Friday, June 26, 2009

Well here’s an update on my new toy, my electric fly swatter. As luck would have it, the sun hasn’t shown since the day it arrived. Hence the bug population has been characteristically lying low. But it hasn’t stopped me in my quest. So I’ve been faithfully setting up in my back yard with my Sudoku puzzle book and swatter in hand. You think a fly would show himself? Wrong. I’ve resisted testing it on myself since my last encounter of self-testing with the “dog bark collar” proved such a painful lesson. I did however capture a misguided snail that slid into the wrong place at the wrong time. A touch of the red button reassured me the swatter worked but snail’s reaction was a little disappointing. I mean some steam and … well never mind. Anyway a fly was still my target.
Sue and I were sitting at the patio table out back and of course my swatter lie close by, but still nothing. I mean to tell you I was getting hungry for my first kill.
Suddenly a bug buzzed by and I took a wild swat at it but missed. Sue immediately starting in on me for swinging at a butterfly, but I countered that it was a bee, a killer bee at that. Well she wasn’t buying, and continued “bugging” me about my lack of discretion in targets. Man did I want to try that swatter. As she continued to rant, I began to feel like one of two surviving castaways on an island; you know, where there’s nothing to eat and you look over and the other person turns into a pork chop or something. Well I gave one warning because the consequences of making her my first victim were setting in, but secretly hoped that she would ignore my admonition. Unfortunately it was one of the few times she listened, probably saw that “pork chop look” in my eyes.
In desperation, I’ve been leaving the doors and windows open in hopes that some hapless fly would fall for the aromas of dinner one day. Then I heard him. Unmistakable, that buzzing sound; I quickly closed all the windows and doors and began the hunt. And then there he was, crawling on the bay window with only minimal things to knock over if I decided to swing. I closed in anticipating my first real strike. Sure enough, as I closed in he flew right into the waiting swatter. Well I was anticipating the ultimate. You know like when they electrocute a prisoner and they forget to soak the sponge in water that they put on top his head.
Like sparks and smoke and maybe even a small explosion, something to rival “Old Sparky” in that Florida penitentiary. I’m sorry to say the swatter was as effective as it was disappointing. He just died. I mean it might as well have been a gas chamber or something. Not even a jump- up like he’d stepped on a hot plate. I even shook it around a little in hopes he was just in shock, but nothing. I unceremoniously tipped him into the trash and that was that.
So my first hunt was successful but unfulfilling. But I’m not giving up, I want sparks and fire. So I’ve got to go; I hear a voice calling me to do some kind of chore around the house; I think it’s coming from my little pork chop, err, I mean my wife.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

One in a Million

I recently purchased a “Red Rider.” If you’ve ever seen A Christmas Story, it’s the bb gun the young protagonist in the story wanted for Christmas. Anyway, I got one. It shoots maybe 350 fps, which is just about nothing.
So everyday I work and wait in my garage cause a cackle of crows fly in everyday around 5 pm. My goal is to shoot one of those suckers in the tail and watch them jump, (I always aim to the rear as I do not want some head shot causing me, and it, grief.) I mean these guys are huge, 4-5 pounders.
So yesterday, Mike, my next door neighbor pulls in and asks, What’s up!” As I worked away I told him, “Just waiting for the crows to come in.”
He laughed cause he enjoys shooting at the crow with his 6mm soft-shot automatic rifle.
Prophetically, he asks, “What are you gonna do if you ever kill one of those suckers?”
Of course I knew my “Red Rider” had very little “killing power” especially at the range I had to shoot because those crows never came even close. And even then, they kept one beady,black eye on just about everything. So here they come. Well my target was about 40-50 yards. I raised the rifle about a foot above the bird to allow for curvature. I usually get about one to ten shot off before they scatter; that’s usually how long it takes before they decide there is something to actually be scared of. As you’ve already guessed, WHAM; an impossible shot at a ridiculous distance, one in a million. Well that bird jumped about a foot, fell on its side, and with one wing straight up, started doin’ the “funky crow” right in the middle of the cul--du-sac. “Oh shit” was my first thought. My second thought was drowned by a sky full of crows screaming “CAW, CAW, CAW”, I mean there was about a thousand of them, no lie, all filling the neighborhood. I could’a just shot above me and hit one, that’s how many. But I was a little preoccupied with that sucker flailing in the middle of the street. Yea, well that and the fact the birds overhead were screeching enough to wake the dead!
My first reaction was to hide in my garage and quickly close the door. I knew the noble move was to run to bird, aid him, and atone later. I quickly shut my garage door.
Although a consideration, I realized the futility of hiding under my bed. I raised the garage door enough to peek at the pending disaster, didn’t want the neighbors to associate me as first on the scene. Well that sucker was still flapping up and down, and those skillion crows above were still squawking and screaming like everyone one of them was personally loosing their mother.
All I could think of was the whole neighborhood coming out to see why all these birds above were screaming crazy, and next to look over at this crow flapping and flailing in the middle of the street.
Well, what seemed more like hours than minutes, that sucker jumped and attempted a pathetic leap only to crash about a foot away from take off. That really got the cackle going. I didn’t think they could have gotten any louder, I was wrong. He gave another Herculean attempt at flight and managed to fall down the slope into the heavy brush which could not have made me happier.
Out of visual now, my concern was reduced to the neighborhood of nosy bodies that seem to sit at their windows all the time in hopes they might just one day witness such a travesty of inhumanity. The crows overhead had quieted somewhat, although I noticed they left a couple of scouts in the highest branches of the highest tree. Spies no doubt, waiting for the perpetrator to show his face.
Well I waited half the night for the police, or P.E.T.A. or the Humane Society, somebody, to ring my doorbell. Nothing.
So it seems I dodged a bullet on that one, no pun intended.
Well ol’ “Red Rider” learned his lesson. Just goes to show you, the only way you succeed at “one in a million” is if it’s going work against you. That’s my luck!