and the plot thickens

I was a nervous wreck after writing yesterday’s post.  I was unsure as to whether or not my father would be irritated with me for poking fun at him.  Now that I’ve gotten the green light from both Dad and my step-mother, I can take a huge sigh of relief!  In fact, not only can I breathe more easily, I was gifted with a surprise in my email.  My step-mother informed me that I “have no idea” how many weapons were actually in my father’s arsenal!   She proceeded to send me a detailed list of the weapons close to my father’s heart so that I could craft that information into another humorous tale.  So…in the spirit of honoring thy father…I shall not disappoint!

Dad’s weapons of choice:

Glock 19-9mm      

Glock 26-9mm     

Mossberg 500 12 gauge pump shotgun 

Kaltek PF 9mm    

Ruger LCP .380 automatic

Smith and Wesson Tactical Military and Police 3 1/2 inch switchblade    

Apparently, all weapons are loaded and hidden at home or carried.  My step-mother carries a loaded Walther PPK .380 and keeps it by her bed at night.  She also keeps a pistol crossbow by the bed because it’s, and I quote, “silent and deadly.”  They have thousands upon thousands of rounds of ammunition.

I think she was trying to make me feel safer, but I’m not sure it worked.  I was really poking fun at Dad last night.  Oh well…he lives pretty far away, and I doubt he’d get any of those through airport security!  I would be in bigger trouble if he hadn’t sold his private plane a few years back.  I don’t think they make you go through security if you’re flying your own plane.

Of course, I’m kidding.  My father is as gentle as a pussy cat…or as we like to call them in my house…a ninja kitty.

Initially I was shocked by Dad’s sudden fondness for weapons and involvement in the NRA (I even heard a rumor that he has an autographed poster of Charleton Heston hanging in his basement arsenal, but I’m not sure I believe it.)  Back when I was a child there were subtle hints of his fondness for weapons that I am only now picking up on.

The Bats.

It was the summer of 1974 when I first saw one.  My father was remodeling the bathroom, and the old tub was sitting along the side of the house waiting for its final ride to the landfill.  My sister and I were playing in the yard when we heard a strange sound coming from the tub.  We were young, no more than five and eight, so our danger meters were not yet fully functional.  What we found was a funny mouse.  My sister stood guard while I ran to get our mother.  We wanted to keep the funny mouse, but we needed permission. 

I’m sure you’ve guessed that it wasn’t a mouse.  It was a bat!  It had somehow landed in the tub but couldn’t get out.  Mom hustled us away from the potential rabies donor and yelled for Dad.  This is where I imagine him running out of the house like Rambo, chest bared and a white bandana tied around his temple, carrying a M60 machine gun in one hand and a huge combat knife in the other, with a loaded ammo belt strapped across his chest. 

That may not be exactly how it happened.

It was dusk when Dad strolled out to the driveway carrying his shotgun, loaded with birdshot, and picked off the bats one by one as they swooped out of the attic vent.  It was like shooting skeet, until the local sheriff showed up to arrest him.  He didn’t actually get arrested—my father is a very smart man!  The sheriff said Dad couldn’t shoot the bats, to which my Dad said, “I didn’t know they were an endangered species!”  “Well, they aren’t in season!” The sheriff countered.  Of course my dad argued that there is no bat season, and that bats are a danger to life, health and the general wellbeing of the family, etc.  My dad is an electrical engineer, so of course, he calculated his way out of that predicament with ease.  I don’t remember what happened with the bats after that night.  I imagine there was an exterminator that was called in to eradicate them somehow.  But I’ll never forget the night Dad shot bats in the air like they were winged enemies, out to take away our freedom…now I’m imagining him in blue face paint like Braveheart.  It’s funny what the mind does after thirty odd years. 

Until the next time…I’ll be calling my Dad to tell him I don’t write a blog anymore so don’t bother reading!


Copyright © 2000-2018, Erica Lucke Dean. All rights reserved. Any retranscription or reproduction is prohibited and illegal.
Posted on February 13, 2010 .