TITLE: Get the Gun
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Get the gun
One wouldn’t have thought that being a youth leader could be dangerous…
When I was a little lad, we had the new youth pastor and his wife stay at our house while they were waiting for their own house to be finished. We had plenty of room, so that was no problem, and we enjoyed the company.
Now, for some reason which I have never understood, the youth group at church had elected, or chosen, or appointed, or allowed to serve by default some rather… odd choices for their head officers. Instead of some popular guy for president, his buddy for vice president, and some efficient girl for secretary… they had elected three, diffident, naïve, shy… well you get the picture… girls to all three posts. One thing about these girls tho, they were efficient. As soon as they were elected they got out their notebooks and planned the rest of the years events. All down to the last month, day, minute… and probably second for all I know.
One of the things that they planned was a ‘come as you are’ breakfast party. Now, in my opinion this proves conclusively that they couldn’t have had any brothers. Well, perhaps I had better explain the idea.
You see, they planned to drive around to everyone’s house, sneak in, and wake them up… and then drag them off to the party in ‘whatever they were wearing’. I am sure that in their minds they pictured all the boys in some funny pajamas with bunnies, and all the girls in long woollen nightgowns. Now, how could anyone get an idea like that who had brothers in their house? Or even knew anyone that had brothers?
I heard, altho not first hand, that they had a number of surprises on their trip. I am sure that the various mothers had probably, without giving the whole thing away, tried to hint that perhaps their boys should wear something to bed… or in other houses, something decent. But boys being boys not all of these hints paid fruit. Well, anyway, that’s not really my story.
My story starts when they told my mom about the whole thing. You see, they were so organized that they told her a couple of months before the actual event. No, not days, months! So, of course, being related to me, she promptly forgot about the whole thing. I mean, who can remember something a couple of months in advance? A marriage, maybe, if one is the groom… or a birth… your own or your wife’s… perhaps. But anything else?
So, anyway, she forgot.
Now, you have to understand our house to get this next bit. Typical house for the area. Two stories, wood construction, corner house… with a wooden fence around the back yard. So at 5:00 am or whatever time these girls planned this thing they pulled, quietly, up in front of our house and the girls got quietly out… easing their doors closed. They had come to get the youth pastor and his wife.
My mom woke up. You see, she wakes up if a mouse clears his throat a block away, so a car actually pulling up outside our house! But one can’t jump to the window with each car that makes some noise in the street… so she went back to sleep.
The girls crept quietly up to the front door and tried it… click, click. Locked.
My mom woke up again… pulse above 100 this time. But she wasn’t sure it was burglars trying to get in our front door, and so she, for the hundredth time that night probably, she went back to sleep.
The girls held a whispered conference. My mom, they decided, had not wanted to leave the front door open… she must have left the back door open. Nothing for it but to go around to the back.
Now. The gate, in the fence, the wooden fence that separates the front from the back yard… squeaks. A distinctive squeak. A distinctive squeak that my mom knew, memorized, backwards, in a howling blizzard she could tell that squeak.
So when the girls quietly eased the gate open….
She was UP! Fear, fire, flood, disaster… after years of waiting it had arrived… the burglars were actually HERE! Actually opening our back gate and IN OUR YARD! Her family was in danger, ACTION was required! So she turned to try to wake my dad… shoving mightily with all the strength her 80 pounds afforded her. Nothing. A few muffled grunts at best.
But, but, disaster loomed! What to do? And then… a flash of genius. She flew to the window, tore it open, and with a voice loud enough to wake the aforementioned mouse, yelled, screamed…
“Jim! (that’s my dads name) Jim! Get the gun!”
Now remember, this was not Massachusetts or some other such wimpy place where a gun was last used on British redcoats. No, no. This was Colorado! Where every red-blooded man (and boy, such as me) wore cowboy boots, and every, every, house (well, except for a few radical liberal weenies) kept a gun. A real gun. Under the bed, or on the wall on hooks.
And you could use it! Any burglar in your house and Blam, Blam. And no policeman would even arrest you. They would just come by, say, “good shot”, and haul him away.
Panic reigned in the house. Not my dad, who just rolled over. Not me, I always slept until I woke by myself… but the youth pastors wife! Murder was about to be done! To whom and why, she didn’t know. But she rolled over and shoved her husband. “Jerry (that was his name) wake up! Jim is about to kill someone.” Not being my dad, he awoke… and the two of them ran frantically all over the house, accompanied at stages by my mom, trying to figure out who was to be shot, and why.
Finally everyone stopped to take a breath… and a quiet, quavering voice from outside was heard. Everyone’s head went to the window, where three prone forms were to be seen on the lawn… their arms over their head, their bodies quivering,
“Please don’t shoot, Mr. Ohlman, it is just us.”
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