Sunday, February 07, 2016

Saturday, February 06, 2016

Well, that was festive

Back in the late 90s, I was on my first night patrol after having just gotten back from a gun class out of State.  Along about 0500 Dispatch called, "Dispatch, Car 12."

The 0500 calls are always interesting, so I admit to some anticipation, "Go ahead."

"1100 Possum Drive, 911 call, report of a possible prowler."

I sighed.  1100 Possum Drive was a nice, middle-aged lady divorcee who called in a prowler about three times a week.  Said prowler always being brush rubbing the siding on her house, or a cat, or the wind.

"10-4, en route."

I pulled up in front of the residence, and I can see the Reporting Party in the bay window, still clutching her cordless phone, and pointing frantically to the back of the house.

I admit to a well-concealed sigh, waved at her, and then began making my way around the outside of the house, no doubt to spend several minutes peering into the dark.

Imagine my surprise when I turned the back corner into the backyard and came nose to snout with a bloody huge feral hog.  I remember well -- in the middle of that startle-response adrenaline dump -- seeing the bristles fly up on his chest.  Kind of like he had just gotten centre-punched with a Winchester 127-grain +P+ 9mm.  Like the kind I carried in my P7.

And I realize that I was standing in a text-book perfect speed-rock position.

I had just enough time to mentally pat myself on the back, and then the hog (metaphorically-speaking) looked down at the hole in his chest, said (again, metaphorically-speaking), "Oh, you [deleted]", and then headed my way with the obvious intention of adjusting my buttock-to-shoulder-blade ratio.

Not being entirely gormless, my body (not currently admiring the shot that started this whole episode) spun, took two steps, and flung me at the lower limbs of the nearest mesquite tree ... about those two steps ahead of the enraged pig.

So.  There I am, hanging like a panicked sloth from the lower limbs by one ankle, one hand, and one wrist, while a Paleolithic-class hog stands below, loudly opining as to my ancestry and sexual proclivities, and daring me to come down.

Yeah, that's not happening.  Unfortunately, my current suspended position means I can't get another shot off at the hog without winding up down on terra firma with said ambulatory chop -- with him at a decided advantage.

Worse, during the mad sprint for the tree, I seem to have dropped my walkie-talkie.

I resign myself to not going anywhere for a while.  A sentiment obviously shared by Senor Puerco.

A lot longer later than I felt was absolutely necessary, I hear the sound of a DPS cruiser pull up outside.  At last, think I, back-up.  And not before time.

Indeed, back-up soon showed itself cautiously around the corner in the form of the DPS trooper assigned to our wee town.  He scans the back-yard with his torch -- passing over me the first time, I might add -- before the beam settled on the hog.  It then panned up.

There were snorting noises that I suspect may have been an attempt to conceal mirth.  Not a very good attempt, but at least he tried.

"Shot the hog, didn't you?"

I snarled something that may have been less than courteous, but I plead long-term discomfort.

"I told you that dinky little 9mm wasn't any good, didn't I?"

I was attempting some form of come-back, when I hear the bark of a Texas DPS-issued Sig P220, and the .45 ACP round smacks the hog right behind the foreleg.

I know this, because I had a unique perspective on the second bristle spray of the morning.  Which led the hog to announce -- at the top of his porcine lungs -- "You want a piece of me, too?"

And I watch the DPS trooper scramble to the top of an ancient outhouse with the alacrity and grace of a scalded-arsed ape.

"Nice shot, Tex" I snark from the comfort of my mesquite tree.

"Damn," replied that worthy, "That's a big hog."

I cast a sneer in his general direction, "Why don't you thump it a couple of more times?"

Long pause.


"Well", I snarl, twisting a bit, "I not in any position to do anything about this, so it's pretty much up to you."

The hog sends a grunt my way, letting me know I haven't been forgotten.

This pause is longer.  Oh, for the love of ... "You dropped your bangstick, didn't you?"

"I had something on my mind!" There's another pause, contemplative this time, "I've got my .32 backup."

