My 74 year old father has some very unique views on life. For instance, I believe his answer to the first question of the Westminster Shorter Catechism, "What is the chief end of man?" would be, "To glorify God and enjoy Him forever, and rid the world of groundhogs."
I'm not kidding you, the man practically foams at the mouth when he sees a groundhog (or woodchuck, or whatever they're called in your part of the world). I can remember times, when I was a kid, when he would spy a groundhog creeping about in the pasture across the road, and all other activity in the house would cease until he got a shot off at the furry little thing. Dinner on the table? "Save me some of those mashed potatoes made from flakes, I just gotta go shoot that groundhog." Time to head to church? "Honey, get the kids in the Studebaker while I go shoot that groundhog." Opening Christmas gifts? "You kids suck a candy cane into a lethal point while I go shoot that groundhog."
A lot of times he'd actually kill the groundhog, and his satisfaction was palpable when he'd come back in the house. "HA! Didja see that? Got him on the first shot! HA!" He'd bask in his dead groundhog glory for a while, until my brother would pipe up with a comment like, "Good going, Dad! I think there are only about 60 left in that colony up over the hill." I swear my brother said stuff like that just to watch my dad's eyes go all wide and wild, like a man who's just learned that his in-laws bought the house next door.
So today I hugged my firstborn child goodbye at the airport and sent him to spend a week with my parents. I worried a bit about him flying alone, but I knew once he got to his grandparents' house, he'd be safe. Really, how much can happen at the home of an elderly couple?
Turns out the flight may not have been the part of the trip I should have been worried about. My mother emailed me to let me know my son had arrived safely, and I felt relieved until I got to the bottom of the email where she included this little tidbit of news:
"When we got home, the man was here replacing our air conditioner, since Dad unfortunately shot it into oblivion yesterday when he was trying to kill a groundhog. Oh well."
"Oh well?" OH WELL? Great googly woogly. Who knew a kid needs to pack a bullet-proof vest for a visit to Grandma and Grandpa's house?!