Go Ahead. Make My Day

Doesn’t every little boy like to play cops and robbers? When my older brother, Ronnie, was about five-years-old he loved to pretend he was a sheriff from the Old West. This was when the television landscape was densely populated with lanky, sharp-shooting sheriffs and squinty-eyed outlaws.

Unfortunately, at this time Kathy was too young to be an outlaw, and the rest of us weren’t born yet. So, of course, this left Mom to take on the role of the rough-hewn, reprobate scourge of the Old West when Ronnie’s little cousins or friends weren’t around.

Mom, being the good mom that she was, threw herself into the role. She robbed banks, held up stage coaches, and generally made herself the terror of the otherwise peaceful towns residing in her son’s vivid imagination.

Of course, Ronnie didn’t slack in his attempts to restore peace. He chased whatever bad guy Mom was at the time until the menace was neutralized. And by neutralized, I mean shot, of course. What else is an Old West sheriff to do when confronted with a desperate outlaw brandishing blazing guns?

One day, when the sheriff shot her, Mom flopped down on the couch. “You. . .you got me!” she managed to say before her eyes closed in pretend payment for her pretend crimes. The miniature sheriff swaggered over to assess the situation, gripping his trusty six-shooter. . .then whacked the outlaw on her head with the very real butt of his very real toy gun.

“There!” he said, satisfied with his work. “That ought to do it!”

In loving memory of Ronnie and Mom. You will always be missed.

Don’t miss the rest of the Stories My Family Tells as I Write 31 Days this October. Click here to check out the wide range of topics from a wide range of writers.

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