The Humble Farmer

Banquet Speaker, Entertainer, Humorist

Location: St. George, Maine, United States

I enjoy standing on stages in front of sober people who like to laugh. I enjoy playing bass in a jazz band.

Monday, September 19, 2005

September 23, 2005

I have a letter from a distant cousin, a very intelligent and well educated man, who loaded his family into his Jaguar and evacuated New Orleans. His big everyday car would have been more comfortable but he couldn’t replace the Jag. Thoroughly acclimated to life in the City of Sin, he pocketed two hand guns for protection and headed for Texas.
After reading his letter I spent some time moving the pasture fence as I wondered how, while stuffed into a Jaguar with mother-in-law, wife, kid and bedding, one would whip out a hand gun and blow away looters. Serious looters.
Don’t you suspect that would be looter-shooters are influenced by the good old cowboy movies we saw as kids, in which Tom Mix and the Lone Ranger simply fired one shot and shattered the gun in the crook’s hand?
But since then you and I have seen news films of real live crooks who riddled police cars with bullets from awesome automatic weapons and kept wounded armed policemen pinned down in the street.
While carrying a gun to protect yourself there is the obvious danger that without too much careful thought or consideration, you could point it at whatever pops out at you from around the corner and shoot. If it is a crook and you miss, he probably won’t. If it is your buddy, we’ll read about it in the newspapers.
If you’ve been around long enough, you and yours have probably been awakened in the middle of the night by the sound of creaking stairs. That’s when a gun under the pillow or in a drawer beside the bed might be a comfort --- as long as you don’t shoot your cousin who ran out of gas and is creeping into your house for help.
If you were an old batch who lived all alone until the age of 54, awakening to an unfamiliar 120 pounds creaking up your darkened stairs was startling but not unknown. Nowadays, according to what one sees on Desperate Housewives, creaking, darkened stairs are the rule rather than exception.
So having first hand experience with creaking stairs in the night, having seen in-store videos of clerks and robbers shooting it out, and having seen how a couple of determined bandits can pin down and shoot up an entire army of police officers, I have opinions on the efficacy of packing iron in the real world.
Would I enjoy pumping 22 birdshot into anyone who came into my house to carry off my Django CDs? Yes. But from what I’ve seen it can be a risky business.