Living Backward

What it's like to live life in reverse.

My slingshot10/8/09 - For me, living life backward isn't just about picking up where I left off when I was nine years old. It's more about doing stuff now that I should have done when I was nine years old, but didn't.

Last fall, I read something about park rangers dealing with bears by firing at them with slingshots. It makes the bears go away, but doesn't hurt them. What a brilliant idea!

I told Ted that I wanted a slingshot. He gave me one for Christmas. I carry it in my back pocket, like any respectable nine-year-old. It's a Trumark, has an arm brace that folds up, and has ammo storage in the handle.

"Ammo" is just glass marbles. My slingshot's handle is loaded with marbles, but I never shoot them. I don't need to. In this rocky New Mexico terrain, I have an infinite supply of small stones, so why waste perfectly good marbles shooting them?

I'm beginning to get the hang of this cool little weapon, in spite of the help I get from the cats. Whenever I go outside, the cats come out with me. There's a big stone off the edge of the driveway that I'm using as a target and sometimes I use the backboard Ted set up to hold the target on his firing range. The cats follow me around and hang out while I practice. When I fire the slingshot, what the cats hear is something making little abrupt noises in the brush. They have to go see what it is, and then they're in the line of fire, so I have to go find someplace else and something else to shoot at.

Our water tankOur property came equipped with a water tank. It's intended for watering livestock and isn't suitable for household water, so it stands empty because our livestock--three cats--can't consume enough water to justify putting it in service.

It sure is a good slingshot target though. It makes a most satisfying ping when I hit it with a stone.

The noise scares the cats off. One of them actually runs into the cat cage, through the tunnel, and into the house. (The cats are still ignoring the cage, for the most part, except for Ginger, who hangs out in the tunnel most of the night, although somebody--probably Bob--dragged a rat through the tunnel, through a cat door, into the garage, across the garage, through another cat door, and into the kitchen the other day. It was a gory mess, but you gotta admire his persistence.)

Anyway, the water tank reverberates with the kind of noise that would have brought my mother out to find out what I was up to, then she would have hollered at me and made me stop shooting at it. Like maybe I could hurt it or something.