I can feel a facial tic developing.

This goes on until the sun rises, the hog trots off (with a firmly-cocked snook in our general direction), the trooper and I climb down and solemnly swear to never speak of this again.

Fast-forward about a year, and I'm in Dispatch when the local Game Warden staggers in, and heads for the coffee-pot with the same sort of intensity that a man three days under the Sahara sun heads for an oasis. 

"You okay, Harry? I ask, slightly concerned.

"[Deleted] monster hog out by the T bar S," he mutters from around a soothing mug, "Took three rounds from my .450 Marlin.  Didn't think the [deleted] was ever going to go down."

I'm mildly impressed.  "Damn."

"Checked him over, found this under the skin on his chest." He displays a perfectly-mushroomed Winchester Ranger bullet.  Probably about 127 grains, were I to guess, "Some damfool moron shot him with a 9mm sometime.  Can you imagine that?  Idiot.  Some people shouldn't be let out without a minder."



Friday, February 05, 2016

Better than a poke in the eye with a sharp ... oh, wait.

My office at the Courthouse has no windows.  For that matter, none of the halls on the entire floor of the Courthouse where I am located have windows.

Thus, I didn't think it was too altogether odd when I walked past a window in someone else's office, and the after-image from the bright Texas sky took almost 40 minutes longer to clear my left eye than it did the right.

At first I figured that the lack of sunlight in my office had triggered some latent Morlock genes, but then I noticed that my field of vision when both eyes were open was ... odd.

When I covered one eye -- didn't matter which one -- my vision was fine.  It was just when both eyes were open that something undefinable was wrong.

This was enough, and I hie'd myself over to my local ophthalmologist for a professional opinion.

Now, the local place is pretty high-tech, and the County optical plan is rather good, so they did the full work-up on me; and I'm sitting in the exam room when the doctor walks in.  He's one of those chatty types, and we're having a nice talk up until the following point:

"Well, Mr 'Dog," he says, glancing at a three-dimensional picture of the back of my eyeball, "I'm willing to bet from the symptoms that what you have is an optical migraine.  We're not exactly ... sure ..."

And his sentence just kind of stops right there, with him blinking furiously at the afore-mentioned three-dee picture.

Long pause.

"Doc?" I ask, rather firmly, I do admit.

"... Wow."

I'm here to tell you:  this is not the kind of thing you want to hear from a medical professional.  Kind of sends the old heart rate up a bit.

Next thing I know, the doctor has leapt at me like a leopard on a gazelle, and spends the next fifteen minutes staring intently into my eyes through what looked like a jeweler's loupe and with the aid of what felt like a 5000-lumen flashlight, all the while muttering excitedly to himself.

The denouement of this whole wretched performance was when he turned off the flashlight, and sat back with an expectant air ... and I discovered that I was completely blind in my left eye.

"Doc," I said, with what I believe to have been commendable restraint, "I can't see anything out of my left eye."


The rapid sound of clicking on a keyboard.

"Doctor.  I have several weapons on my person, and you have just blinded me."

The startlement in his voice is almost palpable.  "Oh!  I'm sorry!  It's just that I've never seen this in progress before!  I don't think anyone has!  We only see it after the train wrecks ... so to speak!"


He finally explains, phone calls are made and I am scheduled to see a retina specialist first thing in the AM.

Next day my Lady Love is helping me from station to station in an even more high-tech office, until I wind up lying in a futuristic recliner when the retina doc walks in and shakes my hand.

"Well, I've got good news and bad news."

I sigh, "Well, what's the bad news?"

He grins, "You're getting an injection in your eye."

Well, hell.

"Ok, what's the good news?"

He points at my sweetheart, "She's not going to feel a thing!"

Not to be outdone, Herself asks, "How many shots have you had in the eye?"

"None!  Never had a baby, either, but I've delivered a bunch!"

Hyuk.  Hyuk.  Hyuk.

