Now, Charlie and I have a lot of weapons. As I've also related before, Charlie goes out shooting every so often. Going out shooting generally involves Charlie making several trips to the truck with several long black gun cases and assorted military-looking equipment and bags of ammo and so forth.
He goes out. He's gone for the day. He comes back, and unloads all the weaponry.
I should also note, for the record, that our house is on a very large lot in a cul-de-sac, and has a sort of paved, almost parking lot, in front of which is a thick, white gate, bearing a sign that says (and I am NOT making this up) "Lebanon House." ("Lebanon House" was left over from when my mom was going to turn the house into a bed and breakfast, and the "Lebanon" refers to a bible verse of some sort that I think is something like "by the cedars of Lebanon I shall take my rest" and does not refer to some sort of terrorist camp. I think the very fact that I have to explain this, however, probably indicates that we should, at some point, take that sign down.) Over the white gate and past the "parking lot" is a tall hedgerow with an iron gate in the gap between the hedges, through which you can almost see the house.
Really, if I didn't live here, I'd be thinking, "Whoa! Mini Waco without the concertina wire!"
I have, to be honest, considered adding concertina wire, just to add to the ambience. But I digress.
This morning, Charlie was packing up to go visit his brother in Oregon for the weekend, and he asked me to carry out one of the gun cases since his hands were full.
"Our neighbors must wonder if you're some kind of hit-man or something," I said, as we walked out to the truck. "I mean, you're always going out with tons of weapons, and then coming back later in the day or a couple days later."
Charlie grinned. "Yeah, I wonder what they think of that," he replied. "Maybe that's why we rarely get visitors."
I thought for a moment, and then started giggling uncontrollably.
"What?" Charlie asked.
"Well," I said, trying to speak through the laughter, "I ... I ...."
I lost it.
"WHAT? WHAT?" Charlie repeated.
"I ... was just thinking of yelling, 'Try to get the right guy this time, honey' as you drove off," I managed to say before I doubled over in a fit of hilarity.
Charlie thought that was pretty funny too. I really, really, REALLY wanted to do it.
But I didn't.
Because, you know, sometimes you have to be gracious and avoid scaring the neighbors any more than you already do with your very existence.
I think this weekend I'll take the Lebanon House sign down. Or at least, put up some concertina wire.