Monday, August 15, 2005

My shoulder hurts

"Um, okay. Um. Pull."

BLAM! The clay target shattered and fell out of the sky.

I gaped in wonderment. It was the first shot I'd ever fired. Mom and her husband had taken me to the shooting range for my inaugural attempt at using a shotgun. I had naturally assumed I wouldn't hit a thing, not even an easy one.

I hit four other targets. I won't tell you what percent of my shots fired that was, because it wasn't good. I got worse as the morning went on, partly because of over-thinking and partly because of fatigue. That happens a lot, I'm told.

I managed to keep my face against the gun so I didn't get kicked in the jaw. But a couple of times I closed my eyes when I fired. (It turns out you can't hit anything that way.) And my ribcage and shoulders are the boniest parts of my body, so the spot where the gun is supposed to nestle is nothing more than a hard crevice. I had a light padded vest on, which kind of cushioned me, but not really. I suspect I need something pillowier if I'm to continue doing this.

But still! Pretty satisfying stuff.

We started the morning by wandering the range and picking up targets that other people had thrown but not hit. (We are economical people. Why spend the money?) I noticed something that I think will be of value, both to me and to the other gardeners who read this. There were slugs--the slimy kind, not the kind you fire out of a gun--hiding under a lot of the targets. It would probably be a really good idea for organic-minded folks to set clay pigeons out in the garden and then check them in the morning!