When Armageddon comes, you’re going to want to be friends with my dad. That’s what I tell people. This has nothing to do with his amiable personality or his pulled pork sandwiches, and everything to do with the artillery of guns he keeps in a safe that could easily fit the bodies of four grown men.
I grew up eating the spoils of the hunter: quail, a New Year’s Eve treat that left us picking buckshot from between our teeth; bear meatballs at Thanksgiving parties in lieu of beef; marinated venison kebabs on burnt wooden spears for Christmas. The evidence of the year’s slaughter often presented itself around the holidays, when hundreds of pounds of gamey meat kept in the garage-kept deep freezers of the off-duty cops and mechanics like my dad was brought out for special occasions like the birth of baby Jesus, whether or not anyone was actually Christian.