas, remember), went out to the porch and fired off a round. Which ricocheted wildly, went through a door to the house and struck hubby in the gut.
The good news: The husband was airlifted to a hospital, and he’s fine. Treated and released.
The bad news: This puts me that much further from ever owning a gun.
Widdle read that story and said, “See? She aimed at a skunk, but look what happened.” Guns don’t scare me, but they scare Widdle. Not guns in general, just any gun in my hands.
That’s right. My name is Julie and my husband won’t let me own a gun.
Oh, we have guns all over the house—hunting rifles and a shotgun or two. These do me absolutely no good because if I come home alone and a bad guy jumps out of the closet, what am I going to do? Ask him to hold that thought while I run get the rifle? Fail.
What I want is a permitted gun of my own, and lessons in how to use it. I’d like something small enough to be concealed in a purse or tucked in the glove compartment. I hate driving long distances with nothing but my little pink Mace canister on my key ring.
But no, Widdle will not allow. He says I’m too jittery to trust with a gun. The truth is, we both know he’s afraid I’ll shoot him on a whim. I can’t imagine why he thinks that when I’ve never raised a hand to another human being in my life, but there you are. And, in his smooth-talking way, he turns it around on me.
“Honey, 30 minutes after you take your sleeping pills you’d shoot anything—you don’t know what you’re doing,” he says. (I know exactly what I’m doing, but that’s another column.)
My ex-husband had a ginormous .44 caliber Smith & Wesson in a carved display case. The barrel was at least a foot long. I could barely lift it with both hands, and never learned to fire it. (Which, down the line, he was thankful for.)
After my father died, Mother bought a .38 Special and kept it in her bedside drawer. She almost shot my beloved brother T-Bob once. He woke up in his apartment, wanted breakfast and decided it would be easier and cheaper to drive to Mother’s house, let himself in and rattle some pots and pans. He was happily frying eggs at 5 a.m. when she crept into the dining room and drew down on him.
When she saw it was her second-born son, she did what any sensible woman would do. She shrieked and threw the gun in the air. T-Bob froze with an egg half-cracked in his hand.
“Son! I thought you were a cat burglar!” she gasped.
“Of course,” T-Bob said. “Because so many cat burglars break in and cook breakfast, right?”
Back to the skunk in Texas. He wasn’t hit, but he died laughing. No, he actually returned while investigators were still there, and started noshing on the cat food again. They chased him away.
Gun or no gun, you can’t keep a good skunk down.
Julie R. Smith, who might start carrying a skunk, can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.