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The Madera Tribune

How about howitzer appreciation day?

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webmaster | 01/21/13

I missed gun-appreciation day on Saturday. It isn’t that I don’t appreciate my gun. We often go out on dates together. I take it with me to Fresno, where we go to The Range and shoot targets until my arm gets tired. Then we go home again and I give the gun a good cleaning and put it where the cat can’t find it.

As I have mentioned in this space before, the cat sometimes has an attitude problem, and while she has never indicated a desire to shoot anybody, it wouldn’t pay to give her any ideas. They don’t allow cats inside The Range, and that probably is a good idea. The proprietors there no doubt are aware of the attitude problem of some cats. Their motto is, “Guns don’t punch holes in paper targets. Cats punch holes in paper targets.” They also say, “Guns don’t punch holes in paper targets. People punch holes in paper targets.” We don’t do it using Tiddlywinks, though.

When I was in ROTC, they taught me how to shoot 105-millimeter howitzers at Chevrolets, Fords and Plymouths. These were not new cars. They were old wrecks that the Army acquired for target practice. They would be towed behind a hill that was at one end of a firing range so that the people learning to shoot the howitzer couldn’t see the cars. Then a person learning to be a forward observer (yours truly) would be sent to the top of the hill to call down fire on the cars. When you were a forward observer in training, the training officer would caution you to not call down fire on yourself. A direct hit by a howitzer round can ruin your day.

When I was younger, I daydreamed it would be a good idea to have a howitzer in the backyard, aimed at the homes of neighbors with noisy dogs. And then teach the cat to use it.

After all, howitzers don’t blow up neighbors’ bad dogs. Cats blow up neighbors’ bad dogs. I could go for a howitzer appreciation day if that slogan could help get us one.


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