As you read this post you should have the music from Green Acres playing in the background. At the same time you need to be envisioning Jeff Foxworthy saying "You might be a redneck if . . . " I am 100% sure we qualified as rednecks the other night.
Two nights ago we were sitting at the kitchen table eating dinner and watching our stray cat eat his dinner on our back porch. We have this stray cat that we're not allowed to get within 20 feet of, but he has learned that if he comes and sits at our kitchen door and meows loudly we will feed him. He is quite an uppity stray cat as he often refuses to eat dry cat food, so we have to buy him canned food and we also feed him our dinner leftovers. He is especially partial to baked salmon. Anyway he came around as we were eating dinner so we obligingly put food out for him.
Carter was eating his dinner in his highchair and babbling on about the kitty cat when suddenly his descriptions of the kitty cat became a lot louder and more animated. Jason and I turned to look at the cat and there was an opossum literally shoving our stray cat to the side so he could eat his food. Jason and I both found this unacceptable. Having lost a horse to EPM no opossum gets a pass from me. And because of where our house is situated there is no way for an opossum to approach our house except by coming through the horse pasture. Not ok. They can live if they don't cross my path but if they do, well, buh-bye. Jason is not a fan of opossums either. He is also somewhat attached to our stray cat and was not ok with this opossum pushing it around. Off he went to get a rifle from the gun safe.
(Side note - anyone who thinks shooting an animal is pure evil, is never ok, etc. should stop reading now. You will be offended and you have been duly warned. We also do not believe it is humane or kind to trap a rodent and relocate it a few miles away. That is just a death sentence and you still pulled the trigger whether you think you did or not.)
As Jason flings the door open to shoot the opossum I am giving him last second instructions. "Don't hit the cat! Don't hit the porch! Don't hit the column!" Unfortunately Jason had grabbed one of his rifles with a scope. Since it was semi dark he couldn't see through the scope as he went to shoot the retreating opossum. He fired off a couple of shots thinking that would just scare it away and that would be the end of that.
While Jason was on the porch firing off a couple of shots Carter asked me "What Dada doing?" I said "oh, Dad's playing with the kitty cat." This response made Carter clap his hands in glee and cheer. He approves of any type of playing that involves loud noises.
Meanwhile Jason was on the porch calling "here kitty, here kitty, kitty, kitty" in a really high pitched voice trying to get our stray cat to come back. In an exasperated voice I asked Jason if he really thought the cat was going to come back after all that ruckus. Amazingly, after Jason came back inside our stray cat did come back and resumed eating his food.
We resumed eating our dinner and Carter made some commentary to Jason about playing with the kitty cat. Jason gave me the "what is he talking about look" so I explained that when he asked what Jason was doing that I told Carter daddy was playing with the cat. Right then Carter again alerted us to the presence of our other kitty cat. We couldn't believe it, but there he was, shoving our stray cat aside again so he could get to his food. Jason simply turned his chair around, instructed me to open the door, and fired off a couple of shots. Of course he missed since he had to wait until the opossum was off the porch (and headed for the safety of full dark...maybe five yards away) and our opossum scurried off again. I don't know how you can get any more redneck than that, not even getting up from the dinner table to shoot at things. Carter thought it was the best meal we'd ever had as he laughed, clapped and cheered for Jason.
Jason decided he was going to go get a different rifle without a scope on the off chance our opossum came back. I mean, surely he was not going to come back again after being shot at twice? Our poor stray cat had opted not to come back after the second round of shooting.
I started cleaning up after dinner while Jason set up shop in his kitchen chair. He was armed with a rifle and a smartphone. What else does a redneck need?
Jason doing a spot-on impersonation of a redneck. We have the rifle, the ripped jeans, the undershirt on, he needs to shave . . . all while surfing the 'net on his phone.
Amazingly the opossum came back for round three. I was again instructed to open the kitchen door. I yanked the door open, Jason took aim, and . . . misfire. Jason was livid. This was all starting to get very personal to him now. He marched off to the gun safe for rifle number three and resumed his position.
Sure enough the opossum came back again. Jason sprang up, flung the door open, fired . . . and missed. I made the comment to Jason "What's up? Usually you only need one shot, maybe two, and we're now at four and counting." I heard all kinds of excuses. It was dark, he shouldn't have tried with the first scoped rifle, the second one misfired, he couldn't shoot at the opossum on the porch but had to wait until it was running across the yard in the pitch dark to take a shot, etc. Blah, blah, blah.
Carter and I sat down together to read some books while Jason stayed on guard waiting for the opossum to come back. We were reading The Potty Book which is currently one of Carter's favorites and I was just reading the line:
I look down at my diaper.
It seems to fit just right.
My diaper's where I pee and poop,
morning, noon, and night.
Right then the kitchen door flies open again. Jason runs outside screaming "BOOGITY, BOOGITY, BOOGITY" (seriously, I can't make this stuff up) at the top of his lungs. This screaming is followed rapidly by the rifle going bang, bang, bang. Carter and I just sat there for a second taking it all in.
Me: "what was that all about?"
Jason: "I thought if I ran out screaming and scared him first he would play dead and then I could shoot him."
Me: "Did it work"
Jason: sounding a bit defensive "no."
Carter: Dada need to go potty?
For anyone who is trying to keep score that escapade brought us to Opossum 5, Jason 0. I helpfully pointed this out to Jason. "You've missed five times now." Jason then made some comment about only using a small caliber rifle.
Me: Why don't you use the .30-.30?
Jason: (in a "how can you be so stupid" tone of voice) The goal isn't to blow it up, the goal is just to shoot it.
Me: Isn't the result the same in the end?
Unbelievably, for the next hour and a half this opossum kept returning to the porch to eat the cat food. Jason kept firing at it every time it came back. When the score got up to something like Opossum 14, Jason 0, Jason made the statement "maybe we should get a trap" in a somewhat defeated voice.
And that finally ended our opossum shooting rampage that resulted in 0 dead opossums. Thus I think we have earned our place on the "You might be a redneck if" list. In fact I think we should top the list with honors. My take home lesson from all of this is that Jason and I could never live in a subdivision. We would just wind up in the clink for any number of reasons.
Jason is normally a very accurate shot. I'm kind of wondering if, deep down inside, he didn't really want to shoot the opossum after all.
One day I should type out the story of the raccoon in the barn at my parent's farm. That story started out with the raccoon throwing a bowl at my head overhand . . .
Bergie and Stormy
the first view I had this morning was Norman grazing in the fog
Dutch and Renny
Fabrizzio and Noble
Donneur and Romeo were having quiet time together
Sparky, Miracle and Griselle
Donovan and Kennedy
Cocomo and Gibson
Rocky and Toledo
MyLight and Calimba