For the record, getting a shot in the eyeball is every bit as bad as you might think it is.


Back to see the retina guy next week.



postscript:  My bad, I left something out.  Turns out it wasn't an optical migraine, it was a developing Retinal Vein Occlusion, which -- from various reactions -- is Not Good after it's full-blown (so to speak), but entirely treatable, with excellent prognosis, if caught early.

Mine wasn't just caught early, it was caught while still developing.  Which apparently doesn't ever happen in  my neck of the woods.


Wednesday, February 03, 2016

Meditations on the Constitution

"The Constitution is a living document" is a phrase I have been hearing more and more since the Other Side has been losing in the Courts.

Most often associated with the Clintons, Al Gore --and now the Obama Administration -- the "Living Constitution" or "Evolving Constitution" is a philosophy that demands that we read the Constitution of the United States according to a socially-generalized modern viewpoint, rather than the interpretation the writers of that document used.

I see that I have lost some of my Gentle Readers. Allow me to illustrate.

In the Second Amendment, mention is made of "the Militia". In the time that the Founding Fathers wrote the Constitution, "the Militia" was every free man capable of bearing arms. Every one.

(As a point of fact, modern Federal Law mirrors this view in its own definitions: US Code, Title 10, Chapter 13, Sec 311:

"The militia of the United States consists of all able-bodied males at least 17 years of age and, except as provided in section 313 of title 32, under 45 years of age who are, or who have made a declaration of intention to become, citizens of the United States and of female citizens of the United States who are members of the National Guard.")

To a proponent of the Living Constitution, though, this doesn't matter. To their way of thinking, "the militia" -- indeed the entire document -- must be read according to today's popular sensibilities.

So, where the Founding Fathers defined "militia" as "every free man capable of bearing arms"; and the current Federal Government defines "militia" as "all able-bodied males at least 17 years of age and under 45 years of age"; the proponent of the Living Constitution defines "militia" as the National Guard.

The reasoning for this is, near as I can tell, that the socially-generalized modern interpretation (read:  Public Opinion) holds that the "militia" is the National Guard, then the intent of the Founding Fathers, Federal Law, and precedent be damned ... "the militia" in the Second Amendment obviously must be the National Guard. Because the majority of Joe Sixpack thinks so.

I have a couple of problems with this way of reading the Constitution.

The Constitution was written by a group of men who were incredibly well-read, well-educated, and well-versed in Law, Logic, History and Philosophy. These men are spoken of as being intelligent, but their intelligence was based upon logic, upon application and upon discourse, rather than upon rote.

So. On one paw you have a group of men who wrote articles and books which are read to this very day, who invented items and pioneered philosophies which influence our lives every day;

And on the other you have Modern American Society ... which thinks that 'Keeping Up With The Kardashians' is the height of entertainment; who can't find Hungary on a map with the sodding Latitude and Longitude right under their noses; who believe that the President of the United States has the power to unilaterally balance the Federal Budget -- and who consistently rank the public travails of a white-trash pop-tart walking train-wreck as being, like, sooooo much more interesting than those boring old laws passing through Congress.  People who have spent -- nay, wasted -- their childhood in the American Public Education System, where they are taught what to think, rather than how to think.

Oh, the choices. Do I base my government on the bedrock laid by such men as Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson and others -- or do I base my government on a modern reinterpretation by a society which appears to value "self-esteem" as being far more important than, you know ... earning that self-esteem.


Bear this in mind, O Gentle Reader, during the current game of Political Handegg (which is -- metaphorically-speaking, what the American Election Process has evolved into):  any candidate who believes in, or mentions "Living Constitution" or "Evolving Constitution" seriously believes that the Founders of this Great Nation (and the writers of the bedrock of this Great Nation) were wrong; and that the Mob (Honey Boo-Boo, anyone?) are right.


Vote accordingly.


Public Service Announcement

By way of Ursula Vernon, over at Red Wombat Studio, we bring you this important Public Service Announcement:

Especially important, giving the up-coming Political Season.


