The mood at the Oakdale gun club was straight nasty Wednesday morning after the election.
America saw a guy who looked and thought like us and rejected him, and it stung. In between rounds in our trap league, we let our frustrations fly in the only safe place left for these kind of thoughts. A place that smells of sweat and gunpowder, and female members are verboten.
"Santa Claus. That's why he won! He's Santa Claus giving out my money. Ever'body wants something for free and he gives it to 'em!" a man with an impressive gray beard spouted.
"My own dang kids voted for those filthy propositions, can you believe it? Never thought I'd see the day
" another said as he swung his custom shotgun into the rack.
"They need to put those people on an island or something!" said an angry young man.
"We need our own place
" I shot in.
Nods and "Heck yeahs!" encouraged me, so I went on. "All we do is mumble and complain and never do anything. Well, now is our chance. We're in the minority now, boys, so we can't move anybody anywhere. So we do the moving like the Founding Fathers did and set up our own country. We make the rules and only let in people who think like us. Everybody works no more giveaways and good Christian values," I said with a flourish as my audience grew to a dozen men, guns in hands, slowly shuffling to a circle around me.
"I'm ready to go!" Graybeard shouted, "just tell me where to send the moving vans!"
Where? I hadn't really thought that far ahead.
"New Brunswick," I said suddenly. It just came out. New Brunswick. I think it's in Canada.
"Sure, it's on the ... East Coast
(waiting for the phone images to catch up) basically attached to Maine and is sort of ... its own country! We've got plenty of guns and ammo stored up, right, so we should be able to walk right in and set up shop."
I dramatically racked the pump on my gun and bellowed, "The time for whining and kvetching is over and the time for action is here, fellas! Now ... who's with me?"
Every man looked at his boots. I could hear the Stanislaus River burbling a hundred yards away. In the distance, a dog barked.
"Aw, heck, we're all sick of what's going on but we can't go anywhere," said a man. "This crazy place is our home and we'll get it fixed. We always have before."
This drew nods and most had their noses in their phones before the circle broke up and the shooters ambled back to the firing line, cussing and spitting and dreaming of the beautiful fall colors in a place far away from here.
Taylor, a behavior analyst who lives in Oakdale, is one of our visiting editors this quarter.