Here’s how the squirrel won. I grew up learning how to throw, catch, and run because my father did that. We never hunted or fished because he didn’t.

My dad played ball in his 40s. In 1966 when he was 37 years old, he played a traveling team Called the King and his Court. It was a well-known 4-person team. No one had beaten them for several years. They played the game at a large stadium on the East side of Indianapolis. My father pitched a no-hitter and hit an in-the-park home run to win the game one to nothing, dad one traveling team zero.

Squirrel One Randy Zero 

My cousins on my dad’s side made fun of us. They lived on a farm in Van Burren, Indiana. They grew up hunting and fishing. Not us. My brother graduated from college with a degree in criminology. His first job outfitted him in full police issue, including a gun. My cousins asked him if he was trying to stop a suspect, would he say, “Stop, or I’ll throw!”

The first time I ever held a gun was with my ex-brother-in-law. I was 22 years old, and he had decided it was time I learned to shoot, so we went squirrel hunting on a friend of his property near Spenser, Indiana. On the drive down, he went over the basics. He gave me a semi-automatic 22-caliber rifle. He had one as well.

Target Practice

When we arrived, we went to an empty open field, and he showed me the basics. After about 30 minutes, I was close to hitting what I aimed at, and I didn’t shoot him or myself, not once.

We hiked about half a mile to a walnut tree stand and began looking in the trees for our prey. I saw a squirrel near the top of a walnut tree and tried getting a bead, a clean shot at the beast, but it kept moving from branch to branch, behind the tree, and back. I took a few shots, but never got close.

Eventually, I got tired of craning my neck, so I laid down next to the tree. I was flat on my back with my knees bent. As I lay there trying to get the critter in my line of sight, a walnut fell from the tree. The nut hit me squarely in my nuts. I got up, walked back about ¼ mile to where my brother-in-law was, handed him the gun, and told him the story. He laughed all the way home. The squirrel won. I’ve not held a gun since. Like Dave Barry says, I couldn’t make this up. My ex-brother-in-law thinks I’m funny.

So, if you liked this you might enjoy Breaking the Streak. 

And there’s a book of humor

Want to read a collection of humor pieces? Writing I Think I’m Funny: and it gets me in trouble all the time has been a labor of love. Of the 47 stories in this book, more than 30 are true tales from my days on this planet. Most of those make it clear how my warped sense of humor gets me in trouble.