According to a survey on addictive behavior, I have a serious problem.
June 10, 2009
“You can’t call it ‘Dogs, Shotguns and Other Vices,’” said the Internet geek who set up my blog, “because dogs and shotguns are not vices. They’re hobbies, not unhealthy habits like drinking or smoking. Also, quit calling me an ‘Internet geek.’”
I agreed to refer to him as a “web editor,” but I argued my blog title works, as evidenced by the recent questionnaire on alcoholism I filled out:
1. Have you ever lied to your significant other about how much money you spend on drinking?
No, but she thinks decoys are 10 dollars per dozen; she always falls for, “What new shotgun? It’s been in there for years”; and she doesn’t know about the secret address where my professional dog training bills are delivered.
2. Do you drink to build up your self-confidence?
Why, do you think it would make me feel better the next time I miss station seven low house? Or the guys won’t talk to me because my calling just flared the only ducks we’ve seen all day? Or the dog I minutes ago compared to King Buck pees on my leg and runs off with my buddy’s hat?
3. Do you choose friends based on the amount they are able to drink?
No, but they’re required to have at least one of the following:
a) A camouflaged boat
b) A 28-gauge sidelock with an English stock and 28-inch barrels for sale or trade
c) A pigeon coop
d) A career in taxidermy, gunsmithing or veterinary medicine
4. Is drinking making your home life unhappy?
No, it’s unhappy due to arguments over such things as the placement of a mounted spoonbill in the kitchen, the tolerability of dog hair in one’s drink and whether the living room needs another Terry Redlin print.
5. Does a night without drinking cause you to have difficulty sleeping?
No, I lie awake because I’m thinking about the decent trap gun I still don’t own; reliving the retrieve my dog blew in the last series of the field trial last weekend; and worrying my boss will discover that despite owning a few shotguns and dogs I’ve somehow managed to learn almost nothing about any of them.
The web editor either bought my argument or became busy with other matters of computer dweebery, because he allowed the blog’s title to stand. I hope you agree it’s fitting. No, I don’t think dogs and shotguns are vices, at least not in the literal sense; their use is far too enjoyable and beneficial to one’s health. And that’s lucky for us, because we’re dog and shotgun people, you and me. We can’t live our lives without them and we wouldn’t dare try.