Monday, April 11, 2011

Thing 361 Shooting

Do not adjust your monitor. That picture is sideways. You're okay. I promise. I just though it looked all arty and shit. I've already covered this bit, but for the sake of reiteration, I love movies. I particularly love action movies. Sunday is a day for couch and action movies or old movies with more tea than is healthy. The Frenchman takes this to extremes, choosing only the worst of the worst in action movies. No plot, just explosions and guns. It's hilarious.

As a result of our combined fascinations, I've been exposed, like most of my generation to lots of shoot-em-up scenes. Guns shouldn't frighten me, or have any effect on me at this point, but they did. Not in a weird scary way, just that when your mate hands you a twelve guage shotgun and you feel the weight of it, and watch people duck out of your way when you swing around with it in your hand, well, you get a strange kind of feeling. This thing can kill people. It's only purpose is as a weapon. It's a tad unsettling.

Thankfully, we were only out to shoot clay discs, not anything alive, and though at the best of times I'm a clumsy moron, that strange feeling of knowing that this thing in your hand is a lethal killer, it makes you cautious, and considerate, and more than a little careful.
You wouldn't have guessed from the picture. Cameraman in the background is fishing for shotgun shells while Big Bar and Dr Frasier grin like idiots. I promise, we were being careful. Singer wasn't allowed to hold a shotgun. That would only lead to misery... I'm kidding, he's just as competent at not killing us as anyone else.

While the shooting was the main Thing for the day, it was all in all, quite the entertaining boys day out. Start off with some clay shooting by the lake in Kilaloe. Apparently, I'm not half bad at this, I hit a few of the targets. Big Bar frightened all and sundry by being shockingly accurate. Sure he looks like a tall smiley friendly giant, but don't piss him off if he's within arms reach of a gun.

We watched the Munster match (first time I've seen them playing in the Amlin Challenge Cup -so there's a Thing. Incidentally, Top Cat was at the game and it looked like awesome fun for the travelling faithful), then we popped down to Reddan's in Kilaloe and had a pint or two while we backed a gang of slow horses at the Grand National, then back to Kilaloe for the Leinster match. Top day.
This photo is included for effect only. It makes me look like a murderous hick. I can feel the Limerick jokes coming from all my Dublin mates. Go on then... get them over with...

As I said, I wasn't prepared for the feeling of holding a shotgun, I most certainly wasn't ready for the kick that comes with it. My shoulder is bruised and so's my arm. I'm not going to whinge about it or anything, but if you've never been shooting before then brace yourself for that. Recoil from a twelve guage is powerful and it hit the chubby flesh around my chubby shoulders fairly remorselessly.

The fun part was the success. You've to call "pull" (no dirty jokes perverts) and the shooter is released to throw the clay high into the air, it tends to curl, you've to swing that heavy gun around and shoot early. Because of the way shotguns work, the shell scatters, so the earlier you shoot, the better the chance of hitting the target.

Here are some not so instructional videos:

First there's me: Here and here.

Then there's Dr Frasier: He's here.

Can't leave out Bear: Here.

And of course, Big Bar... Here.

Granted, those videos do not make for riveting viewing, and we were better than they let on. Honest. We just weren't filming the bits where we were kicking ass. Wow, that sounds like a lie no matter which way you slice it. I promise we're better than they let on. Also, I wish we'd a video of Cameraman shooting, because honestly, that'll make your blood cold. Someone's getting an invite on to my Zombie Apocolypse Survival Team.
My success rate was pretty good, I hit a three of them anyway, which out of twenty five shots, seems like a meagre return, but it was my first time. So, you know. The point wasn't winning though (spoken like a true person who didn't win, I really don't like the term loser), it was to know what it's like to shoot a gun. It's strange. Not bad, or good, just unusual. There's a power to it which is tempered with trepidation that things could go wrong if you're not careful. Sort of like having control of the remote in your living room, except instead of picking bad TV and getting slagged or given out to, you might kill someone if you're not careful.

Interesting thing to be able to say that I've done. Also, got me some new recruits for when zombie apocalypse arrives. When that does happen, you might want to stick close to Bear, Cameraman and Big Bar...

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