Better And Better

If you don't draw yours, I won't draw mine. A police officer, working in the small town that he lives in, focusing on family and shooting and coffee, and occasionally putting some people in jail.

Sunday, January 07, 2018

Sometimes, it's about something else.

I wrote this last weekend, on December 31st:
“Burglar Bob,” the semi-self-healing full-sized plastic shooting dummy which I had used for Shooting Incident Reconstruction back in grad school, was in the way again. My teenaged daughter Allie and her boyfriend had set him up on the porch during Halloween, and his clothed leg was sticking out into the main lane of travel in my cluttered garage while we put up holiday decorations. My wife, aggravated, yelled at Allie to come fix this mess, and stow ol’ Bob away properly. The joints on Bob’s limbs locked at 22.5 degree increments, and his pants had to be removed to adjust the wingnuts on the stupid system, and Allie wasn’t getting it, right away.
Allie had been called away from trying to get Oliver the family cat to drink something, and was realizing that tomorrow she would be taking the 9 year-old cat with kidney problems to the vet, perhaps (probably?) for his last ride. She fumbled with the scarred plastic mannequin fruitlessly for a few seconds before tears became sobs over this task which she felt helpless to effect.
I realized that I hadn’t done any shooting at “Burglar Bob” in years. Years of leaving this... thing... in our way. Years of not doing more of the kind of training that I had planned to conduct. Years of annoying my sweet wife.
I ripped “Bob” from his 2x4 mount, pushing past my crying daughter and startled wife. Though man-sized, the dummy was much lighter than I remembered, dressed in a cheap polo shirt, an old pair of Dockers, a belt, and tennis shoes. I honestly don’t recall if I threw him to the frozen ground next to the driveway, or just fell atop him, but I found in my hand a very large screwdriver which we use as a garage door track lock. I began to use it on the plastic dummy as an implement of rage. The detached part of my mind noted that the plastic had none of its self-healing properties at 20 degrees Fahrenheit, as the half-inch flat-head bit gored hole after hole into the torso of the dummy.
I left the screwdriver in “Bob’s” chest, and beat the ugly patched plastic head with my right fist, knocking it off the torso to roll somewhat comically across the lawn. I ripped the arms off of him, surprised a bit at how easily the brittle cold plastic threaded bolts popped, with a touch of rage. I beat “Bob’s” body with his own limbs, breaking them down segment by segment. I again took up the screwdriver and began stabbing again and again, until I became aware of the scrapes on my knees and bruises and cuts on my knuckles, and my deep breathing.
I stood up, brushed myself off, and began picking up the remnants of my old training dummy, and stuffing them into the garbage can. I assured my wife that “Burglar Bob” wouldn’t be in the way anymore. I thought it would be a little funny, but my daughter was still crying.
That damned cat. I didn’t want him in the first place. Now look at me. What a mess. I’m going to find some ibuprofen.

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At Sunday, January 07, 2018 6:46:00 PM, Blogger KCSteve said...

Best wishes for Oliver. Glad Bob was able to help you work things out.

At Monday, January 08, 2018 11:05:00 AM, Blogger Old NFO said...

Sorry to hear about Oliver, and good riddance to Bob... :-)

At Monday, January 08, 2018 11:13:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sorry to hear about your cat. There are few things tougher than losing a pet... especially if they have been with you through years of personal transformation.

And don't feel bad about Bob. He was kind of an ass.

At Monday, January 08, 2018 12:27:00 PM, Blogger Jennifer said...

Hugs. They really do become part of the family.

At Tuesday, April 10, 2018 9:47:00 PM, Blogger Boots said...

Hey Matt, just got back to the blog after some time away and glad to see you're still posting. Are you ok?


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