Sunday, July 14, 2013

Family Secrets

The $200 Shotgun

The Old Ball and Chain
Her First Quail on a Covey Rise

We have a little family secret down here.  And since this is just between us, I'll share it. 

It seems that sometime in the distant past, I may, or may not, have mentioned to my wife, that although I do have several shotguns they are all inexpensive.  In fact, the story goes, none of my guns cost more than $200, so she says I told her.  While neither confirming nor denying said statement was made, I do admit I was guilty for allowing the misunderstanding to exist.  Over the years, as shotguns were acquired, I assured my lovely bride that I would never pay more for them than the usual amount.  And, so, life blissfully carried on.   Until the fateful day, in my barn, during a field trial.  It was cold and raining so several of my bird dog friends were warming themselves by the fire and talking about all things bird hunting.  BJ joined us for a bit. She usually holds her own in these meetings regaling the audience with stories of my adventures with my various dogs.  Laughter and good natured ribbing was the name of the game, with everyone chipping in to tell an anecdote about their favorite dog or hunt.  Conversation got around to shotguns and who just bought what, the various makes and models and quality thereof.  Finally, someone happened to spy the gun I'd set aside as I came in from my brace and asked if that was the old A.H.Fox and why would I use it in such bad weather.  I explained I did like to shoot the gun, and I would probably spend quite a while cleaning and oiling after the day was over.  Another friend opined that he would never allow a gun like that to get wet, and so on.  I happened to glance at my wife and noticed a puzzled look on her face.  Warning flags shot up all over (Danger, Will Robinson! Danger!).  Uh, oh!  But then, BJ smiled and announced that it was no big deal, since "..none of Randy's guns cost more than $200 anyway.".   (At this point in the tale, you could hear the wind blowing dust in the empty street and the hawk screech high overhead.)  Mouths opened, jaws dropped and men froze in place.  After a long, quiet moment....... "Absolutely! Yes! Uh huh! Yep, that's right, BJ!" was heard throughout the barn.  Then, slowly, the laughter started and I heard several of my "friends" explaining to BJ the book value of a few of my $200 guns. It was generally acknowledged that I was dog meat for the rest of the year, I would never see the Dakotas, Montana, Minnesota, Kansas, Texas, Wisconsin, or New Mexico again (or, at least, during my natural lifetime)! She laughed and enjoyed my discomfort for a while and then gracefully bowed out to head back to the house.  Always a class act, she gave me big kiss and said she needed to get going.  "It's a long drive to Atlanta, honey, and you don't mind if I do a little shopping, do you? Oh, and I promise not to get anything that costs more than $200!  Honest!"

There is a lesson here, somewhere.....