Tuesday, February 02, 2016

Not much more that I can say to that ...

Intake officer gives me a call from the Intake section and I scoot on over there.

Seems an elderly gentleman has arrived in our jail by way of the local Municipal Court. 70 years old -- plus or minus -- and has exactly zero criminal or traffic record of any kind.

I look at this gentleman -- eyes clear, back straight, looking around with mild amusement -- and I ask what brings him to us. Surely community service would be a better way of dealing ...?

The old gentleman fixes me with a gray eye, and in slow drawl he says, "Son, I spent 1951 to 1953 in Korea, trying not to get my boys killed. I figure that there makes me a man grown."

I nod, cautiously, not exactly sure where this is going.

"Now I figure that since I am a full-grown adult -- and I know the risks -- whether or not I wear a seatbelt isn't the business of a bunch of panty-waisted jackasses down in Austin."


"My wife asks me to wear the damned thing -- I wear it. I'm her business. My girls ask me to wear the damned thing -- I wear it. It's their business. Everyone else needs to tend to their own knitting and leave mine alone."


"So I take this ticket to the city judge, and he asks me if I was going to plead guilty or not guilty. I say that I don't know about guilty, but I definitely wasn't wearing the damned thing that day. He asks how I'm going to pay the fine, and I tell him he'd better stick me in jail, because I wasn't going to pay someone for putting his nose off into other peoples business."

I look at the Intake officer, both of us trying not to smile.

He grins at me, "So, here I am."

I head for the Intake Sergeant to suggest that maybe some kind of accelerated time-serving might be considered. Maybe a passing of the hat, or somesuch, when I pass the GenPop tank and notice one very large, very familiar figure glaring balefully at me.

"Waldo," I say, carefully, "What's on your mind?"

Waldo the Wonder Biker sneers at me, then spits off to the side.

"He was riding down Main Street wearing a chrome Nazi helmet, dark glasses, combat boots and a smile," says the Intake corporal, contemplatively, "Seems there was stuff flapping in the breeze that God never intended to flap."

I grimace, "There's not enough brain bleach in the world to fix that ..."

He grins, "Gives 'tank-slap' a whole new meaning, don't it?"

"Oh, for -- enough!  Eww!"

I look at Waldo, "You've been guinea-pigging the product again, haven't you?" My answer is an extremely eloquent extended middle finger.


Well, at least they got some clothes on him.

I find the Intake Boss, he agrees that the older gentleman doesn't need to be in Durance Vile for any longer than strictly necessary and I leave to chase down the Jail Administrator.

Twenty minutes later, I'm back with an Order of Release, scoot past the GenPop tank ... and the older gentleman is sitting on the beach, talking softly and gesturing gently.

With Waldo and two of his buddies sitting on the floor in front of the bench, listening raptly.

Huh.  This is ... odd.

As I watch, another inhabitant of GenPop -- much younger, with the ingrained sneer and Bad Attitude one tends to associate with some of the Younger Criminal Element -- swaggers over to the bench currently occupied by the elderly gentleman, plants himself and drawls, "Hey, there, Old Stuff.  You need to move off of my bench."

At this, Waldo raises a polite hand to the older man and says -- my paw to Freyja, I heard it with my own two ears -- "I'm sorry, Mr Frank.  Excuse me for just a moment."

I'm looking at Waldo, seriously wondering if I should check him for a pod attachment point, when he lumbers to his feet, drapes a fatherly arm across the shoulders of the youngster and gently steers him to the bathroom area of the tank.

At this point I'm seriously worried about Waldo's mental status.

Then I hear a muted 'thud', followed by the Waldo's dulcet tones -- he'd make a fine rage metal front-man, would our Waldo -- gently gargling something about eye-sockets; respect; an anatomically-improbable, yet gruesomely-fascinating version of puppeteering; and courtesy in general.

Ah.  That's the Waldo I know.

