By John L. Brazell
My sweetie fell upon deer munching her Harvest Gold Lantana . . . and I forgot our anniversary, again. At the time, both the deer and I had a fair shot at getting shot.
Yeah, it was on the calendar just below "vacation" which of course, I didn't forget. Since we were out of town there ought to be some grace - though I thought it prudent not to bring it up. Instead I used the race card - I raced out to buy something.
She's practical when it comes to the big issues, like balancing the budget and lowering government aid to Sri Lanka. But the little things are, well, little things. Her economic theory has a nice ring (both kinds) to it, "Personal spending and debt should seek its own natural level,"
That means there are no debt ceilings imposed on personal gifts of bling-bling (shiny, dangly stuff), l'eau de toilette (not really toilet water), new autos and anything which may be described as personally enhancing. On the other hand, gifts which could be construed - either now or in the future - as Community Property and line items in a divorce settlement are, coincidentally, grounds for divorce. Anything with an electrical cord attached is Exhibit A.
It took me five years of early marriage - and a lot of Sears Roebuck credit - to find that out. First there was the toaster . . . then the vacuum . . . seat covers for the Chevy . . . new mattress . . . I lived through those years, though not very well.
"But that was a long time ago. There are washtubs of CHANEL N° 5000 on her vanity and enough jewelry to outfit an NBA basketball team - at least the starting five. Why not kill (bad choice) two birds with one stone? With that thought firmly etched into my mind, I headed toward America's favorite babysitter, Wal-Mart.
Not since my childhood had I caressed a Daisy Red Ryder BB gun. Except for a few ounces of plastic, it was the exact same Winchester that I'd used to wipe out a million pickle jars, coffee cans, and crabapples on Mr. Sealy's trees. I'd chased away another million stray varmints. Heck, I once nailed Bubba Smith on the right butt cheek from a hundred feet out. I loved it - why wouldn't she?
I gently dropped the gun into a double-strength garbage bag, tied it with a pink ribbon, attached an anniversary note, and left the package standing near the kitchen counter. I collected myself in an joining room, near an exit door, and waited. There was a shuffle, a "What's this?" . . . and a burst of laughter. I had won, I thought.
Fact is SB throws like a girl. She could never master the "small rock to the deer belly" toss. "This", she said as she struggled to cock the gun, "Is gonna be great." We stood on the deck like eager ten-year-olds daring Bambi to sniff a flora or a fauna. Eventually it happened.
She grabbed the BB gun, hurried to the deck, and fired a direct hit into the White Tail reposed in the middle of her flowers. The deer jumped straight up and landed on its three and a half legs.
There was a look of horror, "Oh no, I've crippled that poor deer, and you said it wouldn't hurt . . ."
"No, no, that deer got caught in a fence somewhere. Your BB didn't do that. It wasn't your fault - it wasn't your shot."
I'm not sure how this will eventually play out as it all depends on the moment and her level of garden rage. If she isn't inclined to pull the trigger again, I'll just remove the homemade sticker that says, "THIS GUN IS THE PERSONAL PROPERTY OF SB AND NOT COMMUNITY PROPERTY."
Then I'll go out and buy a bottle of CHANEL N° 5001.
DISCLAIMER If you've never fired a Daisy, bless your heart, it's a low-powered air rifle which will only sting a little (like Grandpop's razor strap) from a distance of forty to fifty feet. Bambi is safe.
2006 John L. Brazell
* * * *
A Texan by birth and
the Grace of God. I'm quietly observing life and its strangeness
in the beautiful Texas Hill Country, within spitting distance of Austin.
I retired after more than three decades of banging around in Corporate Ivory towers. It was liberating to finally sit through my last budget and board meetings. I'm now viewing and living the vagaries, and peculiarities, of a senior. Maybe I'll write about them, or something.
* * * * *