Last Saturday I was kinda bored so I strolled over to our local Nights Out motel to take in a gun show. Man, what a sight. I thought I’d died and gone to gun heaven. The conference room was crammed full of pistols, hunting knives, AK-47s, rocket launchers and one discounted guided missile. Not a gun-control freak in sight.
Interesting people there too. One man had his arm around his twelve-year old son while he raised a Kalinokov in the other hand. “You ready to go blast the bejezus out of Bambi?” he says.
Another man in a motorcycle jacket embroidered with skull and cross bones was salivating over a semi-automatic. The salesman was telling him how to convert it into an automatic and turn elk into Swiss cheese.
I ran into a guy with a long name. I just called him “Mo.” So I says, “Hey, Mo, watcha think of all these weapons?”
He shook his head. “I understand swords, but this is too much for me. How do you cut off someone’s head with these gun things?”
I picked up a Uzi. “You could start a nice war with one of these babies,” I says, clicking in an imaginary clip. “Blow away a damn lot of infidels.”
He gave me a sad smile and walked away.
A little later I was standing in line to add my name to a drawing for a genuine leather holster. A guy was sitting quietly in the middle of the floor in his bathrobe. I hunched down next to him. His name tag had another long name, but I shortened it. “Hey, Sid,” I says. “How come you blocking the aisle?”
He sat with his legs crossed and had his palms turned upward on his knees. Really calm guy.
I shook him and his eyes popped open.
“Taking a break from all the excitement?” I ask.
“Life is suffering,” he says.
“Yeah,” I replied as I hefted a thirty-ought-six off a nearby table. “But along the way you can blast to bits a whole herd of squirrels.”
“Right livelihood,” he says and closed his eyes.
“You got that right, Sid,” I says. “If only I could get paid to be pounding away with one of these babies.”
Then he started chanting about the eight-fold path. I didn’t know if he was going to make origami birds or what.
I decided it was time to get some lunch. I sat down at a table with a guy who had long hair and a beard. Kinda skinny. Above the neck this guy fit right in. But the rest of his outfit. Give me a break. Nobody goes to a gun show wearing a sheet and sandals. It was amazing his toes didn’t get crushed by all the cowboy boots.
“You want a bite of ribs?” I ask.
“I don’t eat that kind of food,” he says. “Thanks for the offer though.”
He had a Mexican name, but I just called him by his initials. “So, J.C.,” I says. “Whatcha think of this place?”
He looked sad. You’d think someone had pounded nails through his hands. “Resist not evil,” he says.
“No way,” I says. I picked up a grenade a ten-year old boy had left on the table. “Do unto others before they do unto you.”