Tuesday, October 8, 2013

My Cosmopolitan Gun Store

I do not like going to any gun store for ammunition. I have to park next to some giant dick-compensating pick-up truck, then I have to deal with a bunch of overweight yokels who would have joined the Army, but they have this thing that is vague and sounds made up which barred their entry, so now they just work in a gun store and think that having an extensive knowledge of bangsticks is something to be proud of.

Or they did join the military, got out and are now overweight and working in a gun store. That's even worse.

My last trip to my friendly neighborhood shootin' shop went exactly like this:

Me: "Hi, do you have any bricks of .22 ammunition in stock?"

Sales Guy: "No, but I can sell you a .22 pistol!"

"I have a .22 pistol and two .22 rifles. What I need is something to shoot out of them."

"But this way, you'll have two .22 pistols!"

I don't even know how to deal with that insanity. The ammo I am looking for is very difficult to find right now, and when you do find it, the prices are insane.

A brick of .22 ammo is 500 rounds. That should cost, at the very most, $25. But you can't find it because dipshits all over the country are stockpiling it on the off chance the Muslim in the white house rapes Jesus or something. Fuck if I know how the misfiring synapses in their brains works.

I want to open my own gun store. Something that sits on the edge of the fashionable. I want it to look like a stand alone Apple store with better lighting. You're greeted as you walk in by someone eager and knowledgeable and you can either browse or work with someone who specializes in what you're looking for. Wanting the latest in shotgun chokes for turkey season? Certainly sir, John will be right with you. He loves turkey season! Looking for that perfect beginner's gun for your new lady? Amanda here has been working with all kinds of beginners. She's perfect!

But most of all, I would train my associates to separate the normal gun owners from the idiot doomsday preppers. Maybe a nonchalant question dropped when purchasing some .22 ammo...

"That's one brick of .22 ammo. Got any big plans for it?"

PROPER ANSWER: "Yeah, I have some raccoons to keep out of the trash and I'm hoping to get to the range sometime this week.

IMPROPER ANSWER. DO NOT SELL: "Well, there's a gun grabbing nigger in the White House, and I need to protect my unborn fetuses from his homosexual death squads!"

I'd also give a military discount. You'd be surprised how few militant gun stores offer a discount to actual military people. Especially camping supply places. Bass Pro offers a military discount for one week and it excludes about 75% of their stock. I mean, I don't expect them to sell boats at ten percent off all year, but when you look at the restrictions, there's no real reason to even plan for it.

"In accordance with the Bass Pro Shops discount policy, this 10% discount excludes reels, electronics, firearms, ammunition, reloading equipment, scopes, bows, arrows, taxidermy, gift cards, Tracker boats, Mercury motors, ATV’s, catalog sales, internet sales, restaurant food and drinks, and temporarily marked down items."

You know who does offer a military discount all the time? Lowes. On everything. I even got a discount on the materials when I had my fence built. Love those guys.

I could make an entire generation of soy latte drinkers comfortable with a firearm. Cardigans would come tailored to hold a snub-nosed .38 under the armpit. We'll make special holsters that work with skinny jeans and the gun range would have an espresso machine.

Or the entire idea would crash and burn within a month. I have no idea how the fashionable would respond to a gun store catered to them. Maybe I could hire some designers to add some splash to the firearms and make them more appealing to the young crowd who also wants to be deadly. I am open to suggestions.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Afghan Cows

I have decided to resurrect the Shit Saint Louis Says blog, which means all that delicious traffic of people who want to read racist comments without actually going the the comments section of the local news will be off this blog.

Therefore, I should get back to using this as it was been intended: The place to have brain dumps and tell stories. I hope to be a bit more active here with tales of the military, my city and all the other things I keep telling myself I should write about but never get around to.

Today will be cows in Afghanistan.

Back when I was just a young pup of a Soldier, I deployed to Afghanistan to play the role of roving journalist with a Civil Affairs unit. The goal of CA is to win the hearts and minds of the locals via bribery with medical supplies or building wells and schools or whatever the village is clamoring for. We use government funds to hire local contractors which dumps money into the economy and stabilizes the region. 

If you happened to miss the day of your social studies class which delved into the history and politics of the most middle country of the middle east, I'll give you a refresher. There is quite a bit of trade which moves across Afghanistan that isn't necessarily heroin and destitution. Some of the people are nomadic, traveling all over the country to trade cattle, meat and fur to some of the more agricultural Afghans.

The standard operating procedure at the time when dealing these Kochi tribes was to let the elders know a day or so before our planned arrival where we would be and what services we would offer. Generally the promises were de-worming of all livestock with vaccination for the sheep and goats, as well as some medical checkups for the people. Since many locals relied completely on their goat and sheep herds for survival, they would come in droves for some free medical help.

We Americans would pack up some humvees and SUVs and drive out to the middle of nowhere and wait. We brought our own protection, but the local warlord would send out a contingent to help us out with security. Sort of a good faith measure. 

This was Afghanistan in 2004. The local militia consisted of three dudes high on opium handling AK-47s and rocket propelled grenades.

I assure you there is just regular tobacco in that cigarette
So one of these families brought a couple of cows. Being the helpful person I am, I volunteer to help hold the rope attached to the cow while the veterinarian prepares the deworming solution. The parents wander off to talk with a few other people and I'm just hanging out with a cow, an interpreter and a seven-year-old Afghan kid who looks like he would rather be anywhere else other than on some lame road trip with his parents.

As an American, I'm used to the docile, doe-eyed cows which wander aimlessly around Southern Missouri countrysides, grazing the grass, standing in pools of water and being boring but delicious.

Not from Afghanistan
In Afghanistan, everything is angry. Because it's Afghanistan. It's hot, things don't grow very well, the Taliban has been messing the place up and shit is always exploding on account of all the Soviet mine fields scattered about.

So as I am standing holding on the the lead of this cow, it decides it wants to wander over and sniff some other rock on the ground. The rope slips from my hand as the cow walks off.

I walk with quick strides to get the rope attached to the errant cow.

The cow views me as a possible threat.

The cow trots further away.

I try my best to keep up with the cow.

The cow starts running.

I panic. I have just chased off part of this poor family's income with my negligence! I had to do what was right. I had to chase down this cow. I had to save them from starvation. For America!

Cows, it turns out, can run pretty fast.

I spend about ten minutes on this endeavor to maintain friendly relations between Americans and Afghans before I realize I am about three hundred meters away from any kind of security in what could very well be a minefield.

So I meekly return to the interpreter and the boy. Both have quizzical looks on their faces at the weird American who just attempted to run down a cow. I apologize as much as I can through wheezing breaths about being unable to wrangle the cow.

The interpreter gives a laugh. "It's a cow, where the hell is it going to go?" He asks, sweeping his arm across the broad expanse of nothing surrounding us.

I turn. The cow is standing about twenty feet behind me. The kid walks up, grabs the rope and leads it over to the veterinarian, who also witnessed my ignorance of the mental workings of foreign cows. The look in that kid's eyes told me he didn't hold out much hope for the future of his country with the Americans.

Lesson learned. Cows aren't stupid, and they know to come back to the herd.

But sometimes, like humans, they just want to be left alone.