There's a final thud, and then Waldo steps out from the bathroom area, resumes his seat on the floor in front of the bench, and says, "I'm sorry, Mr Frank.  You were saying?"  And the older gentleman resumes what is obviously a riveting story.

I can't stand it.  I beckon, "Hey, Waldo!  Come up to the bars for a moment!"  Waldo's beard contorts into his usual snarl, but he gets up and stomps over to talk.

I indicate the older gentleman, "What's up, Waldo?  You feeling ok?"

He looks at me a moment.  "Man, 'Dog, that old dude's been through some [deleted].  You can see it on his face.  Really bad [deleted], but he doesn't let the [deleted] win.  Dude like that earned respect."

Well.  Hell of a thing when a burned-out biker reprobate meth-cook makes more sense than a municipal judicial system.

Not much more that I can say to that.


Monday, February 01, 2016


Well, let's see if I remember how to do this ...

*tap, tap*

Is this thing on?

Well, the last several months or so has been kind of rodeo here at Rancho LawDog.  OldNFO has moved to the area, along with Peter Grant and his lovely wife.

My first thought when I heard that these folks were moving this way was something along the lines of:  "Whoo.  Getting crowded on my little patch of dirt.", but -- truth be told -- I'm discovering that it's kind of nice to have friends in the area.

Thing2 has moved on to better things -- she got promoted to Jail Captain -- so I'm back down to one minion.  Alas.

I have -- thus far -- managed to keep my face off of national TeeVee:

National news-critter with microphone (shoved under my nose):  "Sir, what do you think of your Sheriff's decision to [insert something mildly controversial here.]

Me (blinking):  "What the [deleted] are you talking about?"

Thing1 (politely):  "We're sorry, any questions will have to be asked of the Sheriff or the PIO."

Me:  "That, too, but what the [deleted] is he talking about?!"

Camera-dude:  "Whoa, we can't put that sort of language on the air!"

I am, however, quite proud of the fact that when suckered into giving an interview for local media I managed to use the phrases, "Mongolian rabies", "Can't cure it with bleach", and "Diseases science doesn't have a name for yet" on the air.

You know, I begin to understand why the County Attorney's favourite expression around me is:  "'Dog!  Inappropriate!"

Ah, well.

In other news, Peter and OldNFO have promised to help me get a LawDog Files book or two off of the ground.  Anyone still hanging around this general area may now bug those two about it.

On that front, my lovely lady -- along with the machinations of OldNFO, Peter and Dot -- has decided to expand my social wings some more, and has talked me into pre-registering for LibertyCon.

She seems quite smug about the fact that I haven't hyperventilated over the whole thing.  Yet.  It's early.

I've a couple of Africa stories percolating in my head for the past couple of months -- we'll see about getting them written down here.

I took an Edged Weapons Overview class from Craig Douglas (SouthNarc) over at ShivWorks.  Excellent class -- which I must post about later -- which also demonstrated quite thoroughly that I have spent waaaay too much time behind a desk these days.

Hmm.  More later.


Testing, testing

Let us see if this works ...

Well. Bedamned. Haven't forgotten how to work one of these things.

Colour does appear a little dark, though. May have to tweak that.


Colour check.

The quick brown fox jumps over the ...

Much better.


*blink, blink*

A comment already???


Wednesday, April 15, 2015

The Hugos

I've known for a long time -- since the early nineties at least -- that the Hugo Award wasn't all that and a bag of chips.

Most of the time, the blurb: "Winner of the Hugo Award" meant that the book inside wasn't going to hold my attention, and would -- on occasion -- make me wonder why I wasted my money.

Long time Gentle Readers know that Larry Correia and I are friends. Anyone who bought a copy of Monster Hunter International saw a quote from this blog on the cover of that tome -- of which I am still humbled that Larry would do so. A couple of years ago, Larry stated that the Hugo Award had been taken over by Leftists With Agendas, and that Hugo awards were being given to reward ideological goodthink on the part of writers, rather than storytelling.

