As someone who grew up in the sticks, guns were a big deal in my family and with virtually everyone I knew. And it certainly made hunting a lot easier. Those of you who've tried to wrestle a squirrel to death know exactly what I mean.
I grew up shooting guns and hunting -- especially cans, bottles and road signs when they were in-season. A man's gotta eat.
But guns haven't been a big deal for me in my adult life since I have come to place a big premium on quiet and now prefer fishing to hunting. Most fishing poles are way quieter than guns -- with the exception of when I bait my hook with dynamite, but that's very rare and only when I'm really, really craving a mess of fish.
Besides, when I worked weird hours during my first 15 or so years in the newspaper business, I was way more likely to be the one getting shot while creeping into the house at 1 a.m. As much as I liked to wind down in the wee hours of the morning after the pressure of being on deadline all day, getting shot dead is just a little too wound down.
But two things have necessitated arming the household -- zombies and cats. While fishing poles work on catfish, they offer very little defense against cats or zombies, both of whom are also far less tasty even when paired with hushpuppies and cheese grits.
My wife and I are long past the age where we understand how to play most video games and we often look at video game commercials and wonder whether it's a movie or a game. They just don't look like Space Invaders anymore. But we kind of understand the Wii, in which the video games require you to go through pretty normal motions to play. So when you're playing tennis on the Wii, you swing the controller like you would a tennis racket. Same for golf. And, same for killing zombies.
Not that I'm for killing zombies. (I mean, who would sit on legislation and grandstand for TV cameras if it weren't for the 535 in Congress?) But my stepson has a zombie-killing game for the Wii, and my wife has fallen in love with it. Although, she had to make it more realistic by buying a couple of cheap plastic gun-shaped thingies in which you put the Wii controller to make it more like you are really shooting zombies. She truly believes that blowing holes in zombies' heads and squealing with delight each time one falls is quality family time.
I think sleeping is quality time, myself, but my wife's cat apparently disagrees. Sadie (short for Sadistic) likes to jump on my head about 2 a.m. and whine to go out about 5 a.m. And sometime around 4 a.m. she likes to bite my finger when it accidentally nears her while she sleeps on the pillow above my wife's head.
My wife decided that a small water gun would help deter Sadie's behavior. I thought a real gun would better deter it and that at least some super-soaker giant water gun would be a nice compromise, but I was shot down pun totally intended.
Fortunately, the water gun has worked, and Sadie is at least 25 percent less evil than before. Unfortunately, my wife won't let me handle the water gun so I can try to deter all of Sadie's behaviors. (Don't run in the house SQUIRT! Don't get hair on my clothes SQUIRT! Quit breathing my oxygen SQUIRT!)
However, she said that I can get a real gun in the event we are invaded by cat zombies. Oh, if only I could be so lucky!
-- Chris Johnson is an independent correspondent whose "Best of Chris Johnson" is now available for Kindle. Follow him at Facebook.com/KudzuKidWriting.