Robots, Fairies and Cold Blooded Murder – The Countdown Continues


I’ve been woken up the past couple of nights at three am, by the man upstairs who is clearly speaking to people in another country where it is a reasonable hour. At first, I was myself, but as the night progressed, I became a blood thirsty killer.

3:04 AM

I am lying in bed with my eyes open listening to what can only be the sounds of a man describing how he singlehandedly saved the world. Or at least that’s what I assume he was talking about, after all, who could be excited about anything less than being an international hero at three am?

3: 22 AM

The man is still talking, loudly and at various volumes so I cannot fall back asleep. I sleepily remind myself that I feel homesick here too and spend an inordinate amount of time on the phone. The difference is that my family is in relatively the same time zone.

3:37 AM

Now he’s talking about cooking up a feast for three million people and describing all of the recipes he will use. Actually that’s just a guess, because what else could have taken him this long to communicate? I picture quietly tiptoeing upstairs, knocking on my neighbour’s door, looking pathetic and small like a sad twelve year old and saying “I can’t sleep when you are on the phone.”

3:49 AM

It’s becoming clear that a man who outlines the exact method that he uses to clean his bathroom at three am needs more than the pathetic image of a woman who looks like a child knocking on his door asking him to stop, in the middle of the night. I picture writing an amusing note to him.

Dear Sir,

If I was a fairy, I’d sprinkle you with magic so you’d sleep through the night without hearing your phone.

If I was a vampire, I’d bite you, not enough to kill you, just enough to make you anemic so you’d be too tired to talk at three am.

If I was a unicorn, I’d pin you with my benevolent hoof and communicate through unicorn mind powers the social mores of society- HINT: we sleep at night.

If I was a robot, I’d put you in a cage without your phone because robots are soulless, but I’d put a bed in there because I’d be a nice robot.

I think we can agree empathy isn't this over-sized toaster's strong point either.  (Photo by Paul Gilham/Getty Images)

If I was a mermaid, I’d slap you with my giant fish tail to get my message across- you’re being rude.

If I was a werewolf, I’d rip my couch apart and eat it, werewolves are unpredictable.

Please go to bed.


The Great Unwashed

4:07 AM

With no end to my neighbour’s jibber jabber about his belly button lint in sight, I move to the couch and quickly discover that our new couch is not comfortable for sleeping on.

4:30 AM

I crawl back into bed, the man upstairs is talking about all of his wonderful qualities; his ability to speak for three minutes without taking a breath, how he is so charismatic that curiously no one wants to hang out with him. He has others but I stopped listening because I had a quest.

“Tex” I said shaking my boyfriend’s shoulder gently, “the gun cabinet is locked; I need the combination.”

“Shhherfenismah” Tex replied before rolling over. My visions of appearing at the man’s door like a tiny pyjama clad Annie Oakley were crushed.

This looks like a woman who always had a good night's sleep. (Photo Credit :

4:41 AM

I rearrange all of the furniture in the second bedroom so the futon will fold out and switch out the flimsy curtains with the blackout curtains in the living room and finally fall asleep.

6:30 AM

Tex is awoken by my alarm next to the bed because I am not there and then is shocked because my first words to him are, “I want to make the man upstairs special cement boots then take him swimming.”

Apparently I am never getting the code to the gun cabinet, Tex is also looking into anger management classes or calming yoga classes for me, he can’t decide which will better prevent cold blooded murder.

True Cowboy Love

This was an actual conversation that occurred between me and Tex

Tex – “Unwashed, I’m packing for the wedding, which gun do you want out of the gun cabinet to come to the farm?”

The Great Unwashed – “I don’t want the guns out of the cabinet here, I want the little gun.”

Tex – “You mean the hand gun?”

The Great Unwashed – “No not the hand gun, the little gun at the farm!”

Tex – “I thought you wanted a shot gun. Let’s bring the shot gun.”

The Great Unwashed – “My family is going to cack their pants because there will be a gun at the wedding as it is, you CANNOT bring your shot gun. We are using the old gun that’s at the farm, it will look good in pictures.”

Tex – “Well if we’re going to use a farm gun can’t we use the lever action Winchester .30-30? It’s old, it’s the style of gun John Wayne would have used.”

Enthusiastic person inquiring about my wedding- “What are your colours?” The Great Unwashed “John Wayne.” This generally stops all questioning in its tracks*. (Photo Credit :

Enthusiastic person inquiring about my wedding- “What are your colours?” The Great Unwashed “John Wayne.” This generally stops all questioning in its tracks*. (Photo Credit :

The Great Unwashed – “No! We’re using the older gun that sometimes misfires**.” Stops mid thought. “Can we continue this conversation when I’m not on the phone please?” In a lower voice into the receiver. “I can’t believe I’m having this conversation.”

