Christmas came early to my house on Saturday, when I received a missive from the National Rifle Association of America, with whom I do not ordinarily correspond. Now, I'm a traditionalist when it comes to waiting to open Christmas presents until Christmas, but this one was emblazoned with: A GIFT FOR YOU: MEMBERSHIP IN THE NATIONAL RIFLE ASSOCIATION OF AMERICA right on the outside, along with a much less surprising GIFT FROM: MR. ROBERT SKINNER on the back (that would be my brother). My first thought was one of surprise that you can just join someone up to the NRA without their consent, a slightly more politically charged prank than, say, subscribing someone to the International Male catalog (I actually don't think he meant it as a prank). I already have no chance of, say, running for political office, given that virtually every questionable thing I've done in my adult life is already described or referenced in the online archives of the Mercury, but it seems like something that could call for some potentially awkward explaining, don't you think?

Oh well, what's done is done, and I am now eagerly awaiting my benefits of membership, which include my official NRA Membership ID card (!!!!!!); my choice of a subscription to either American Rifleman, American Hunter, or America's 1st Freedom (I'm leaning toward American Hunter); and perhaps most importantly, $5,000 of Accidental Death and Dismemberment coverage at NO COST to me (not sure if that means my own death and dismemberment or the death and dismemberment I might inflict on others)!!

Awwwesssssooome! … So… now what?