Christmas of 199- something descended upon central eastern Wyoming as it had any year before. The rigid theology behind the scare tactics used by the global warming crowd hadn’t been quite solidified at that point in time, so it was still pretty cold in the region.
There was even snow on the ground.
Remember that point, as I’ll make a passing, yet innocuous reference to the snow before this extended line of bull is complete.
By then I had already held the status of “Repatriated Texan” for a couple of years. That didn’t keep me from making the trip back up to Wyoming every once in awhile to visit Mom and a few buddies from high school.
The visit I made that year was particularly memorable from the point that I was served vittles on the plane.
I had the chicken.
Granted, I left it on the pant leg of the kid sitting next to me upon a particularly turbulent approach. Optimistically speaking, one could assume that the turbulence made me tilt the tray of food which caused the food to hit the kids leg.
Realistically, I actually hurled and didn’t get the barf bag placed correctly in time to avoid an awkward moment. As I exited the plane and proceeded to the gate to meet Mom, there was a crowd of people there waiting to celebrate the return home of a soldier who had served in Desert Storm.
There’s nothing like approaching a cheering crowd with the remnants of a surprise upchuck on your shirt. In retrospect, I’m glad it was me and not the soldier with the unfortunate incident on his chest.
Yeah, air travel!
Under the assumption that you aren’t here to read about adventures in repatriated airline food, I’ll move onto the other event which took place in my life that Christmas.
I went rabbit hunting that year.
I had never hunted rabbits before. In fact prior to that, I had been deer hunting approximately 4 times with my father. In those trips, we wandered all over creation looking for mule deer.
They do wonders for Hamburger Helper.
Sadly, the only thing that came out of those particular trips was a lot of whining, bitching, and moaning on my part for having to walk so far. Ya gotta give it to hunters here in Texas who just sit in a blind and wait for the deer to show up. They have that stuff figured out.
All these years later, it amazes me that Dad kept his patience during those trips without once telling me to shut up.
The hunting I would participate in this time around was with a couple of high school buddies and five or six other acquaintances.
It seems like it took us forever to gather together and head on out of town to the prairie where the wabbits, jack rabbits, and the jackalope ran free. The jack rabbits were the primary target, but we certainly weren’t above taking a jackalope or two if the opportunity presented itself.
We were certainly armed for bear. Or rabbit. Among our group was a wide variety of hand guns, rifles, shotguns, and even a wrist rocket or two.
We divided up into small breakout sessions and fanned out in a manner so as to avoid shooting each other in the ass or other cherished body parts.
I was able to take a shot at some big ass jack rabbit, but only hit close enough to him to make him appreciate life a little bit more that he did just hours before.
By the end of the day, my breakout session had produced one rabbit. As we returned to our parking spot and met up with the rest of the gang, one last opportunity presented itself in the form of a rabbit who had been hiding under one of the vehicles.
As it dashed and darted away from the relative safety provided by the undercarriage of the Bronco we had arrived in, the little fella made it’s own version of a B line for what it must have optimistically considered to be a long life to be experienced for years to come.
This wasn’t one of those angry bunnies like the one from Monty Python’s Holy Grail or anything like that. Sadly, the six gentlemen who opened fire on it with their assorted hand guns, shotguns and wrist rockets saw the rabbit as the aforementioned threat and proceeded to expedite it’s demise.
The gunfire lasted for what seemed forever, yet still the little varmint continued to scurry across the prairie under a hell storm of ammo being propelled at it at incredible velocities. Apparently the rabbit was bullet proof because nothing seemed to have stopped him.
Remembering the allusion to the snow on the ground that I made earlier, I piped up with a poignant observation about the gangs inability to bring the life of Bunnicula to an end. “Geez guys, why don’t you just throw a snowball at it?”
The gunfire stopped and the would-be rabbit assassins turned and looked at me in the most dumbfounded, yet pissed off manner possible.
The silent staredown I had just inadvertently initiated thickened the air. The only comfort I drew from the tension was the fact that their collective aim was pretty bad based on the fact the rabbit was still alive. This little tidbit would come in handy in the event I became their target.
The silence was broken when the rabbit rustled in a nearby bush. The biggest asshole in the gang noticed this, fired off a shot at the rabbit and killed it.
Just to make sure the kill was clean and complete, I gathered up a snowball and chucked it at the rabbit stew starter kit that lay there lifeless on the prairie floor.
Ten minutes later, a detailed inspection of the rabbit revealed all of one bullet wound in it’s chest.
The rabbit was only hit once.
An hour later we were eating pizza at Godfathers. A bacon cheeseburger pizza was ordered, and I’ll be damned if they didn’t put a ring of pickles in the center of it.
I would imagine that if you look hard enough, you’ll find a moral to this little story. For those of you who don’t see it, allow me to elucidate.
When dining at Godfathers Pizza, avoid the bacon cheeseburger pizza. They put pickles on that shit.