Last summers slam order on tree rats, along with the removal of anything that might constitute a Squirrel Highway to a distance of eight feet or so from the house, has resulted in a blessed absence of skittering noises coming from the attic.
So, when Farmgirl pointed towards a fat arboreal rodent busily making his way from tree to tree across the alley towards Casa LawDog and mentioned that he was most probably en route to the attic, I assured her that the surviving squirrels had had a season or two of training and weren't that dumb.
Of course, you know what happened next.
I was of the impression that as that fluffy tail disappeared into the attic, I set my tea down, excused myself, strolled into the house, picked up the Browning, checked the chamber, and walked back out to see if the little furry bastard would peek out before settling in.
Other folks have opined that there was a yelp, and that I was gone and back before the tea-mug hit the ground.
There I was, concentrating on the front sight, when there was motion to my left, and EvylRobot was there with his own .22 rifle.
And then I noticed that Vine has the exit hole lit up, and that there were a large number of people inside of the house, banging on the ceiling and barking (yes, the dogs were barking, too, but I'm here to tell you that MattG has a bark to put the fear of God into just about anything that walks on this little green dirtball) to drive the squirrel out through a hail of rim-fire lead.
I have the best friends.
The topper to the whole episode, and what sent the Fair Sex present into absolute gales of laughter, was when someone tapped me in the ribs and Holly handed me one of her ambrosial deviled eggs.
Folks, if you're a fan of the deviled egg, don't turn the opportunity to put the gobble to one out of Holly's kitchen.
I'm stuffing the hen fruit into my gob, when I hear a strangled yelp from next to me, and EvylRobot manages, "Wait, wait, I don't have you covered!" as he noshes an egg of his own.
I'm not sure exactly why this was so funny, but it just about kicked the gigglebox right over for the ladies present.
I had an absolutely wonderful time, and made out like a bandit with swag.
OldNFO; Jennifer, EvylRobot and Isaac; Vine; Farmgirl; Holly and JPG; MattG and his lovely wife; ChristinaLMT; my brother Chris; and Ambulance Driver blessed us with their company, and the Atomic Nerds were there in spirit (and by spirit, I mean they sent two cases of Nerd Beer. Oh. My. Gawd.)
Everything under the sun was discussed; there was laughter, good friends, good beer and everyone had a good time. I couldn't ask for a better party.