One of the oddities of Northern Colorado is that despite it being a locale very attuned to private gun ownership, there are very few places around at which to go shooting. And most of those that do exist are member-only places. The SF Bay area, which one might consider the antithesis of a free culture, had a much greater selection of nearby ranges, and none of them were members-only (though some offered discounts if you bought a membership). For the one as I count 'em open-to-the-public range around here the hourly rate is about 50% higher than the place I used to shoot in Santa Clarabelle.
Needless to say, this is cutting into my shooting time. Not as much as interference from the home life, but it's hard to justify $40+ for a couple hours of shooting on a Saturday just for lane rental. My good buddy The Ice Man took me out to his private range once to shoot my new .40, and it was about a 40 minute drive from my house. It's a very popular range with a long waiting list because it is the closest outdoor range to Fort TomCollins. They also only accept new members once a year in the end of December/beginning of January timeframe. So I was sitting around at work right after Christmas, being one of like 15 people at work that week, and I got to thinking. I said, "Self, in a year or two, HannahC is going to want to start practicing her shooting at a longer range than the little distance-across-the-garage (30 ft?) pellet gun setup you have. You better get yourself on the waiting list for next year." So I sent in the application. Another fellow at work who had applied in the summer had gotten a call a couple months back to schedule his new member orientation training, so I mailed it with confidence that I had missed this year's window of opportunity.
But Lo! and Behold! the guy from the range called me last night to tell me that they'd had 20 no-shows at the orientations so far, and this had opened up a chance for me to make it in this year if and only if I could show up at the range on this upcoming Sunday at 1pm with a check for $125. I quickly checked the playoff schedule to make sure The Bills weren't playing at that time, and confirming that they were not, I said with great confidence, "I'll be there."
Then I sat and ruminated about how to break the news to The Mrs. The Mrs. does not like when I schedule things without her permission. Especially on a weekend. But, hey, it was a family membership. We'd all get to go for free once I took the class and paid the annual dues and new membership fee. But still, telling this guy I'd go without having first consulted with The Mrs. could be seen as a sign that my pair might be growing back, and thus I was filled with fear.
I wrote it on her calendar and kept quiet for the night.
The Mrs. had decided to wash all the pillows in the house yesterday (one of the benefits of having a front-load washer, I suppose. You know, other than that you get to pay twice as much for special low-sudsing detergent and four times as much for the washer in the first place). Naturally, mine were the very last ones she did, so when it was time to go to bed, I was instructed to go fetch them from the dryer.
As I was putting on the pillow cases, I noted to The Mrs. how one of my pillows seemed oddly heavier than the other, when they had both been identical before. She told me that they were dry and that I should stop criticizing her. Or maybe she said I should go fetch a pillow from the guest room in the basement if I wasn't happy with her abilities to do laundry. Either way, I interpreted it as a, "F-off. Not my problem. I'm going to bed," kind of answer. So I went to be myself as well.
In the middle of the night, I rolled over and realized that I had rolled into a big puddle. The first thing I thought was, "Damnit! MaxieC peed the bed!" cuz MaxieC shows up in the middle of the night every night, and sometimes his diaper leaks, and naturally since all the bedding including the pillows had been washed that day, it would be the perfect opportunity for the little pisser.
But MaxieC wasn't even there. What I determined had happened was that I was sleeping on the heavier pillow, and this had squeezed water out the ends like if you squeezed the middle of a wet sponge. The ends of the pillow were soaked, but the center was quite dry.
I ditched it on the floor and used the lighter pillow. In the morning, after telling this story to her, The Mrs. said something to the effect of, "What kind of a dumbass sleeps on a pillow he knows is wet?"
"But you told me it was dry!"
"If it was dry, why would it be so much heavier than the other one?" Roll eyes.
Later, after she had had a shower and was thus in her "happy place", I said, "Hey, I've got to go take a class over in Weld County on Sunday in the afternoon. It's like 3 hours."
"What gun did you buy this time?"
"Huh? I didn't buy a gun."
"When do you think you're going hunting?" but aren't.
"Not going hunting. Just joining a shooting range. They make you take an orientation class. This is my last chance to take it for a year. If I go 4 times, I'll be ahead."
"Oh. Harumph! Write it on the calendar."
Later, at work, I was talking to Ice Man about how I squeaked in this year. He started asking me if I'd bought HannahC one of those little, pink .22's yet, as like his niece had just gotten one. After much debate on the subject, I stuck with the, "I'm gonna get her a better air gun first." The problem with a pink .22, though, is that there's no way I can hand that down to MaxieC. I bet they'd both love camo, though.
Oddly enough, at dinner tonight The Mrs. expressed actual sorrow that my pillow was wet, and reported that she had dried both of them for many additional hours during the day today. And she also seemed supportive of the whole gun range thing. So, maybe it's just me.