He was pooh-pooh'd. So he started the Sad Puppy campaign to prove that ideology mattered more than story-telling as far as awarding the modern Hugo.

He was right. Holy [deleted] was he right.

The vitriol aimed at Larry Correia, Brad Torgersen and the writers they recommended has been sickening. The lies, the slander and the spittle-flecked libel they have endured has been eye-opening.

Equally impressive is the mental contortions that the defenders of the status quo ante bellum (Trust me: anyone who doesn't think that the Sad Puppy campaigns triggered a war in literary circles might want to get his head-space and timing checked. Just saying.) are going through to justify their actions. I'm here to tell you, some of their thought processes are downright schizophrenic ... and that does a grave disservice to schizophrenics everywhere.

Apparently when the entire sodding world thinks that the Hugo Award is: "the premier award in the science fiction genre" (Wired magazine); "undoubtedly science fiction’s premier award" (; "among the highest honors bestowed in science fiction and fantasy writing" (LA times); and "science fiction's most prestigious award" ( what the world actually meant is that the Hugo only belongs to a small group of dedicated WorldCon members -- nobody else counts, doesn't matter how much of a Science Fiction Fan you are, it's not your award.

Usually followed up with something along the lines of: If you don't like it, there are plenty of other awards out there.

Well, yes, but when was the last time anyone saw a Tiptree Award seal on the cover of a book? Quick! What is a Prometheus Award and what was the last book cover you saw one on?


Now I discover that Marko Kloos and Annie Bellet -- both nominated by The Wrong Kind of People this year -- have withdrawn their works from nomination.

And, since Annie Bellet is a bi-sexual, card-carrying Socialist her getting hammered by the Righteous Indignation of the Agenda Mandarins kind of puts the lie to the claims that Sad Puppies is all about patriarchal white male conservatives.


Both are excellent authors, and both deserved their nominations. They both deserve their shot on the stage, and I'm afraid that neither one will ever get another nomination.

The Powers That Be at the Hugo have already made some claims about "re-writing" things in a couple of years to "make sure" that any evil like Sad Puppies never darkens their happy little Nerf World ever again.

And once the Leftists With Agendas find out that Marko is a full-on wookie-suiting, gun-loving libertarian, they'll drop him so fast people on the far side of this little green dirtball will get whip-lash. And Annie will have to kow-tow to the right people, and somehow I don't think kow-towing is in her nature. I could be wrong ... but I don't think so.

Truth be told, I'm getting angry enough that two excellent authors are getting the shaft because they dare to hang out with Doubleplus Ungood Badthinkers that I'm wondering if a Hugo delenda est option isn't preferable.

Raze the whole thing to rubble and cinders; see what rises from the ashes.


Saturday, April 11, 2015

Well, that's going to be expensive

The news running around the NRAAM is the bad luck that Charter Arms has experienced.

Seems that they contracted with Yellow Freight to ship the display gins of Charter Arms to Nashville. Somewhere betwixt and between, Yellow Freight has allegedly "lost" the shipment.

The reps at the Charter Arms booth inform me that every time they call Yellow Freight the story changes.

That tends to sound fishy to me, but it's not my County.

I asked the Charter people what price tag they'd hang on this, and they state they can't. Apparently the shipment contained several unique firearms, some with significant historical value.

That's going to hurt.

Not to mention showing up at the NRA ANNUAL MEETING with this:

I'd say that someone at Yellow Freight is probably getting heartburn about right now.



At the urging of Herself I volunteered to give a presentation regarding Critical Incident Stress following AD's Shooter Self-Care Course at the NRA Annual Meeting in Nashville.

Long time Gentle Readers know that I am screamingly introverted. Classes that I have taught have been military or law enforcement, and the students have generally been ordered to attend. The thought of speaking to people who actually wanted to attend has had me stressed to the point I spent Friday limping.

It is done - and unless people are blowing up my kilt - seems to have been appreciated.


