Among the people I shoot skeet and sporting clays with, good natured heckling is an accepted, even encouraged, practice.
I was, however, the victim of a new 21st century technological low: the first cell-phone heckling I’m aware of on the skeet field.
We were most of the way through a round when my phone rang. Since it was just me and my son Gordon on the field, I took the call. It was Rick, who I thought might be calling to say he was on his way to shoot with us. Big mistake.
Me: Hey Rick.
Rick: I’m at home. Where are you?
Me: Station 7.
Rick: I just wanted to see if you’d missed yet.
Me: Uh, no.
Rick: Good luck with your straight. Bye.
Mentioning a straight in progress is the equivalent of asking a pitcher if he’s aware he has a no-hitter going – supposedly a sure-fire jinx. I managed to keep my focus and broke the rest of the targets. Unfortunately, Rick’s call claimed an unintended victim: Gordon melted down and missed three of the next four.
I am not one of those with a phone stuck to my ear. My cell rings rarely enough that I’m usually happy when I get a call. From now on, though, the phone stays in my pocket when I’m shooting.