The Zombie Plant Apocalypse

I’m pretty much a live and let live sort of person.  There are very few living things that raise my ire.  There are a few people who are definitely ire-worthy, but on the whole, I’m a love ‘all creatures, great and small’ kinda gal.  However, today I am filled with triumphant jubilation.  I am looking out the window shouting:  “Die mo$^(&(#^ker, DIE!!!  I won’t tell you what those cryptic characters stand for because it is language unbefitting a lady, not that I’ve been compared to one of those rarefied creatures of late.

What gives me such joy while watching this much-anticipated extermination?  What is it that pushes me to such hatred?  Bamboo.  Now, this isn’t the pretty whispy, grassy sort of bamboo you see in lovely Japanese paintings.  This is the scourge of many a yard in New England.  I think it’s pretty scourge-y in other places around the world, too.  Another name for this unrelenting monster of a plant is Japanese Knotweed. Around here it’s just ‘bamboo’ and it is spoken of in tones that are proof of the power it has over us.  Some people let loose exasperated curses when describing it.  Others are in awe of the tenacity of the thing.  Most people just hang their heads, knowing full well that they have been defeated.  Bamboo is like that.  It takes hold and never lets go.

 

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But here I am, happily watching a backhoe dig into the heart of my mortal enemy.  I’m overjoyed to see the plants removed and shoved into a hole the size of a double-decker bus.  I am beyond thrilled to see my newly-beloved backhoe operator cover the ruthless stems with rocks and boulders.  Thinking about the eradication of a plant that has plagued my family for decades fills me with well-justified glee.  And yet, I wonder if this will be the end of the great battle.

You might be thinking all of this is rather silly.  Why not just pull it up and be done with it?  Yeah, well, you’d be wrong.  There is no getting rid of it.  I remember when I was a kid, my Dad was at war with bamboo and I knew he would defeat it. My Dad could do anything.  That stuff was going to be history, I just knew it.  I watched him try everything to get rid of it.  He cut it and pulled it and dug it…for years on end.  It kept coming back.  I knew it was a lost cause when he liberally doused it with gasoline and set it on fire.  These days, that sort of action would be highly frowned upon for good reason, but this inflammatory episode happened well before the EPA existed.  It didn’t matter.  Dad might just as well have given it fertilizer and a pep talk because it came back with a vengeance.  He never won that war. It was still happily growing when we moved away.  The new place didn’t have the curse and Dad died a bamboo-free man, and for that I am thankful.  Bamboo wasn’t done with me, though.  Not by a long shot.

When Bill and I bought this house we started assessing the yard and figuring out what we might want to plant.  While we were walking around the place, I saw the shoots.  I won’t say that my reaction was one of terror, but my not saying it doesn’t mean it wasn’t something very closely related.  It was my turn to put on the battle gear and face the enemy.  It’s been three decades of cutting and pulling and digging and I am still plagued with the stuff…until today.

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So here I am, sitting here with the scent of diesel fuel wafting about, dreaming of bamboo decimation.  But really, who am I kidding?  Even if the backhoe rips it out by the roots, it’s unlikely that it will get every last bit of it.  If there is one tiny shred of a rhizome left, it will come back.  So maybe even though this whole backhoe thing sounds like overkill, I really think it might be under-kill.  I told the backhoe guy to rip off the steps, pull out the cement landing and do everything possible to kill the enemy.  My exact words were:  “Do whatever it takes to get rid of the stuff, short of making the foundation cave in.”  I wasn’t kidding…and he knew it.

Even if it does come back, at least most of the roots will be gone and…and…then it hit me.  A feeling of panicky dread descended.  Not only could the bamboo return to its original location, it might escape the double-decker bus-sized hole, too!  Just because the roots and stems had been buried and covered with rocks and boulders, that didn’t mean it wouldn’t find a way to come back from the rubble.  Nooooo…  It would be just like bamboo to stay in its grave just long enough for me to become complacent and then resurrect itself into some sort of photosynthetic horror.  It’s going to be a zombie plant, I just know it!  Oh hell, the Zombie Plant Apocalypse is coming!  At least I don’t have to worry about zombie bamboo eating my brain.  I lost that years ago.

 

 

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And Now For Something Completely Different…

And now for something completely different…The Larch.

Those of you are not Monty Python fans will not get that, but I’m in a reminiscent mood, so you’ll have to bear with me.

