Sunday, July 8, 2018

Bug Gun and VBS

Fly shooters and Old Cowboys

            OUT BACK Did anyone think to bring a flyswatter? We had three swatters when we moved in. Our guests stole two of ‘em. No other explanation.

            The third swatter took off day before yesterday. The only guest we had during that time was my old friend, Johnny Sutton, and I searched him before he left. Makes me wonder if I was too quick to blame our other guests.

            We don’t really have all that many flies, but the ones we do have are small and fast. The one taking up residence in our house is a cocky little bugger. I can hear it laugh when I put my hands on a newspaper or magazine and slowly roll it up.

            Have you ever seen one of those bug killing salt guns? I saw a Bug-A-Salt gun in Sam’s. -- Get it? “Bug assault?” -- The thing costs $40. It supposedly kills flies, roaches, spiders… practically any bug that will stay still long enough for you to shoot it. It apparently shoots a compact spray of table salt. 

            At Sam's, I stopped a guy who was happily minding his own business, and I asked him if he ever saw one of the salt guns. Instead of telling me to leave him alone, he stopped and picked up one of the packaged guns. He said, “I’ve heard about these. They’re supposed to be pretty good.” I asked him how hard he thought it’d be to clean up the salt from off the couch or out of your wife’s hair.

            I’m not sure he appreciated me talking about his wife, but he did put two of the guns in his cart. That’s $80 worth of fly blasting. I’m a whale of a salesman.

            I’m thinking of buying one of those guns tomorrow. I’ll have to make sure Kay doesn’t try to accompany me. A $40 flyswatter? The woman applies more logic than Spock.– Beg your pardon? Oh, Kay is at VBS this evening. I mean vacation bible school. She won’t be bothering us. In fact, if she were home, we wouldn’t be sitting out here.

            See the big spot of dead grass just off the porch? That’s where I set the charcoal burner when Johnny came over. I was going to cook some ribs, so I put the charcoal canister thing on top of a thick piece of plastic that looked a lot like wood..The charcoal burned right through the faux wood and scorched a good chunk of turf. I’m sure Kay’s noticed it, but, thus far, she has yet to yell at me. The next time the two of us are out back, I’m going to catch some serious flack. (That last sentence is the second verse of a song I’ve been working on.)  

            Speaking of VBS, Kay is really enjoying herself. I’ve mentioned it before that I’ve never been a fan of VBS. When I was a kid, it was a vacation from summer. I never asked for a vacation from summer. VBS was way too preachy when I was a kid. Today, it’s much better. I know that because one time, not too awfully long ago, I actually participated in VBS with my old friend Cliff Miller. (Columnist Peggie Miller’s husband.)

            This particular VBS lasted an entire week, just like when I was a kid. Clifford and I performed a couple of skits each day. We were old cowboys. Cliff, being a lawyer, got to play the sensible cowboy. The one who delivers the eventual godly message. I was Mark, so I got to play the slow-witted cowboy. The one who misses the point of everything.

             Unfortunately, the grownups caught on to the jokes more than the kids did, which had a lot to do with that being the last time I participated in VBS. Kids are not all that enamored by old, dumb cowboys. Gabby Hayes wouldn’t be much of a draw today. Especially since he’s dead.

            Like I said, Kay is having a blast. The theme of the bible lessons is tied to Daniel. You know, the guy who was tossed into the lions’ den? So many cool stories about Daniel. Been my experience most VBS lessons come out of the Old Testament. When I was a kid, we did something with Jacob one year, Joseph the next. Back in ‘58 Noah made an appearance. Then there was David. The story of David and Goliath was a kid magnet.  

            Kay said that she’s got some first graders who can read. I mean, big words. Not, “See Dick. See Jane. See Dick and Jane.” That’s pretty much what I got out of the first grade. Kay’s got a kid who can read, “Nebuchadnezzar responded, and said, ‘Blessed be the God of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego.’ ” -- I couldn’t read the word “Nebuchadnezzar” until I was 13… and, it certainly wasn’t because I didn’t go to VBS enough.

            What? Oh, that’s the garage door opening up. Kay’s apparently back. She can’t join us out here or else she’ll remember the dead grass. Even though she just came from church, she’ll be on me like a fly on jam. Which reminds me, next time we’re out here, you’ll each get one shot with my bug assault gun. We’d best not get any salt in Kay’s flowerbed, or else she’ll get me a pet cat. The girl can be vicious.


Mark can be contacted at An archive of

No comments:

Post a Comment