Friday, August 29, 2008

Don't Lose A Gun

Just don't.

For my 13th birthday, Dad gave me a gun. I didn't ask for a gun. That being the age at which I fully dove into guitar, I was kind of hoping I might get some kind of guitar. Or an effects pedal. Or an amp. Or maybe a cool strap or something - I don't know, a gun? Where does it plug in?

Nope. I got a gun. I was told it was a very special gun. Dad was very psyched to have given it to me. Turns out it was the gun he had when he was like eight or nine (circa 1950) and he spent many a year gettin' all Davey Crockett on various and sundry unsuspecting neighborhood game... and cans and whatever else you could shoot at I guess.

As much as I wasn't so in touch with that whole frontiersman vibe, I gotta admit, the gun turned out to be fun. I liked it. Being a semi-automatic, it fired seven rounds just as fast as you could pull the trigger. Pretty cool. Seeing as I could pull the trigger pretty fast, it did make for a lot of reloading, though.

I never did get all Davey Crockett with it, but I'd go a-shootin' at cans and junk that I'd set up in a tree. You really don't need to kill people or animals to enjoy a gun. It can be a whole mess of fun just hearing a can go *plink* when you hit it from 75 yards away. Put that can at the end of a rope and try to shoot it while it's swinging, well that's a whole afternoon of fun.

Sometimes it's fun to spend an entire afternoon trying to shoot a sapling in half, but you don't have to do that.

Anyway, in a year I call "1990", I moved into an apartment where the elderly landlady was not so cool on guns. Lesbians were more her thing it seems. I'll spare you the details, but it was at that age when I realized that lesbianism wasn't just something hot girls did to turn you on.

In any case, I was forewarned of her hatred of firearms by a friend, so I just figured I'd sneak in this dumb 'ol gun that I never used, stick it in the closet and forget about it until I moved. Big deal.

The plan hit a little bit of a snag when it was time to move out and ask for my deposit. I failed to seize any appropriate opportunity to sneak this gun out when the landlady wasn't around, and I found myself faced with a grim situation of having only one thing in the apartment, and having that thing be the ONE thing she didn't want up there.

We walked through the house for the inspection. She was very excited at the prospect of having something real to complain about. Clearly in her element. The apartment, however, was spotless.

After 17 years, the details get pretty scarce in this part of the story.

How did she not see the gun? Did I talk her out of opening the closet? What was my plan for if she DID open the closet? Was the gun even in the closet? Did I move it already? Truth is, I kinda blanked on the whole thing. I have no idea what happened to it.

Yeah, uhh... I um, lost a gun. That's probably not good.

All I know is that I got my deposit back with interest, and 17 years later, I can't find this thing.

So as time plays tricks on my head (and Dad asks me every six months for the past three years, "Where's that .22 I gave you?" like it was last fucking week or something) I wonder where is that damn gun that I never even asked for.

Well, what?! What could possibly have happened? Did my gun-hating, lesbian landlady see it later and toss it out? If she did see it, wouldn't she maybe give me a call, cancel the deposit check, or otherwise let me know? Did I take it and now I can't remember where I put it or who's basement I may have stowed it in? Okay, then how did I get it out of the apartment? Wait, did I get it out of the apartment? ...and so on. Bit of a puzzle, that one. I would periodically search for this gun over the next two decades.

So the day inevitably comes that the landlady dies. That didn't matter because her lesbian room mate was still alive. That turned out to be only an additional year wait, and eight months after that, I saw some folks cleaning out the old place as I was driving by. Seemed like an opportunity (however slim) but with my Dad's voice ringing in my ears, well, I just kept driving.

Now with Dad's voice ringing even louder in my ears, I turned around, parked it, and decided to ask these strangers if they'd seen my gun.

Never having had a beard in my life, and always keeping my hair pretty short, I was sportin' two week's growth on my face and about two years of hair on my head. I had not a single reason for cultivating this look, but it culminated in the renewal of my photo ID, then I immediately went out, shaved, and got a haircut. I don't know. Seemed like something to do.

In spite of my Kaczynski vogue, the folks I met couldn't have been nicer. We had a good 15 minute chat. I left my name, number, and copy of my manifesto. They said they'd let me know if they found anything. Hard as it might be to believe, they never called back.

I called back about two weeks later when I saw the For Sale sign. Figured I'd at least see what the asking price was anyway. What I learned is that they want about 30% too much for the house and they found a gun. After a couple of days of playing phone polo and some positive identification on my part,

The Mossberg & Sons Model 152 .22cal semi-automatic Long Rifle. 17 years later, back in my possession.

Probably could've just called her, I guess.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

How We Rollin' In My 'Hood

With our FO-tees.

Around my neighborhood, we've got, y'know, like, flowers and junk.

...and trees that happily grow those colorful little berries that look every bit as tempting as they are lethal.

We've got houses from back in the day, yo, when people had yards 'n shit. Know what I'm talkin' 'bout? Today, this plot of land would house no less than 250 people who all complain about how bad the traffic sucks in the morning.

To help balance all this out, we've also got this guy...

Alright, so the place is vacant, but it sits right next door to Mr. Yardly there. This house (well, plot of land) is for sale, but the lot is no wider than what you see here. In today's age, it's nearly unbuildable. And considering how lots today are purchased by developers who want to build condominiums, well, getting your "we need 85 units for it to even be profitable" on there is going to require some pretty advanced geometry. Evidence proves that developers aren't anywhere near smart enough for that, but you can bet your ass they will find a way around.

My guess? Yardly Smith there, with enough room for everyone, gets a good slice bought out, and *poof*, now the lot is plenty big enough to be profitable! Yay!

Because we need more people.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

I Am Difficult

"Look, don't ask me to participate in your
stupid crap if you don't like the way I do it!"

How bad was the plan? Well, how about two totally different bands playing outdoors within 20 yards of each other? That was the smallest of last weekend's issues. I'm not going down the full list of bad ideas, but I will say that none of them surprised me. I will say that divorce means you can only be so chummy anymore, you know? So when I didn't participate in this fiasco, it was of course just me being difficult. No reasons, just difficult for the sake of being an ass. That's how everybody does it, right?

Someone made the mistake of calling me right after this disastrous weekend and I vented for just shy of 45 minutes. All I got was a three second silence followed simply by, "Oh, you poor little girl."

It was completely uncalled for but well placed, and I can't argue with that.

It put me right. Try it on someone sometime. Guaranteed to make at least one of you feel better.

Friday, August 08, 2008

My Neighbor Is An 85-Year-Old Lady

The nice thing about recycling is all the attitude that comes with it. You just never know if they're going to like your stuff. Will they take it all and toss the bin out into the middle of the yard (a sign of acceptance) or will this be the week that they hold your stuff at the curb until the cops arrive and haul you in? I don't know if they play it that way or not, but it feels like a distinct possibility.

Today, at the house next to mine, I can only assume a bullet was dodged.

All together now.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

You vs. A Toddler

Obvious Advice Falls On Deaf Ears

Should you find yourself at odds with a five-year-old, and said five-year-old has grandparents present, then you have lost that battle, my friend. The five-year-old will receive the benefit of the doubt, be credited for having more brains than you, and will generally succeed in making you look like an ass who should be incarcerated for hate crimes against kids.

Worse is that after this little Lionel train wreck, when you've come back from your self-imposed ten minute cool down, you'll find that said grandparents have pretty much taken it all in stride, meaning this is precisely the kind of behavior they've come to expect from you; meaning that all they had to do was lower their standards yet another notch.

...even if he did haul off and whack you with the video game controller.