I’m sitting here on a Friday night thinking about previous Friday nights of my youth.  This all came about because I watched the first episode of Jeeves and Wooster this afternoon.  You see, I’m a Britcom fan.  Yes, it’s true.  I admit it.  I misspent a good deal of my Friday-night-youth watching Monty and Bertie and all sorts of imponderable characters.  They were an escape for an outcast kid in a rural mill town.

Our local Public Broadcasting Station aired shows that made me laugh when little else did.   As a kid, I didn’t know a single soul who shared my love for these shows.  For most of the kids in town, Fridays were given up to football.  Pep rallies and games were taken very seriously.   Since I couldn’t play, and I sure as hell couldn’t lead a cheer, my Friday evenings were spent with the funniest folks the UK could offer.  And funny they were!

Today, this trip down memory lane started when Bill and I were talking about P.G. Wodehouse.  He was reading a magazine that included a rather pithy quote attributed to one of the best writers I’ve ever read,  And he liked it!  Now having Bill like something that was written by an early 20th century British writer was a bit of a fluke.  He positively loathes anything that even hints of British humor, especially anything set decades ago.  Even with the faintest of allusion to British royalty is strictly verboten.  So how could it be that Wodehouse amused him?  Could it be that some part of British humor might tickle his fancy?  I decided to put it to the test.

I offered to show him the very first episode of Jeeves and Wooster.  This show was based on P.G. Wodehouse characters and starred Hugh Laurie and Stephen Fry.  Upon offering to do so, I was met with a look of skepticism and a barrage of not unexpected questions:

“Is it sci-fi?”

No

“Does it have British royalty in it?”

Well, it does have British aristocrats but I assure you, they are the butt of all of the jokes.

“Is it present-day or set a long time ago?”

It’s based in the twenties, I think.

“Ok, well that might not be too bad.  I suppose it will keep me from wasting my time reading the stories if I don’t like it.”

Great, I’ll put it on…  And I’m thinking: “…I’ll put it on even if I am pretty sure you won’t like it.  There’s always a chance!  Oh please let there be a chance!”

You can all guess how this turned out.  The show started and I was thoroughly enjoying the crazy humor that only Fry and Laurie can convey.  As things hum along, Bill had this rather scowly look about him.  I had to explain a few things and I knew we were on rocky ground when a visitor arrived.  At that point, I knew all was lost.  15 minutes of Jeeves and Wooster had been endured and a guest had rescued him from this wifely torture.  Sigh…

It was later revealed that:

1. The accent was hard to understand.

2. There were too many British phrases he didn’t understand.

3. They talked too fast.

4. He didn’t know what they were talking about.

Besides, he said, it left him cold.  Cold!?  Aww c’mon!

I can’t say it was a shock to me.  If something doesn’t grab his attention and hold it for more than ten seconds, he glazes over.  This is the guy who falls asleep during a Star Wars movie.  He literally snored through Pirates of the Carribean.  But I’m straying from my original thoughts about Britcoms.

I understand why it is hard for Bill to ‘get’ British comedy.  You have to give it a chance.  Let things unfold in the fullness of time.  Ok, that was a bit much but I truly think that a great deal of British comedy is based on repetition.  Getting the repetitious gag means taking the time to hear it more than once.  Monty Python’s “And now for something completely different…” is a great example of that.  Are You Being Served had Mrs. Slocombe repeatedly shouting “I am unanimous in that!”  Of course, her greatest gag was always talking about her pussy.  It was always about her cat, but the double entendres were hilarious.  These gags were repeated enough that every time you heard them, or knew they were coming, you laughed.  It couldn’t be helped.

After the tenth time of:  “And now for something completely different…The Larch”  popped up on the screen following various unrelated sketches, a geeky kid in Maine laughed…repeatedly.  I still laugh, so maybe those Friday nights weren’t so misspent after all.

 

 

 

 

He Peed Where?

I’m not sure if I shared this fun fact about Walter, but if not, it’s time I did.  Don’t tell him I mentioned this or he might be embarrassed.  What am I saying?  Walter is never embarrassed.  Walter doesn’t care what the world thinks of him.  Not one iota.  He just goes about doing his Walter things, in his Walter way.

This particular Walter thing embarrasses me, however.  You see, when Walter gets very excited, he pees a little.  Or, depending on the situation, he pees a lot!  When someone he likes comes to the house, he will jump up and down ecstatically while sprinkling the floor with pee.  This is very embarrassing.  Especially if it happens when a stranger comes to visit.  Someone new can be rather surprised to see a Great Dane pee in excitement!  How do you say to someone:  “Hey, he likes you!  Look at that, he peed!”  Yeah, it’s not something I brag about.

