I always check what WordPress tags as Spam and usually what I find really is spam, nothing that would be worthwhile saving. But one day the following comment appeared in the Spam Box:
“That is a super-peachy-keen post. Thanks for really blathering on like that! Seriously, I don’t think I could have spent more effort wishing for something heavy to fall on me to erase that nonsense from my mind! Signed: Blithering Idiot”
I read it, read it about three times actually and then went to the post that had inspired the comment: Dilemma. I read the post and then reread the comment. Blithering Idiot was absolutely right: I was “blathering” on through the whole piece, although not without reason: I was fighting writer’s block, but –I thought- this was not the reader’s problem. The interesting thing is that some years ago, a comment like this would have absolutely annihilated me: straight to the pits. Today I giggled, found it absolutely ingenious and realized that the bloke was right: I was blathering on, oh yes, blathering. So I faced a decision: What should I do?
Should I accept the comment and let it appear on my page. Or, should I apologize publically to my readers about having hung a nondescript piece on my blog? Should I stop writing all together? Or should I use the proverbial weight that Blithering Idiot would have fall on his head to erase myself from existence?
For the moment I decided to do none of the above. Rather I went to the webpage that Blithering Idiot had carefully included along with the comment and opened it. I was greeted with a red, white and blue avowal of undying gratitude to all the soldiers, living or dead, who have defended the United States of America against real or supposed enemies. And then the page unfolded and I discovered that the not-so-gentle-man in question sold guns, all kinds of guns (We have guns for sale at XYZguns.com. Please look in our site for shotguns, pistols, revolvers, rifles, and muzzleloaders, guns for youngsters, guns for ladies (includes a fashionable purse to carry gun). Firearms ship to FFL only), so now my commentator has an occupation, an occupation which is selling guns. Does he sell these guns, one is tempted to ask, to defend the USA against bloggers like myself, who fill tender American minds with nonsense instead of with the desire to kill in “defense” of their country?
Curious, I click on the trade name Beretta and am immediately confronted with a page of over 130 different models. Other names are familiar: Browning, Remington, and Smith & Wesson… I know very little about guns and have probably heard the names in movies, all except for Remington which I recognize from the shotguns my father had at home for hunting. My father taught me how to use a shotgun. He taught me things like “always break (open) it immediately to check and see if it is loaded”, “never walk with a loaded gun closed but rather hang the open gun over your arm; that way, if you trip it won’t blow your arm off”, “always put the safety on when you close the gun”, “never point a gun at anyone, not even a toy gun, not even an unloaded gun, never”, “when you shoot at a moving object, like a duck, you have to ‘lead’ it which means aim a bit ahead of it in the same trajectory in which it is flying, that way –hopefully- your gunshot and the duck will meet at a precise moment”. For practice, my father took me to the gun club to shoot skeet. I began to be able to hit the clay discs thrown out from the trap at the call of “pull!”
With my father, however, guns were for sport, for hunting and then eating whatever was in season, duck, doves and occasionally deer. My father never owned a pistol; pistols were not a sportsman’s weapon. He didn’t even want one for protection. I remember one night when he heard noises on the roof and went up armed with only a broom. When I asked him why, he replied: “If the guy had been armed and I had gone up with a gun, he would have shot me without thinking; this way, if he had been armed, he would have had time to think before shooting.” The poor man on the roof wasn’t armed, fortunately, and had climbed up there to have a place to sleep for the night. My father escorted him down at broom-point and invited him to leave rapidly and never return.
My father was convinced that carrying gun was a sure way to get yourself killed because a robber with a gun is always more ready to use it than the person whose house is being burgled. So I, being my father’s daughter, have no love of pistols or people who carry them. This dislike intensified the day I had to look down the barrel of one while being told to “shove over” in my car, an order with which I readily complied without even asking what the consequences would be if I didn’t. The consequences of complying were that I was kidnapped, held for a ransom of five million dollars, rescued by the Mexican Secret Police eleven days later and ended up publishing my first novel based on the experience. This event taught me the important lesson that no one ever forces me to do anything: I always have a choice and in the face of a man with a gun I will usually chose to comply. It also taught me to wait until all the consequences are in before deciding if an experience is good or bad, and to be absolutely honest I have yet to have a bad one. Nonetheless, pistols are not my cup of tea.
As a matter of fact, my interest in guns and therefore my training came to an abrupt end when it came to killing warm, cuddly, live things like the time my father took me duck hunting and I had to finish off a wounded duck with my own hands. I was thirteen and have never used a gun since.
So, gazing at this internet page of someone who calls himself a “blithering idiot” after supposedly reading my blog, looking long and hard at this virtual showroom of deadly weapons and wondering if it is this type of person who sells the weapons used by young boys to massacre their fellow students or shoot up the clients at McDonald’s, I decide that I definitely will NOT publish his comment. Why in the world would he even have opened my blog in the first place, the blithering idiot?