Listen up, people. I have officially channeled my inner Annie Oakley! That’s right, per the recent change to my New Year’s Resolutions (the part of Painting Yellow Family Room will now be played by Learning to Shoot a Gun), I sweet talked my husband, Doo, into to teaching me how to discharge a firearm. Not that he required much cajoling … he’s a deer hunting junkie and attends the NRA fundraiser each year. Heck, he’s nicknamed after Mr. Coalminer’s Daughter himself! Suffice it to say, Doo was absolutely thrilled to “learn me some shootin’ skills.”
We packed up our weapons and headed out to a friend’s piece of property up north. (It just wouldn’t have gone over as well had I taken aim in my back yard … children playing tag, Labradors retrieving balls … can y’all say “incarceration?”) We’d scoured the city for ammo the day before, only to realize that people are hoarding .22-caliber bullets. (Apparently I’m not the only one preparing for the apocalypse, zombie or otherwise.) That left me with only two options to try, a 12-gauge shotgun and a thirty-ought-six rifle. Now I’m not a wimpy girl, but I do favor my right shoulder, and told Doo that under no circumstance was I going to shoot something with a bruise-to-the-bone kick-back. He patiently suggested the shotgun.
After donning my protective eye- and ear-ware, which I made look amazing by the way, Doo gave me a thorough lesson on loading and unloading, and of course the obligatory “how not to shoot your eye out” demonstration. My moment of truth had arrived. Noticeably shaking, I raised the gun, aimed in the general direction of a woodpile 25 yards away, and pulled the trigger. BAAM! An orange clay pigeon disintegrated. Yee-haw! I can shoot! And then I sunk to my knees as the adrenaline surged through me. Holy howitzer, that was scary.
“Again!” Doo ordered, sounding suspiciously like a dojo master. So I stood up, reloaded, fired, and watched a second bird bite the dust. This time, I felt powerful. I’d like to see some lootin’ jerk try for my last can of beans now!
Sensing my increased confidence, Doo nodded toward the big daddy. Bring. It. On. Ten minutes later, I was lining up the cross-hairs of the rifle on a distant bulls-eye. Ka-Boom! “Oooo-uuchhh!” Not only had my delicate elbow been driven back across a splinter-laden picnic table, but my girly shoulder had taken the full recoil of the shot. I did not care for the sensation.
Humbled, I went back to the 12-guage. And guess what, folks. This Annie Oakley can check another resolution off her list. Boo-yah! Peace out.