Luckily this interaction occurred while I was on the phone with Sula, who had just returned from three months of riding across the Arctic on an ATV with a rifle strapped to her back and using a toilet that was made by blasting a hole through the bottom of a chair. Hence a discussion of which firearm to bring to Tex’s and my wedding didn’t seem outrageous.

*For the record we don’t have wedding colours, and the John Wayne theme was an unintentional one. I swear Tex always wears a cowboy hat and boots while at home, the bolo is new though.

For all those who aren’t trying to decide which firearm to best aesthetically compliment their nuptials this is a bolo. (Photo Credit :

For all those who aren’t trying to decide which firearm to best aesthetically compliment their nuptials this is a bolo. (Photo Credit :

**The idea of having a gun that misfires at a celebration of love sounds terrifying however this ancient boomstick is the only one in Tex’s collection that I consistently remember how to verify that it ISN’T loaded. Knowing how to check if a firearm is loaded is a vital part of gun safety. Seeing as I have not yet mastered other parts of gun safety, like keeping my eyes open while I shoot, I like to hold tight to my successes in that area.

Also being over one hundred years old, I’m hoping I can pass off the antique gun as a movie prop to my city slicker family. I probably shouldn’t have posted that last sentence. Have I mentioned I’m an atrocious secret keeper?

Firearms, Surfboards and Close Eyed Terror Part 2

“Now you can shoot the big gun.” Tex* stated this like it was something exciting to be celebrated rather than an activity that was liable to kill the both of us and any unsuspecting passersby to boot.

That same weekend I had shot the antique .22 long rifle with little success. In Tex’s words “I think the grass around the cans waved in fear a bit.”  Once again Tex set up tin cans along a bench near the woods. And once again I readied myself to die. However unlike the last time, I knew that we wouldn’t be firing guns at the same time randomly into the air, like hillbillies celebrating the gunpowder Fourth of July as I had initially pictured. According to Tex that kind of behavior is “unsafe”, he may have given me an incredulous questioning look as if to say “Don’t you know anything about firearms and safety?”

(In case you missed my post about my first experience with guns and cowboy training please click on the following link to read Firearms, Surfboards and Closed-Eyed Terror Part 1.)

I didn’t obviously. Even without the threat of it raining bullets like a deadly version of the song “It’s Raining Men”, I was still nervous about firing the big gun. For one thing, I had watched Tex fire the big .30-30 Winchester. The explosion was enormous, standing fifteen some odd feet away from him and the Winchester, it was as though I could almost watch the sound waves moving towards me before they knocked me backwards. I couldn’t imagine standing next to that gun while it was being fired let alone receiving the kickback associated with pulling the trigger.

Beforehand while we gathered the necessary materials to shoot guns in the basement of the farmhouse, I nervously asked Tex “How much kickback does the big gun have?” This happened shortly after Tex and I had first met, so even though Tex was willing to let a gun wollop me, when push came to scared questioning shove, he wasn’t willing to actually use enough force to emulate what the gun would do. After I took an athletic stance, Tex pushed my shoulder back quickly and hard, I took a step to catch myself, but the experience was manageable.

As my shaking hands held the giant, heavy firearm, Tex once again reiterated the instructions. “Now you put the butt of the gun here, in this soft spot” He then demonstrated on his own shoulder. “I don’t have a soft spot there” I said, feeling around my bony shoulder for a padded section for the gun to kick. “Yes you do” said Tex authoritatively, before he reached over to feel my muscle-less, fat-less shoulder. “Oh, well if you had muscle or something, that would cushion the blow, after that, you pull the lever forward, then back, and now you’re ready to take aim and fire.”

To reassure myself, as I steadied the gun to fire, I thought of Tex pushing me in the basement. “It wasn’t so bad.” I repeated softly as I pulled the trigger. The sound was louder than anything I’d heard in my life, through ear plugs and safety muffs my ears rang. But the pain in my ear drums was nothing compared to the impact of the gun firing. Once when I was surfing, I got pulled out into the big waves far from the beach. A particularly giant set of waves flung me off of my surfboard, the next wave crashed the board down on my head which had just broken the surface after being pummeled and pulled under the water. I saw stars and lost a part of a tooth from the force of my head hitting my jaw. Shooting the .30-30 Winchester was exactly like that; my teeth clacked together and I felt dizzy from the impact and the noise.

Next Tex will offer to help me set off one of these. "You'll love it Unwashed- cannons are fun." At the very least, I think the kickback would be similar. (Photo Credit: Tex)

Next Tex will offer to help me set off one of these. “You’ll love it Unwashed- cannons are fun.” At the very least, I think the kickback would be similar. (Photo Credit: Tex)

I immediately put down the terrifying metal boomstick. “I’m done” I said. Satisfied Tex wrapped his arm around me “You done good Unwashed” he said without irony despite the fact that I hadn’t even made the air around the grass that was around the cans whistle.

*Names have been changed to protect the identities of those who list “shooting guns” among their favourite hobbies.