Sunday, July 20, 2008

Well, that didn't work.

In case you ever need to get to Taylorville Rifle and Pistol Club from the south, here's a tip: When you turn off County Road 600E, onto County Road 1275N, make sure you go east. See, if you go east, there's an s-curve and it turns into CR 1250N, and then you come to the club pretty quickly.

But if you turn west, there IS no 1250N, and you'll be checking the directions and driving in circles and checking them again--and these are big circles we're talking about. By the time I found the club, the match had been on for 45 minutes and was probably close to finished.

By that time, the baby was crying and My Bride was having a fairly serious Potty Emergency, and I still didn't know, technically speaking, how to get to Taylorville from where I was. But the thing about Illinois is that it's basically laid out in a giant grid. Long, long ago when this was mostly tall grass prairie full of rattlesnakes, township roads were laid out every mile. Beginning from some point in the county seat, going north, you cross CR 100N, CR 200N, and so on, plus the ones in between. This means that a lot of the concerns I hear about out west and down south, with people getting hopelessly lost, are no big deal here. If you've got enough water in the summer or enough clothing in the winter, you can walk out of just about anywhere if you have to. And luckily for me, it's a lot easier to find Taylorville than the gun club.

Anyway, our plans had seemed so simple the day before. My Bride would drop me off at the match and go into Taylorville to kill an hour or two, then come get me. We'd take some friends to lunch and then catch the new Batman movie at the Marvel Theater on the square, where new movies still cost $2.00. Unfortunately,the best-laid plans of big fat guys aft go agley.

  • I couldn't find the range for the life of me.
  • We couldn't get hold of our friends . . . I think they're out of town.
  • We ended up having lunch early, with two hours to kill in Taylorville.
  • We decided to go to the square and walk around the shops for two hours until the movie opened, since the theater is on the historic square (it has a statue of Abe Lincoln walking with his jacket over his shoulder, looking down with genuine affection at a small pig.)
  • Aside from the theater, there is not ONE business open on the square in Taylorville on Sunday afternoon.
  • By that time, I had two people on my hands who were cranky (not to say bitchy) and needed a nap apiece. At that point, I considered it prudent to withdraw, leaving the field to the foe (Murphy.)
But you know, it's not so bad. Right now I'm melting, but that's only because I'm grilling delicious chicken breasts on charcoal out back. Soon I'll take charred chicken, baked beans and Texas toast up to my wife and baby in the air-conditioned atmosphere of the bedroom. The sweat on my shirt will cool and then grow chilly like the shade coming on in an autumn evening, and as long as I don't get called out to lug a stretcher in this heat, I can just pretend that the whole world is that cool.

Plus, now I know where the Taylorville club is. It's about half the distance I drive to go shooting now, so if it's any good I'm going to have to try to join. If I didn't have to drive a little over an hour to go shooting, I could do a lot more of it.


Vanilla Chunk said...

I thought it was 'gang aft agley'.
You've got some funny stories here, Mister! I plan to try IPSC soon or IPDA. It's the last day of Summer School; freedom beckons.

your gun-owning, English-teaching, very Liberal, Obama-loving reader in L.A.

NAA (I call it 'the mouse')
and a silly old Mauser

Anonymous said...