Popcorn Annoyances

Essay by PaperNerd ContributorCollege, Undergraduate July 2001

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As far back as I can remember I have been bombarded by a household of motion and discussions. Usually not a day goes by that one of my parents' friends stops by for a visit. Even at the most inconvenient times, they would stop by for a quick chat. There were some friends in particular that I can remember, who would be at our house more than others. This is because of goose hunting. All this commotion has given me a good future.

The annual hunting for geese has always been in the winter in the front field of my house. During hunting season, as I slept peacefully, staying warm in my own bed, I would be awakened by this awkward sound of muffled gunshots. It often was not loud enough to wake me up, but when I did hear the faint popcorn popping sound, I was a bit peeved.

I usually tried to get myself back to sleep, but could never continue my peaceful slumber. I did not mind the fact that my parents allowed hunting, but I was mad at the fact that they never even considered the privacy of their own children.

I have two sisters, Erin and Haleah. Erin is more like me. She does not necessarily mind the hunting, but does mind the invasion of privacy that this hobby poses. Haleah, on the other hand, loves it. During hunting season, she is out there every morning at 6:30 a.m. This is yet another annoyance. I no longer just hear the sound of muffled gunshots, but also the sound of my sister rustling around, and getting ready for her day's hunt.

There are, however, many good things about hunting as well. After the initial hatred stirring around inside me from all the hunters arriving at our house at the wee hours of the morning, I wake and enjoy the thrill of their company. After I pull myself out of bed, I go into the den and watch the hunting through the many large windows. My parents, sister and I would watch through the windows and comment on their progress. We would usually criticize about their bad shot, or explain how "stupid those geese" were for coming back to get shot again. We would laugh at how funny the hunters looked as they trotted across the field to pick up a goose. We would also marvel about how well trained Mark's dog was. Marc is one of our avid hunters that come to the house; a good friend.

Mark's dog is a well-trained black lab. Lucy, as we called her, runs out to the field and grabs all the stray geese that tried to get away. Occasionally, the geese would fly as far as the pond. If Lucy could not find the goose, she would look back at her master, and wait for instructions and directions to where the goose was located. My family loves that dog. Not only is she obedient, but she also loves us and likes to cuddle.

After the main day's hunting, all the hunters would come in and visit for a while. This was my favorite part of the day. I was always fascinated by my father's discussions about politics and other miscellaneous things with Leo, one of the most avid of our array of hunters.

Leo is one of those people with plenty to say. Not only does he say it, he says it loud, deafening and repeatedly. For some reason, he does not think that you heard what he had to say the first time, and so he repeats it. Furthermore, he thinks that you can't hear him clearly; with this, he says everything especially loudly.

I've known Leo as far back as I can remember. He may be annoying with his discussion habits, but he is a great guy. He always has something interesting to say. Most of these subjects, however, have to do with his hobby of hunting. He has hunted at our house for many, many years. After an outing, he always has something specific to say about "today's hunt." He would explain to us how he and his friends would hunker down and wait for the flock of geese to "get just right," and he would give the command. With the command, the firing line shot off a line of shells.

These moments when the hunter would come and visit were my favorite. I always made sure that I was out of bed for this time. We would often have over ten hunters in our house at any one time. It was my job to make the coffee. On a regular basis, I have to prepare over four batches of coffee. The hunters would just suck it all down while they chatted with my parents. I may have been the slave to prepare the coffee, but I was not always included in the conversations.

This was OK for me. I would just listen to what they had to say. They mostly talked about politics, and how much they hated government bureaucrats. I sat in the back where the crowd would not notice me and I would eavesdrop. Most children could not stand to listen to all the garble that "grown ups" had to say, but I enjoyed it.

Not until about two years ago did I realize that annual hunting was not so bad. I may have been a bit aggravated by its byproducts, but overall, I loved it. I also realized that I had benefited from it. I consider my vocabulary and my depth of thinking to be far greater than others around me that are my age. This is proven in school when I'm constantly made fun of because I use above-average vocabulary. I also make semi-good grades. This annual get together has affected nearly all these things.

When I am together with my family and friends, I realize that I am a part of a group, and they are a part of my life. When my family invites their friends over for "family occasions," they are no longer just friends, but a part of our culture, a part of our family. I no longer think badly of my parent's friends coming over for a "quick chat", but as someone else I can look up to. Now that I think about it, I don't much mind the inconveniences of the muffled gunshots or my sister's loud noises in the morning; in fact, I welcome them with open arms because I get to spend time with friends that I now call "family."