"That was me; I shot a possum." (granddaughter-in-law on phone following gunfire in the night)
The call came around 2:30 a.m., just seconds after gunfire from the direction of my grandson and his wifes house.
I was up working late (as usual) when I heard the shot. Nothing unusual about that around the Zaidle place, but you never know. I grabbed a 1911 and couple of extra mags, and was headed out to investigate when the phone rang.
"You shot a possum?" I asked, only mildly surprised that it was granddaughter-in-law Emily rather than her husband Jimmy or one of the other mayhem-disposed grandsons.
"Yes. I have been after it for weeks," she said. "Every time I came home at night, there it was, mocking me up in a tree in the front yard. By the time I could get in the house for a gun, it would be gone."
Then, with no small amount of pride, she declared: "But this time I got it! No more scattering the garbage---and no more mocking me!"
Probably inspired by her 12-gauge possum-dispatching prowess, she then declared: "It has friends---and theyre next. Im going to be a possum vigilante."
I congratulated her and commented positively on her self-reliance. She signed off the phone call with: "And the icing on the cake---the shot didnt even wake up the kids!"
If anyone has any doubts, you may rest assured I have the coolest granddaughter-in-law on Earth.
The incident was the most recent snippet of conversation heard around my house that, if taken out of context---or even in context---come out sounding unusual, to say the least.
As expressed in the inaugural "Heard Around the House" installment of November 2009:
Some might label it "redneck"---even though I cannot recall ever saying, "Ive told you boys to flush that toilet; the dogs gotta drink out of there," and never carried a fishing rod into Sea World---on reflection, I can see how the banter around the Zaidle household (usually animated with assorted grandchildren up to adult and old-enough-to-know-better ages) might give pause to the uninitiated.
More recent utterances and attendant circumstance from the Zaidle Place include:
--- "Take the coon out first!" (to grandson taking a live trap upstairs to his room)
--- "I dont know where you boys are going or what you plan to do when you get there---and dont want to know---but, stay behind cover and maintain the element of surprise." (only half-jokingly to grandsons upon seeing the contents of their vehicle)
--- "Dammit, Jimmy! Did you use the last of the butter painting another gun?" (granddaughter-in-law to my grandson who uses butter for paint masking)
--- "You mean like that standing in the pasture over there, and the 400 pounds in my freezers?" (to traveling meat peddler that knocked on my door)
--- "Why did you bring that in the house?" (to grandson standing by my desk holding a dead chicken)
--- "Train track." (grandson when asked what happened to his Android phone)
--- "Shake that skull on the shelf over there and see if it rattles." (dont ask)
--- "Who the hell loads a shotgun with slugs in snake season!" (grandson using my "driveway defense" shotgun to dispatch a copperhead in the front yard)
--- "I didnt have any choice, Pop. There were bees were swarming at the shooting range." (grandson when asked why he shot up my pasture gate after hanging a B27 target on it)
If... / You Might be... Department
--- Have "north" and "south" freezers on your back porch.
--- Anyone has ever handed you a deactivated fragmentation grenade and said, "I found this in my car---is it yours?"
--- Have ever asked anyone, "Did you lose a frag grenade?"
--- Had to explain the blood on your boots to a DPS trooper.
--- Got weird looks from other EMS personnel and a sheriffs deputy because you had a crow feather stuck in your headlamp band at an accident scene.
--- Shot a spider with a 12-gauge.
--- Assisted in a search of your home for a lost TASER.
--- Loaded your own "rubber bullet" shotgun rounds using high-bounce balls from a vending machine.
--- Used a shotgun to remove a fallen tree from a high-voltage electric transmission line.
--- Fired shotgun slugs at a once-burning oil storage tank to drain the reminder of the contents into the retention dike.
--- Purposely released a ratsnake inside your vehicle to take care of a rodent problem.
--- Declared your granddaughter-in-law the best on Earth for shooting a possum in her front yard with a 12-gauge.