That’s bad enough, but this wouldn’t be much of a story if it ended there.   A quick mop-up and an apology can usually remedy that problem quickly.  But if he gets too close to the person coming in the door, he’s been known to pee on their foot!  I am not one who likes to entertain, but having my dog pee on a guest’s foot is going a little too far!

But that isn’t the worst of it.  Now I will say that this is probably not all Walter’s fault.  Mostly, but not all.  I’ve often written about the gal who comes to clean/landscape/dog sit for us.  Wendy is a marvel.  And Wendy loves Walter.  More to the point, Walter LOVES his Auntie Wendy.  He gets very excited when he sees her.  We have already ascertained what Walter does when he gets excited.  You know what’s coming…

Now, this is where I have to explain why this incident wasn’t completely Walter’s fault.  Wendy likes to play with him and get him all worked up.  She will pretend to step on his toes and chase him around. There have been vacuum cleaner wars and games of hide and seek.  They will be all over the place as they play.  This particular time, Wendy reached down for a dog toy and that was so exciting that Walter took his chance and peed on her head!  This behavior would normally embarrass me no end, but I think she asked for it.  She knew how he is and she knew the risks of playing with him like that.  I might not have been terribly sympathetic.  Actually, I might have laughed uproariously.

But this wasn’t the ‘crowning glory’ of Walter’s urinary indiscretions.   Not long ago, Walter had to go to a vet he normally doesn’t see.  He needed a quick, minor procedure done and she took him out back to perform it.  A few minutes later the tech returned him to me and he was all happy.  Since he wasn’t used to this vet, I asked how it went.  The tech said:  “He peed on her head!”  I’m not sure what kind of relationship this tech had with the vet, but she said it with a big grin on her face.  After a very embarrassing moment, she tried to reassure me that it happens all of the time.  Somehow, I think she was just trying to make me feel better.  I mean, how many dogs would do that?  How many could!?

Do you know how hard it is to skulk shamefully out of a vet’s office with a bouncy Great Dane riling up all of the other patients?  There was no uproarious laughter this time.  Walter was happy as can be, but I was the one leaving with my tail between my legs.

Guest in Jest-Epilogue

This past Friday featured the last weekly-scheduled Guest in Jest post.  I think we’ve had a pretty good run with 100 posts.  I thank everyone who participated by submitting posts and all of you who have read them and commented.  This series has been a highlight of my time here on WordPress.  It has been an honor to have such talent showcased here on Everyone Else Has the Best Titles.

Not all is lost.  I will haphazardly ask for posts and hope to gain a few here and there, but trying to fill this slot on a weekly basis has become too difficult.  Besides, my knees are tired from all of the begging!  I will still run humorist posts if they are submitted.  Please, send them in whenever you wish and I will gladly publish them here.

Thanks again to you all!

The Collection Intervention

About a year ago, I was the recipient of an intervention.  Bill and Wendy (the gal who works for us) teamed up and informed me that my collections were out of control.  They were not wrong.  I collect everything.  I love antiques.  If it’s old, I collect it. The house and the barn, and the garden shed were chock full.  The camp was a little scary, too. I won’t even tell you about the garden shed.  “Hey, those terracotta pots were on sale so of course, I need at least 50 of them!”  Who could resist!?  As you can tell, it wasn’t just antiques. I collected everything and I was one of those people who couldn’t pass up a deal.  If one was good, then a dozen would be so much better. After all, it’s cheaper in bulk!   All of these things, added together, created a deadly combination.  An intervention-worthy combination.

Now, I might be a packrat but things were clean, and in my mind, they were organized.  That might be stretching things a bit.  Everything really was clean but maybe ‘organized’ isn’t the right word.  At least I usually knew which room something was in!  Usually.  The fact that I was going through my books last winter and found three copies of the same book might lead you to believe otherwise.  Yeah, it was at that point that I knew I had a problem.  Bill and Wendy had a point.

I’ve always thought that there are two types of people when it comes to stuff.  There are those wonderful people who like to have a lot of it around and feel cozy when they do.  Then there are those unfeeling people who are minimalists and want to live in cold, spartan conditions suitable for a surgical suite or some sort of sterile laboratory.  Perhaps my choice of adjectives would lead you to guess that I am the former type and Bill and Wendy are the latter.  I like my books and antiques around.  Maybe too many of both.  Maybe.  Yes, I like having my books and antiques around, but my loved ones don’t.  If it were up to them, every room would be so sparsely furnished that you could hold a square dance in it!  A compromise had to be struck, and let me tell you, it’s been painful.

