One of my favorite games used to be Bombs and Bells, a computer version of a shooting game. It worked well on our 386 computer, but when we upgraded it wasn’t the same anymore and I missed it.
My mom’s side of the family has a history of shooting. Denny’s family shoots too but they mostly stick to squirrels and gophers and tin cans. When we first got married he had a .22 and we shot tin cans off fence posts at the back of his parents’ property. Then he sold his gun and bought a camera.
My brothers don’t shoot. I think it has something to do with the day my dad made my brother return a toy gun he bought. It might never have happened if my uncle hadn’t reported that my brother brought a gun over there. My dad’s side of the family definitely didn’t take to guns.
My nephews shoot game. They hang the carcasses in my sister’s garage. Last year one of them left a deer hanging a bit too long. For once my sister didn’t cut it up. She didn’t package it. She didn’t call and say the deer needed picking up. It rotted.
This year she told me all five deer hanging in her garage were gone now and she only cut up the one her husband shot.
No guns were allowed in our house, but that didn’t stop us from playing cops and robbers or cowboys and Indians and doing a lot of shooting out on our five acre property.
My uncles on my mom’s side are particularly into guns. They take to scaring people off their property with shot guns.
I’ve always been pretty proud of my uncles and I guess I wanted them to be proud of me too. I had a brief moment of glory one day when I went to my Uncle Lester’s home and he had just set up a skeet shoot game on his TV.
“Here, you give it a try,” he told me, a little smirk on his face. Well, I had never played before but I had been watching him. I figured all I had to do was make sure that skeet was lined up in my site before I fired. So that’s what I did. I hit the skeet about ten times and then I gave the controller back.
My Uncle Zac took me to a turkey shoot in Grunthal once. You don’t actually shoot turkeys, I discovered, to my disappointment. It’s called a turkey shoot because you just win a turkey if you’re a good shot. I don’t think my gun’s sights were that great. Zac didn’t win either.
Zac caught chickens for a living. It’s a job that gives you a lot of freedom. My mom’s brothers prize their freedom. They find it hard working for “the man” and don’t stay at one job for very long. I think I inherited that from them. Periodically they go up north to work on dam sites or oil fields. They make a lot of money quick. Zac never went up north. He preferred catching chickens.
It takes a special kind of woman to stay married to my uncles. Only two have succeeded and my mom has six brothers.
Denny likes to tell the story of Uncle Zac golfing behind my brother’s pig barn. My brother cut an acre of grass low so he could practice his golf shot. Zac was having a bad day on the course. He had also had a few beers. “I bet I couldn’t hit the broad side of a barn,” he exclaimed to Denny. He turned around, and pointed at his truck that was pretty near two hundred yards away. “But I bet you I could hit my truck,” he drawled. He hauled out and swung his club. The ball went flying through the air, straight as an arrow right for his truck. Thud. “Well I’ll be damned.”
I don’t know if he was more amazed at his best shot of the day, or his self-fulfilled prophesy, or the fact that he now had a dent in his truck.