Weapon of Choice

After due consideration, I came up with a simple, rugged, reliable armament for the modern young trapper on the go — the RBMK-1. In everyday parlance, this translates to “Rat Bat, Mark One.” As my parents and all responsible people everywhere agreed I shouldn’t and couldn’t be trusted with a real firearm in the middle of town, I started carrying a Louisville Slugger with which to dispatch the hapless rodents. I seem to remember it was a “Powerized” Hal McRae-autographed model, but regardless, it worked fine.

I can only imagine the growing, recoiling horror from readers of younger age. Using the bat wasn’t pretty and probably did cause some kind of deep mental scarring — I ended up as a gun writer, after all — but I did what was necessary. Yes, I bludgeoned countless muskrats into the great cattail patch in the sky. It was a different time.

Later on, I moved to Conibear traps which handled the distasteful task much more quietly. My RBMK-1 went back to Little League duty, though I did sometimes smirk at its secret while at bat.