In the past few months, I’ve seen clothes, shoes, dishes, linens, books, art supplies, garden tools, and furniture go out the door.  Even some of my precious antiques have, like Elvis, left the building.  It’s been hard, but somehow liberating.  I vacillate between a number of emotions:  happy, sad, mortified, thankful, mournful, inspired and just plain angry; all bound together in a wrapping of disbelief.  Did I really have all of this stuff?  Did I really need it?  Some things I did, but a lot I could really do without.  Don’t tell Bill and Wendy that.  I still want them to think that they are torturing me and I’m a pitiful victim. I continue to make them believe this with a few pouts and well-timed whimpers.

One of my current projects is working on tools.  Perhaps having five sets of screwdrivers is a bit excessive.  We won’t even talk about socket sets and pliers!  Hey, creating a toolbox for camp seemed like a good idea, especially since I have four toolboxes!  My current job is to gather and organize all of the nails and screws.  Talk about painful!  But, I did get to order some really nifty organizers with little drawers from Amazon that are perfect for this endeavor.  This brings us to another problem…Amazon.  Since this post is getting way too long as it is, I’ll leave my love/hate relationship with Amazon for a future rant post.

The long and the short of it is that I’m a pitiful victim of minimalist monsters.  But little, by little, the house, barn, camp, and garden shed are looking pretty good.  There is still much to be done.  Hey, but the new garage is pristine and I am told it needs to stay that way.  Just keep me away from Amazon.  So many of us have the Amazon addiction. There really should be a support group…that serves donuts.  Those glazed ones are pretty good, and the Boston creams, too.  Oooh jelly-filled, don’t forget about those.  You can’t go wrong with a good plain donut, either.  Oh hell, now I’m collecting donuts!

 

Guest in Jest #100 Silently Smouldering Words

This Week’s Guest is    Silently Smouldering Words

 

I don’t often put in an editorial comment but I have to this time.  This is the 100th edition of Guest in Jest and it is only fitting that #100 should be done by the same person who did #1.  Thank you, my dear, for being part of this series from the very start.  I love you so much for continually submitting pieces, especially when I thought there were no more posts to be had.  ❤️

 

Green Eyed Monster

Oh…

Jealousy,  jealousy

Beast that you are,

You sneak up on me 

Though I shun you afar.

My nonchalance- challenged

My sanity- shot.

And my head, mostly cool

Boils up good

Turns to hot.

I glance at the grasping and desperate

Words

That pour out from the mouths

of these snip – snapping birds,

Do they wish to torment me?

Yep. Prob’ly they do

For this monster that’s Green

works not one way

but two.

So this yucky and shameful base feeling I feel

Comes a – running towards me and nips at my heel

And I’m smothered and blasted by (rhymes here with “doors”)

Who desperate to taste you get down on all fours

And brazenly eff you with efforts quite poor

(And hey look, one more word that rhymes SO well with Wh***)

Yet tormented I am

(Though compare I do NOT)

To lascivious harlots here stirring the pot…

I will selflessly shove my true love in your face.

They’re like dolls made of rags

While I’m heat dressed in lace. 

 

When it Comes to Walter, The Mind Boggles

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It’s been a while since I’ve mentioned any of Walter’s indiscretions.  He’s been the subject of numerous posts here.  If you decide to pass this one by, I promise I won’t think less of you.  You see, I’m insufferable when it comes to Walter because I talk about him a lot and I’m like a grandmother proudly showing off photos of her grandkids in a grocery aisle, keeping all of the other shoppers from reaching the frozen asparagus that is always on the top shelf.  I’m sort of like that, only I’m not keeping others from frozen asparagus and I am not proud of him.  When it comes to Walter, one can only ask:  “What has he done now!” or “Can you believe he survived this?” or “How could my cute puppy turn into Destructo-Dog?”

Today it wasn’t bad.  When I woke up this morning, I found trash scattered around the kitchen.  This is rather common behavior for a dog if given the opportunity.  But it brought to mind all of the really weird stuff he’s chewed and/or consumed.  Mostly the latter.  I know I’ve mentioned some of these before, but it’s rather impressive seeing them in a very long list.  As long as it is, this list is abbreviated because I’ve effectively blocked out many of his more heinous crimes.

