Holy cow, I’m going to hell.
I just know I am. My husband has a raging relationship with the squirrels at our house. We live out in the country, and have a gazillion squirrels scampering around. A couple winters ago, there was a family living in our attic … horrifying, to say the least, to hear them scratching on the ceiling at night while we were falling asleep. I thought for sure the zombies were coming for us. So he decided to take evasive, offensive action. He tried everything, from squirrel traps in the attic to terrifying owl statues in the garden and in the attic. But nothing helped. Eventually in the spring, they left the nest, so to speak, and he was able to plug the attic entrance.
Or so I thought. What really happened is straight out of Steel Magnolias. He has a secret peashooter. In the garage, tucked in a tool drawer, covered by a bunch of garage tool stuff. I guess he’d had it almost three years when my sweet baby, ten at the time, noticed some squirrels in the backyard jumping from the tall pine trees onto the roof. He calls out: “Daddy, squirrels just jumped on the house!”
My husband comes bounding down the stairs like a bat out of hell, racing for the garage. I hear him rummaging around a bit, swearing under his breath and anxious, and then he streaks through the backyard brandishing a sidearm. Barefoot. Oh. My. God. I am so NOT a gun person–even one that’s mostly a cap-gun; I’m a dedicated pacifist and a huge proponent of NO guns. And there’s the love of my life, shooting at squirrels in the backyard, in the daylight, on a Sunday morning. The Catholic families on the left and the right of us, walking home from church during his frenzy, were horrified. Well, except for one of the dads and his youngest son, who were active in their paramilitary Boy Scout troop. I couldn’t even think of what to say to convey my sheer horror. He didn’t say anything either, just walked calmly back into the garage, but the peashooter back in its hidey-hole, and went to get a shower. He didn’t hit any varmits that day, but still, I’m just saying.
So this morning, I’m sitting at the table drinking coffee and running through the news on my laptop and he rushes to the window (he’s on a conference call, mind you), shakes his fist in the air, and retreats to the garage. He comes back in packing heat, climbs through the dining room window (because it’s quieter than opening the door) and pings the squirrel, who’s minding its own business, raiding the birdfeeder behind a garden statue. Of Saint Frances.
I think he probably broke every agreement in the book for us being good stewards of nature and wildlife. I’m praying our whole garden doesn’t die.
I’m not going to hell. He is.