I bought a shotgun some time ago from a private detective in the hopes that I would get better at shooting clay discs out of the sky. Don’t ask me why. It fills a void –like stamp collecting, or knitting, or alligator wrestling.
But there is one major obstacle in my way: the Trap Nazi. If you want to shoot clay pigeons in Miami-Dade county, you have to shoot under his supervision. He manages the only public trap facility in town from a life guard’s chair at the Trail Glades Range.
His skin is burned an orange hue and he never smiles. His sinewy frame and jilted macho march remind me of a young Hunter S. Thompson. A turquoise Bhudda hangs from his neck and he once made mention of having attended Harvard University. In his quiet moments, he can be seen smoking enormous cigars. His name is Mike and he is given to rapid mood swings, shouting and acts of overt passive-aggression.
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“Is that a loaded gun on the range?” he once spat, as I emptied the chamber in preparation for a round of shooting. “You idiot!” he cried. “I’d really take you to town, by God, if there wasn’t a lady present,” he said, thumbing to somone’s daughter about 30 yards away.
I believe he hates me and I miss, often, as a result.
His name, according to the man who answered the phone at Trail Glades, is Mike Kuvin. He’s been there for “a long time,” the guy said. “More than ten years, I think. Who is this?”
And then I hung up. The Trap Nazi would not enjoy being interviewed, I guessed. --Calvin Godfrey