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Barbie Meets Red Ryder

A long story...

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Other folks in my town entertained with ping pong or billiard tables set up in cellars or in crowded garages which were loaded on Friday nights with twelve-packs of Pabst Blue Ribbon. Sometimes more than one old refrigerator chugged away in the corner. And, usually, there was a sagging sleeping-bagged couch along a wall or in the furnace room for one or more people who couldn't see well enough to drive and occasionally mistook the hosts's wife for the willing neighbor posing above.

But at my farm, it was a bit different.

From the Big House into the Little House, through the Back House and then into the Barn, there were no dry cellars or man-caves, just practical places where work and living got done. So in 1999, it was against the far wall of the two-hundred-year-old dairy barn, out of the wind and rain but still in the icy cold during winter, that I installed my entertainment system:

But the story gets ahead of itself...

Before I bought my shotgun, I bought a cheap air rifle -- a BB gun -- at Walmart. It was the same model that Ralphie Parker dreamed about in "A Christmas Story," the movie where his dysfunctional dad brings home a leggy lamp. Ralphie: "I want an official Red Ryder, carbine action, two-hundred shot range model air rifle!" he tells his mother. Mrs. Parker: "No, you'll shoot your eye out." Then Ralphie, later, after a BB famously ricochets and smashes the left lens of his eyeglasses: "Oh my God, I shot my eye out!" Well, I had one of these beauties myself, now, to scare away the porcupines and the raccoons that liked to camp out under the straw in the hay barn. And I wasn't about to shoot my eye out! People don't do stupid things like that! This 350-feet-per-second firearm was adequate to scare off small critters within a range of 500 feet, but mostly it hung on a nail in the breezway to the barn.

Until trash day.

Waiting to be told.
This story in progress... Last updated: March, 2015.