I'm baaaaaack! More to come on my blogging hiatus later.
For now I will indulge the reason you're all here: The story of how my dad shot a squirrel in the house with young children in close proximity. Or, for the sake of brevity, TSoHMDSaSitHwYCiCP.
But first, some background. I have a crazy weird memory. I will forget every single thing that happened two days prior but can remember very clearly things that happened as far back as age 2 (for reals). These are not important events, mind you, just...events, random ones, from long, long ago.
Since starting grad school (thus consuming much, much more alcohol than usual) I found myself retelling a latent memory of my dad shooting a squirrel inside the house more than once. I wasn't entirely sure this really happened (mind you, my crazy weird memory can sometimes be dreams or my mind playing tricks on me) so I went to the source himself to ask.
To which The Old Man replied [editors notes in brackets]:
You and [sister, 1 year younger] were just little and for some reason I had the day off, so was home baby sitting you guys. For quite some time you had been saying there was a squirrel in the house. I never saw it and figured you guys were full of baloney. I went out to [owner of horse farm]'s and got a trap and set up in the back entry by the old International chest type freezer (an integral part of the story). Put some peanut butter on it and nothing happened. No squirrel so I passed it all off.
On this particular day I was sitting in the living room reading the paper when I caught something out of the corner of my eye -- something moving extremely fast, coming from the kitchen into the living room. It was the squirrel - with Puskar [family cat] chasing it. The chase came into the living room and around and around. The squirrel was so quick that the cat would lose track of it. I went and got my .22 pistol and found some shells for it - bird shot, sorta like a small shotgun shell with bb's in it. Puskar chased the squirrel back to the back entry, where it jumped up on the railing going to the basement. I didn't have the gun loaded yet, so I threw a shell in the cylinder, spun it to hopefully the right spot, aimed and ---- click. The bullet wasn't in the right chamber.
Hearing the click the squirrel scampered under the old freezer. I looked underneath and couldn't see it anywhere but knew it was up in the works someplace. The freezer was too heavy to move by myself so I went to the garage and got a piece of 2x4. Put the 2x4 between the wall and the freezer and reefed on it - which moved the freezer out a little bit. Out came the squirrel and the chase was on again, Puskar in pursuit of the squirrel and me behind both of them. Back to the living room. The squirrel ran up and down the curtains -- almost thought of pulling a shot when it stopped at the top of the front window curtain but sanity prevailed -- first, they were Mom's new white curtains (!) and second, there was a window behind that curtain.
Shoed the squirrel back down to the floor and it ran under the old hutch, cat in pursuit. Round and round the circus went. One of you two, think it was [sister], was sitting in the middle of the floor watching tv. Anyway, the squirrel was getting tired and ran into the northeast corner of the room, behind the piano. A blind alley so to speak. I could see its shadow sitting there so I aimed and fired. Hit the squirrel but didn't kill it. It came running out towards the kitchen/living room door but I stomped on it with my boot - end of squirrel. Gun smoke circling in the air.
When the story got around town that I'd shot the squirrel in the house everyone thought I was kinda nuts. [Neighborhood kid whose name I have never heard in my life] was our paperboy at the time and he would see the thing sitting in the living room window when he would delivery papers early in the morning. He thought we had a pet squirrel! Since then a lot of squirrels have met their demise on the property but that was the only one in the house!
This was America, people, where we have the right to bear arms!
My dad pulled a Dick Cheney on that poor squirrel, and it didn't even die! So he delivered the death blow with his boot (cowboy, I would bet) in front of three children - girls - aged 7, 6 and not-even-walking-yet 1.
So there it is, folks, my childhood. TSoHMDSaSitHwYCiCP.