Monday, November 14, 2011

Triple Natural Weekend: Part 1

My original plan was to put my car under me and point my nose Southbound early Friday afternoon.  Sadly, that plan did not work out.  About the time I started packing Mom needed me to go to the store for something or other, then Main Lady called and asked for some help with Centenarian.  One of us had to Centenarian-sit while the other ran errands... I elected to run errands, and before anyone gets all sentimental and misty eyed about my mother's favorite son and how helpful, chivalrous and beneficent I am, I encourage you to think again and remember what happens when a woman walks into a store.  Women shop, men buy stuff.  There's a four hour difference between the two.  So I ran the errands, took care of Excellent Rachmaninoff, fed the cats and then waited around for an hour and a half for a stupid, inconsiderate M.D. to call back with a prescription.  Which, by the way, the M.D. did not do - the prescription got canceled after due consideration.  Finally I got underway, and although I arrived at Big Mike's house later than expected, it was much better late than never.

I got to tour Big Mike's new home, have some excellent Mexican food, drink copious amounts of liquor and go shooting the next day where we shot sporting clays and, at long last, I found out just what I am.

Welcome to Big Mike's House!
It's nice to know that some things don't change.  Mike provided me with the same excellent hospitality that he always has, and he's kept his old doormat.  I had thought about buying him a new one, maybe a doormat that says "Buzz Off!" but I don't think it would be an improvement over this.

Dining Room
Mike's dining room has hardwood floors and a matching solid oak table that was hand made by Amish craftsmen.  The chairs are made of elm wood and the table top is solid oak.  No veneer or imitation wood is used anywhere, and if you turn the chairs over you'll see that both sides are finished wood.  Needless to say, the table is a perfect match for the floor.  I regret that most young people wouldn't understand why a room like this is pleasant or comprehend just why a dining room table and chairs made of solid wood are desirable when plastic or wood veneer is available at a lower cost.   This reminds me of Beat and Release who has taken up woodworking as an avocation during his retirement.

View From the Deck
You can walk through the dining room out onto the deck where you immediately become the highest inhabitable point in the neighborhood.  I suggested that Mike and I buy a couple cases of beer and sit out on the deck, drinking beer and shooting at the empties.  I saw it as a friendly attempt to meet the neighbors, but Mike didn't think the folks next door would react the way I anticipated.

When I was growing up (I was about 12 or 13) some new neighbors moved into the house next door, displacing the odd German family that lived there before them.  Shortly after they moved in I heard the sound of gun fire and walked over to investigate.  I introduced myself to my new neighbor and his hillbilly buddy, and by way of getting acquainted they invited me to shoot cans and clay pigeons with them - they were, in fact, drinking beer and shooting at the empties.  They were great guys, and if not for them I never would have learned to hunt, fish, hike all day over rough terrain (and by that I mean all day at a good clip) and clean the game I bagged.

Big Mike's seen from the Back Yard
The deck is overbuilt and I suspect portions of the home are overbuilt as well.  The previous owner, and the man who built the place was, in fact, a builder and lived in his own self-made home.

Saturday saw us headed out to the Black Wing Shooting Center for a round of sporting clays.  I dimly remember that Big Mike had somehow convinced me to agree to 100 sporting clays instead of the 50 that I shot before, but I was somewhat inebriated when I agreed to this.  Anyway, the course has ten stations with 50 clays, so all you have to do is shoot the same course in reverse, which is fine if you're in shape or you're shooting a .410 or something that doesn't beat you to death.  I'm shooting an Orion over and under 12 gauge with target loads and a recoil pad that doesn't work.  I'm not in shape.

The sporting clays course at Black Wing is a good one, and is much better than average.  It doesn't have any odd shots that you wouldn't see in the field, which is not true for all sporting clay courses.  Still, I managed to miss quite a few and although I enjoyed shooting I'll have to practice a little before I try the course again.

I think it was around station 7 on our return pass that I learned a significant fact about my life and my real identity.  You see, this infernal station consists of a report pair; one clay being thrown from the left, up and away from the shooter and the second clay is a battue which comes in from the right, towards the shooter.  I couldn't seem to hit both birds, and would consistently break one but not the other.  This pissed me off no end.

After Big Mike reassembled my shotgun and gave me my bullets back, I informed him that I thought that station should be eliminated or changed as it was damaging to a person's self-confidence, leading to a denigration of a person's self-image.  Big Mike tried to ignore me.  I persisted.

"Look, if the Moonbats are really in touch with emotions and feelings and such, why don't they come out here and get the station changed?  Don't they care about my self-image and self-confidence and so forth?"


"What?  What do you mean, no?"

"No.  Is that so hard to understand?"

"Okay, I understand.  What I don't understand is why.  Why?"

"Because you're one of the great white oppressors."

"I am?"

"You are.  You're adult, white and male, and that makes you an oppressor."

"But - "

"Furthermore, being an oppressor means that you must turn over all your wealth to be redistributed properly."

"All of it?"

"All of it.  Then you must go and support unsupervised social groups of the economically challenged underclasses and work to oppress the oppressors.  And remember to give all your money to these organizations for proper redistribution."

"But then I'd be broke."

"Yes, that's true.  But you wouldn't feel guilty about being an oppressor."

"I don't think I'd feel much of anything except cold and hungry."

"Ah, but that's the beauty of the thing.  Once you are degraded to a state of impoverishment, the government has a plan for you."

"It do?  Ah, I mean - it does?"

"Word up.  You must register for various social programs by which you'll receive a portion of the wealth you've given to the government for proper redistribution, minus a handling fee."

"What if I just skip this whole business and keep my money and my guilt."

"You'll be deemed an unrepentant white oppressor. Your photo will be placed on the uncooperative citizen list by The Anointed One's Most Official Sanctified Minions, you'll continue to feel guilty and Moonbats will cease to invite you to wine and cheese parties.  Give up the money, damn you!"

"No!  It's mine, I'm keeping it and I have a shotgun!"

"That's the attitude of an unrepentant white oppressor."

"That's your attitude as well!  You've told me so on many an occasion."


"Doesn't that make you an unrepentant white oppressor?"


It seems that I'm an unrepentant white oppressor and there's no hope for me.  I don't mind.  I'm in good company.

As I remember it, Big Mike ran out of bullets on the last station, so I gave him one of the extras I always keep for such an occasion.  I proceeded to out shoot Big Mike on the last station, but he beat me soundly in the final score.  I don't mind.

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