Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Texas-sized Guns

I must confess that I’ve been browsing the weekly sportsmen’s stores’ catalogs for guns. In the past two years, I’ve come to find that there are a lot of scary varmints in the countryside as evidenced by the recent skunk experience. Plus all my neighbors have guns, and I’d like to fit in.

I don’t know much about guns. My firearm experience consists of shooting BB guns at empty bottles, occasional live rodents, and certain “friends” (but that’s another story). Typically, I’m drawn to the cheapest gun with the biggest barrel. So, yes, you could probably sell me a blunderbuss. But in last weekend’s catalog, I found the perfect solution: the mini-cannon!

That’s right: you can purchase a fully operational mini-cannon styled like the classic Napoleon version from the Civil War, or the Old Ironsides model like the ones found on old ships. I scoured the ad looking for a disclaimer and thought, “This can’t be real. It can’t possibly be legal to sell a working cannon to your average Joe.” Then I remembered where I live, and realized rural Texans probably made their own cannons before these came on the market.

The ad states “fully operational” and also mentions accessories, including granular powder, round balls, and fuses. Plus they cost a whopping $250. They must be the real deal!

Since I don’t have a ship or parrot, I’m leaning toward the Napoleon version.

And since I don’t know anything about guns, this is the perfect solution. How hard is it to operate a cannon? You 1) light the fuse and 2) cover your ears. Any dummy who’s ever watched cartoons knows that. Aiming might be hard because it could take a couple of people to move it. But then again it’s not like hitting a bull’s eye with a shotgun.

I’ll be able to take on entire armies of skunks, rattlesnakes, opossums and of course deer. Plus there’s the home-protection aspect. If the click of a loaded shotgun frightens a home invader, just think what the sound of a lit fuse would do! And St. Pauli Girl could finally get the horse she’s always wanted . . . as long as she lets me use it to pull the cannon when we go on field maneuvers.

Best of all, I’ll be the envy of all my neighbors: “Well, Mike, of course that’s a mighty fine shotgun you got there. But let’s see which one of us can blow up that barn faster.” BOOM!

I could start my own demolition business. I can offer to blow up condemned buildings and bridges for a small fee (plus cannonball expenses). I’ll even dress up like General Sherman, or no, wait! Maybe Nathan Bedford Forrest, depending on where I’m at and who’s paying me.

While pulling out my credit card, I studied the ad closer. Then I looked it up online, and that’s where I saw the catch: the cannons are 12 inches long by 6 inches high. I guess that’s why it’s called a mini-cannon. But $250 for something you could fire off your desk?

That’s dumber than selling real cannons.

Oh, but wouldn’t it be great if the next time I’m forced to sit through a crappy, boring Power Point presentation at work, I could load a cannonball into my desk cannon, aim it at the screen, light the fuse, and cover my ears?

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