Anyhow, here it goes:

Toilet Paper,  Taking toilet paper off the roll and threading it through every room of the house without breaking it takes true skill.  Walter is a toilet paper genius.

Toilet Bowl Cleaner.  I have no idea why.

Leveling feet for the washing machine.  You know the things that are like big bolts that can be screwed in to make the washer level.  Yes, he ate those.

Orchids x 10?   I’ve already lost count.  Walter is a very experienced orchid-eater.

Houseplants  Many, Many more in addition to the orchids.  Maybe he thinks he needs more vegetation in his diet.  Speaking of which…

Virginia Creeper.  This vine covers his kennel fence completely.  Or at least it did until he managed to tear a bunch of it down and consume it.  Grapes are poison for dogs.  Since Virginia Creeper is a cousin of the grape, it was very bad.  I actually thought I might lose him.  But I should have known that he would pull through.  I swear he’s indestructible.

Lightbulb packaging. Disconcertingly, the bulbs were never found.

My Journal…there are no words.  Well, there were words in the journal before he decimated it, but there are no words to express how I felt about this one.  I didn’t take it well.

Knives.  Now before you get all worried, he did not cut him himself, he merely chewed the handles off.  He has now de-handled a set of four and he’s eying my other set.

Scouring pads. He particularly liked to steal and chew the plastic one I use to clean his water bowl…I must admit it’s in the shape of a dog bone, so I “might” give him a pass on this one.

Pens and Pencils.  Oh, so many pens, pencils; and other pen and pencil-shaped things that he has deinked!  They are truly innumerable.  He chewed so many markers till the ink bled that my old sofa was psychedelic!

Crayons.  Yes, he ate crayons.  Bill said he was pooping rainbows for a couple of days.  Perhaps he was trying to become a unicorn.

My previous sofa.  Thank goodness it was old and had already been through three puppies.  However, before Walter, it was pretty much intact.  Most puppies chew a small bit of the cushion.  Not Walter.  He would chew a BIG hole in the fabric and then proceed to rip the stuffing out!  Great Danes apparently suffer from EBS more than most other breeds.  Exploding Bed Syndrome is a real thing and I suddenly feel better knowing that I’m not the own Dane owner who suffers this.   Given enough time, Walter would have turned the sofa into this…

 

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CD cases.  They have always been a favorite.  Poor Cake took the hardest hit. I suppose if you name a band Cake, you really should expect a dog to give your disc a chomp or two.

Cacti.  More than I care to count.  How he has avoided looking like he tangled with a porcupine INSIDE his mouth, I’ll never know.  He feels no pain.

Handsaw.  Recently he chewed the handle of a brand new saw, and then he chewed the cardboard safety guard exposing the very sharp teeth of the saw.  You would think that chewing a saw blade would hurt, but Walter truly must be oblivious to pain because he did it TWICE!

Bananas.  I only mention this one because he adores bananas, and he will go to all lengths to get them.  He eats them whole, skin and all.   He loves them so much that he has snagged them from a shelf seven feet off the ground.  Nothing is safe.

Cat food.  Typical, right?  Not this time.  He took unopened cans and chewed them until the cat food oozed out.  Then he chewed the cans into smaller pieces that were strewn throughout the house.  I am usually barefoot and I was not happy when I stepped on the tin shards.  And I really wasn’t amused when my rug smelled like ‘Salmon Entree’ even after three scrubbings.

Aquarium filter cartridge.  Now you might think that I left it out and he just grabbed it for a little chew.  Oh no, he actually opened the filter and snagged the filter cartridge from the running filter!!  Wet carbon everywhere!  I don’t know how he did it or why.  Walter is inscrutable.

Very dark chocolate.  This is another big no-no for dogs so I “encouraged” him to vomit.  Everything came up foamy…and blue!  Come to find out, he had grabbed a…wait for it…

Steel wool SOS pad!  The mind boggles.

 

 

 

Guest in Jest #99 Being Aunt Debbie

This week’s Guest in Jest guest is Being Aunt Debbie

 

The Grass Is Always Greener…

I’m a city girl, or I used to be anyway. I was born and raised in California and spent my childhood from age 6 in a busy, but not too populated town called Lodi. I think the population back then was around 30,000. By the time I left, in 1992, it had grown to around 75,000 people. It must be well over 100,000 by now.

