Thursday, December 20, 2012

enemy hedgeapple

There’s all this debate in the news lately as a result of the massacre in Connecticut last week. It all causes me to think of my first husband (H1)…who was a polar opposite of Someone (H2). H1 was an avid gun nut…that’s a term we use around here (gun nut) for people who seek and hoard unregistered guns because they think the government will try to take them away. He was also sort of a doomsday survivalist, often talking about where we would go and how we would live in the event of invasion, atomic war, or catastrophe.   H1 even bought me my own gasmask one year for my birthday.

I had no experience with real guns before meeting H1. He liked to target shoot and always insisted I shoot a couple of times when we went because he wanted me to be able to use a gun. I could shoot fairly accurately with a rifle, but with any kind of pistol I was damn lucky to hit a beer bottle from 10 feet away. H1 was a probation/parole officer and was one of the best shots in the state. He had police training and recertification testing every year.

Everywhere we went, H1 always had at least one gun with him. He had a permit to carry a concealed weapon because of his profession (I’m pretty sure it’s why he entered the profession). I do have fond memories of our motorcycle rides and stopping at the covered bridge at Dover on hot summer afternoons way out in the country. The bridge was shaded by huge sycamore trees growing along the banks of the creek in that spot. We’d sit on the outside of the bridge (on those steel support beams you can see in the photo), drink whiskey, and shoot snakes that swam across the creek below us with his 22 pistol. We always saw snakes in that creek. I don’t like killing things, but shooting at snakes was kind of fun (snakes would likely disagree).

In winter, I used to go rabbit and grouse hunting with H1. I didn’t hunt and refused to carry a gun, but I liked hiking and watching the dogs work. Once, we were walking in a swampy sort of creek bottom on his father’s land – this wasn’t a good hunting area so I was just plodding along behind him, looking down and trying not to trip over anything.  He was only 5 feet or so in front of me as we walked along.  Suddenly he turned to face me, dropped to one knee, raised his double-barrel shotgun to point just above my face and opened fire.  BAM!! BAM!! Before I could react, he called out “Enemy hedgeapple, twelve o'clock!!”  I stood there like a deer in the headlights, and then, stuff came raining down on my head – pieces of shattered hedgeapples. He about gave me heart attack and it pissed me off, but of course he just laughed at me.  Yes it was funny in retrospect, but not at the time.

I have lots of H1 stories; we had many adventures. I oftentimes wonder how I ever found myself married to him…in fact, I coerced him into marrying me (no, I didn’t get pregnant). Perhaps it’s a gift women have…we only need tell a man what he wants to hear and he will do what we want…sometimes.  The hard part is figuring out what he wants to hear.



linda said...

Here, in Australia, it is such an alien concept for a person to own a gun if they are not "baddies" or it is part of their profession. I just cannot get my head around it. Nobody can. It's just, well, odd when it is not part of the cultural norm.

Maybe when young, women choose men for reasons that are usually only known in youth. I think I would have found a guy with a motor bike, a gun and looking a bit handsome rather exciting.

I had to google what a hedgeapple was. Interesting thing.

KYLady said...

Linda – thanks for your comments. What you said is one of primary arguments I’ve heard against gun control – if guns are outlawed, only outlaws will have guns. Even so, I don’t like guns and am very grateful my current husband has no interest in them.