Annie, get your gun

I don’t think that creative people need to suffer in order to produce art, but I do feel they need poetry in their soul. I just got back from a five-day location job where I learned something surprising about myself. I’ll do almost anything to be accepted and liked. Including ditch my poetic sensitivity and possibly join a cult. Well, maybe not a “cult” … but maybe an Elks Lodge if they would have me.

I’ve just returned from a job that had me in the wilds of northern Idaho. I was the only “lady” on this gig. The guys all knew how to handle a fishing rod and all sorts of guns. They had volumes of incredible near death experiences involving exotic travel and true macho man skill. Everyone swapped  stories about BIG fish they caught and as the exchange of conversation rallied,  I sat on the edge of my seat and wished that I could contribute. Frankly, I wanted to be one of the guys. Even the rugged model talked about cobia fishing and shooting ducks.

I’ve gone fishing with my husband and had a blast. But for me, it wasn’t so much about the size of the fish that I caught (a minnow) it was more about having fun. I had never shot a gun. I haven’t ever seen a purpose. In fact, I think the most violent thing that I’ve done was when I was I kid, I used to catch daddy long-legs and pull off their legs.

I started to feel like I wasn’t playing for the same team. Instead, I was an odd tourist wearing white gloves, eating tea sandwiches, and watching my reality show with opera glasses.

Day two, early in the morning, I was perched on a mountain and had to shimmy my way down a sharp incline that lead to a creek. This is where  I adjusted my models waders and fussed with a box of flies. Looking down at us, I noticed two spectators. One was a pretty girl. When I made my way up the hill, she introduced herself. Petite, blond, with clear blue eyes and beautiful despite no make-up. I could tell right away, she was the great sharpshooter, Annie Oakley. Even though she introduced herself as, “Ashley” I knew better.

I imagined her next target as me. I’d back up and stand alone in a dusty field with a cigarette hanging out of my mouth. Annie would point her rifle at me and a second later, the cigarette would explode into a firework of  loose tobacco. Next, I’d back up a thousand more feet, toss-up a buffalo nickel and duck as the bullet sailed through the coin.

Later in the day, we spotted her. She was shooting chipmunks and plenty of ’em. Not once did she miss her mark. She was Little Sure Shot. This girl ranked and I wanted to be her new BFF. I’ve never wanted to kill something so bad. I was craving the rush of a fresh chipmunk slaughter. Screw shooting at some stupid can or a plastic bottle. Then I imagined myself graduating to bigger and better game.

I’d get off the airplane when I returned home and instead of giving my husband a t-shirt as a souvenir, I’d hand over a jagged edged mouse ear and tell him the rest of my kill was being shipped to the house. Danger is my middle name.


I screamed when I shot the gun. I didn’t hit shit (and let me tell you there was plenty of steaming piles). I’m just a girl who likes lip gloss and cute shoes. (Sorry) I did like getting dirty and actually I think this trip was more poetic then I would have thought. Allowing yourself to be curious about something you may not embrace can open a door to a whole new life perspective. Shootin’ guns is pretty fun, but I’d never aim for a living creature. I think my skill is more along the lines of dancing by the light of the moon.

...just another day at work.
  • elizabird

    Egads….but I do know how you felt! But killing is not so much fun when you are really alive.

  • Amber Saugier

    Come visit us in Alaska. Lots of neat stuff to see and do. Shooting optional.