I am now off to wander the floor. Remington has re-issued the 9mm R51 pistol that was such an embarrassment to them earlier, and swears that they have fixed the issues.

Methinks I need to buttonhole an engineer and ask questions.


Tuesday, November 25, 2014


As I stated somewhere else, Ferguson is:

"A bunch of jackasses running around reinforcing the negative stereotypes that they claim were the basis for the initial shooting."


I fail to see how anyone can honestly state that it is "justice" to go to the business of someone who isn't even remotely connected to the outrage you've got your Hanes into a half-hitch over, steal all of their stuff, and burn the business to the ground. Worse, how does it serve "justice" to burn your own city?

I can understand the critters doing the theft, vandalism and arson. They're brigands, dacoits, hooligans. They may claim that they're rioting for "justice", but deep inside they know that they're having a good time and stealing stuff. That's what critters do.

The people I don't understand are the ones excusing the behaviour. Whatever happened to the old saw about two wrongs not making a right?

More to the point, I think that the other old saying abouts actions having consequences should be followed closely in Ferguson, Missouri.

If you are a business owner, and a rampaging mob of Social Justice Warriors has looted and burned your place of business -- call your insurance company, take the cheque they're going to write, and use it to get the hell out of Ferguson, Missouri. 

 Take your vulnerable hide and your tax revenue somewhere that the local community doesn't think that it's perfectly okay for a bunch of thugs to burn you out because they've got a beef with the po-po.

"But, LawDog," I hear you say, "That'll just punish the innocent community of Ferguson, most of whom aren't rioting!"

Horsefeathers. The Ferguson community has had months to get their feral males under control before the verdict of the Grand Jury was released. The Ferguson community has had months to tell outside agitators, "Listen, you're stirring up the thug element. Stop it or get out."

People don't engage in this much destruction in their own community without the perception that it will be -- at the very least -- tolerated by that community.

So. Sod 'em. Take your toys, take your tax base, take your services and go somewhere that they'll not be the centrepiece of a barbeque that erupts the next time someone gets a case of the red arse.


Friday, November 07, 2014


Jennifer and Evyl Robot have come to Rancho LawDog for a visit, and --as is required -- we have made the rounds of pawn shops, yard sales and thrift stores.


Anyhoo, we're at a newer pawn shop in Nearby Larger City, and I discover a fully-functional bang-stick of the crew-served variety. And it's for sale. This is something that us gunny-type must be made aware of.

I'm about to call Herself, Evyl Robot and Jennifer over, but I notice something.

Jennifer has been examining a musical instrument, with her back to the proprietor.

Now, Jenn has the area awareness that anyone carrying a gun ought to cultivate. She is fit, has her hair pulled back in a no-nonsense ponytail and is wearing jeans. The owner of the pawn store is discretely checking out the view ...

... and suddenly notices that the pistol Jenn is wearing behind her hip is printing big-time.

His eyes get real big, and he starts unobtrusively -- he thinks -- trying to get the attention of his partner. Partner finally looks towards the owner, and owner points at Jennifer, splays out the fingers of his right hand, then makes a fist and points at Jenn again.

Compadre blinks at him, then gives a small shrug.

Proprietor points a little more firmly at Jenn, splays out the fingers, mouths "Five", makes a fist together with an "O" mouth movement; then points most firmly at Jennifer.

It is a wonderful moment when I see things click with buddy, and the colour drains out of his face and pools somewhere around his ankles. I'll take money that in the deepest, darkest recesses of his mind he is offering God anything He wants, as long as Jennifer doesn't start looking too closely at certain items around the store.

Over at the counter, proprietor seems to have something jammed in his throat, that multiple swallows doesn't seem to be dislodging.  And I think that I may have seen an actual case of "flop-sweat".

Not only did I manage the hide the grin, but I didn't call out to Jennifer and suggest she take a look at the car stereo rack.

I think I deserve some sort of award for that.

Outside of the store, I explained to Jennifer that she had been mistaken for a cop, which led to giggling amongst all involved.