Having spent so long in this little town in south New Zealand, surrounded by fatal mountains, icy blasts from Antartica, ill-equipped Victorian architecture (and dispositions) and the cliché of the 'Southern man', I guess it was only a matter of time before I started internalising and actually enjoying some of this bloke culture. Also, that sentence does still leave a bad taste in my mouth, so I haven't gone right off the deep end.
Nonetheless, when my dear friend Lemuel told me that the Natural History NZ crew were going down to the local indoor rifle shooting range, I screamed and cried with envy until he 'invited' me. I had never even touched a gun, but had always wanted to, because I am a pathetic excuse for a peace studies student.
After popping off two rounds - one practice and one competitive - we headed down to the local St Kilda tavern, where the awesome staff let you BYO fish and chips from down the street. Ellie came to meet us and gave 'handy tips' to the local pool players. She told him what to do, and he kindly pointed out: "I don't think that'll work, look I'd hit that other ball going past"
... Ellie: "Oh yeah! When you get down to that level I can see what you mean..."
:-| Oh Ellie. Also: the few customers and the bartender played the most graceful, beautiful pool I have ever seen. I felt honoured to witness it, no joke. Then they told me about the time they have spent shooting pests on Stewart Island, but had never been to 'the town' of Oban. One sheep shearing young man told me emphatically that I had to go to Stewart Island, then looked me up and down and added: "but you'll have to go to the town, judging by all this" and waved his hands around me. Then he laughed, nudged me in the side and said: "you know what I mean though."
This same sheep shearer also made the following timeless comment, regarding my ugly orange Kathmandu day-pack: "you need to lose that backpack. It makes you look even more German than you already are." Bless.
Caution: extremely high level narcissism ahead.
You know how people would win certificates at school and show them to you and it was so embarrassingly arrogant and painful? No, you don't know, because no one was ever lame enough to do that. I am. The first target sheet (note how BLOODY TINY the targets are) shows my first ever shots. The exact first shot, in my life, is the one in the middle - the bulls eye! (The rest are not very great, keep moving).
The second sheet is from the 'real' (competitive) round - I got 87.2/ 100 !!! Wowee jesus I'm a gun totin' trigger happy nerd over here. The 87 is the points out of 100, and the '.2' refers to my 2 absolutely perfect bulls-eyes. Bull-eyes? Pretty happy I need to learn the plural for bullseye.
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