December 21, 2008
The "zero hero"
Originally published July 27, 2005
I had a lot of entertainment talking to Quinton tonight. He's a troop in some paint-ball league that goes out and fights in the woods about twice every week. His nickname is "The Zero Hero" because he slays his enemies without mercy, ravishes their wimmen and sacks their villages, driving everything into complete panic before him as he cackles in glee and drinks mead from a ram-horn. My son is a barbarian.
I am proud of him.
Well... I'm kinda exaggerating here. Quinton is called the "Zero Hero" because he seldom gets "killed" on the battlefield, and he's the one who usually captures the enemy flag. As he told me tonight,
"Daddy, if I stay low and move fast, they never hit me. Well, sometimes they do. You oughta see the knot on the backa my head right now. I never saw that guy. He was dug in and he jumped up and shot me when I ran by.
I am certain that some "psychologists" will see all sorts of warning signs in what I just wrote. Quinton is a gun-loving maniac, just like his father!!! BEJUS!!! KILL THEM BOTH!!! THE ACORN NEVER FALLS FAR FROM THE TREE!!!
I just wish we'd had paintball games when I was Quinton's age. Damn! That's got to be a lot of fun.
You know what I thought about tonight when I talked to him? I thought about that single-shot, bolt-action .22 rifle that I bought I almost bought to teach Quinton and Jack to shoot. That's an exact replica of the first "real" gun I ever shot in my life and I think it is the ideal rifle to teach young boys to shoot.
One round at a time. You have to learn to operate the gun. You have to think before every shot. I can't conceive of a better way to do it.
I taught 'em to shoot BB guns, and Quinton has fired my pellet rifle a few times, but he's old enough now to get GOOD at that stuff. And I don't care what some of you GFWs have to say about teaching a boy to shoot. That is one of the closest bonding experiences I ever had with my father and my grandfather.
They both wore Old Spice after-shave. TO THIS DAY, if I smell gunpowder and Old Spice at the same time, I get all misted up, and I remember plunking with that .22 rifle on the banks of the Cumberland river.
I want my son to have memories like that.
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