Thursday, February 10, 2005

What I Did On My Vacation (Day)

Being the masculine half of a politically "mixed marriage", I was shocked when my wife called me at work a couple of weeks ago and asked me to take a day off so that I could accompany our older son (age seven) to a GUN SHOP.

What?????????? That was like getting a call from your church pastor asking you to take your kid to a Satanic Mass to see the child sacrifice. Let's just say that my wife takes an unconstitutional view of RKBA. I, on the other hand, am a strict constructionist, and not a devil worshipper, so try not to read too far into the sacrifice analogy. Our house is bizarrely free of political talk of any kind. This was not about politics, anyway. It was about a Cub Scout den trip.

When I did some research -- meaning about five minutes on the internet -- I discovered something wonderful. Calling Cabela's a "gun shop" is like calling your supermarket a "cereal store". We drove past the new West Virginia (northern panhandle) location on our way to vacation in Ohio last summer. I knew not at that time what this massive construction project was, but it had to be big in order to affect the local infrastructure. It has its own exit off of I-70, just a few miles out of Wheeling. And a few days later, local media coverage made the store's grand opening seem like the biggest thing locally since Ikea opened its doors. (Fortunately, nothing like the London tragedy happened here.)

If I can ever organize my family enough to tackle the great outdoors, this looks like a great place to start. No outfitter that I have visited comes close, since this place is also a museum, an aquarium, and a restaurant. The place is full of dead animals, most of them victims of poachers in West Virginia. The live animals are all slippery, scaly, and spend their lives swimming in water. Just outside of the aquarium one finds the fishing gear. If you think guns are bad, mean and scary, just imagine how the poor fish feel being trapped behind glass within view of the potential instruments of their demise.

Lunch was good -- I had an Angus burger, and the kid chose pizza with fries. This is also my problem with eating out. Why is everything starch and carbohydrates? It's inescapable, unless you get a cold salad. What about those of us who want warm meat? Do we have to go out and shoot it ourselves?

Obviously. Cabela's has a decent gun selection, as well as a glass encased gun library. I can not afford to stock up on shooting and hunting supplies right now, so I contented myself to spend some time in the laser rifle shooting range. My son took a few quick shots, but the gun was too long and unwieldy for his slight frame. Daddy took his time. Daddy had an excellent score. I doubt that I could have done as well with bullets, as shaky as I was, but it was fun all the same. Remind me to go back sometime.

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