Even though I was raised in a city, I learned where milk, eggs, steak, bacon, and fried chicken came from. Some kids don’t learn that, believe it or not. Anyway, I left that wonderful little city and so many great memories behind – also some not-so-great memories with the ex – and moved to southwest Missouri to be with my Dad. I wasn’t sure what to expect because I had never lived in that part of the country before or in such a rural location, and was never around farm animals.

Our house sits on 20 acres or so, with neighbors who are at least 1/4 mile away. (I love that about being here!!) The neighbors have cows on their property that borders ours. There are cows across the road much of the year. There are cows right to the left of us, too. You can hear cows giving birth and you can hear them mooing their damn-fool heads off at various times of the day. I’ve grown used to it after about 25 years!

But in the beginning, I thought how the hell am I supposed to get used to this? One morning, a mooing woke me up around 8am. I remember thinking it was awfully loud. In fact, it sounded like it was right outside my bedroom window. I just figured I was so fast asleep and it was so quiet that the sudden noise sounded much closer than it was.

I was wrong. I rolled over and opened my eyes. My eyes caught a movement by the window and to my surprise, I caught the rear end of a cow as it waltzed by. It let out another loud moo. See, it sounded close because it WAS close! I jumped out of bed and ran to the front door. There were several cows in our beautifully groomed yard. Now there was cow shit and big hoof marks in the damp lawn. Great, just great. I woke Dad up and he called the neighbors to let them know their bovine had just escaped. Apparently, they seized the opportunity to eat OUR grass, because it was greener!

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Image Credit Pixabay

We got dressed quickly and went outside to make sure these silly beef patties would stay in the yard and not get slaughtered in the busy road. The neighbors came quickly and started calling for their roast beasts to come to them. The cows knew the voice of their owners because each cow went toward the gate where our neighbors were calling from. That is, except one cow. It started to follow the others but as soon as it saw its owner, it turned around and ran. Just so happens I was right behind that giant meatloaf! It looked me in the eye as it ran toward me and being a city girl, all I could think to do was RUN! I thought, Sweet Jesus I hope I can outrun a cow! I ran like the devil was after me!

The neighbors laughed, and even though I was embarrassed, I laughed too! In my defense, how was I supposed to know what that silly cow was going to do?

Aim Is Everything

Years ago we were having a problem with poachers.  People would go into our woods, shoot a deer, and then haul it out through our field.  More than once, while we were at work, our neighbors called the Sheriff’s department and Game Wardens.  Of course, by the time a deputy or warden could get here, the poacher was long gone.

This irked me.  It irked me a lot.  Not just because they came and killed ‘my’ deer, but because it was totally disrespectful.  Our land is posted, which means no one is allowed to hunt here without permission…which I would never give, of course.  But the poachers didn’t know that!  So they were deer murderers who had no respect for the law…or us.

This went on for a while and I got more and more furious.  I love seeing the deer in our field.  I just hated the idea of them being killed like that.  I was also not happy about the fact that someone was shooting a rifle so close to the house.  This is how people get killed in their own backyards.  It happens.  I actually saw a hunter on the side of the road get a bead on Bill when he was down in the field.  It was a Sunday and Bill thought he would be safe without wearing Hunter Orange.  No one is safe here when it is deer season, and even when it isn’t.

Anyhow, I decided that law enforcement wasn’t going to be of much help here.  Not because they didn’t want to catch poachers, but because the lawbreakers were here and gone again in the blink of an eye.  So I had to figure out a way to send a message to the poachers that this might not be the best place to poach.

I decided to set up a man target.  That’s what I call it, but I guess they call it a silhouette target, too.  It looks like this:

 

mantarget

 

I put that thing up right in the middle of the field that those idiots used to haul out their fresh kills.  As I was setting it up, I thought it might make more of an impression on the poachers if it actually had some bullet holes in it.  So I put a few shots into the chest area. I probably couldn’t hit the side of a barn now, but back then I was a pretty good shot.  There was a tight cluster in the heart area.  I thought it looked rather menacing and I was rather proud of myself.  I thought it was a good plan to let those poachers know what would happen if they kept coming back.

The more I stood there looking my handiwork, the more I thought that it just didn’t seem right.  I tore the target down.  I put up a fresh one and fired a few rounds that created another nice, new cluster of bullet holes.  When I emptied the last chamber and gave it a critical glance, I knew it would send the right message.

When shooting a gun, it’s obvious that aim is everything.

This time I aimed low.

We haven’t had a problem with poachers since.