Saturday, June 18, 2011


I have lots of things on my Becoming Badass list of skills. Some of them are internal- I want to be able to carry my Screw You internal attitude into the world at large. I want to stop caring so much about what people think of me. I want to let go of my impossibly high standards. I want to say what I'm thinking- even if it's not the nicest thing to say. Some of them are what we call "hard skills"- stuff that I want to be able to do. I wanted to learn to hotwire a car (though I learned better), to throw knives, to fight, maybe to ride a motorcycle, to shoot...

So that last one was proving to be tougher than I'd imagined. I never occurred to me that the guys who wanted to teach me to shoot might also want to teach me other stuff- like how to manage their zippers. As a result, it took me awhile to find some one with both the appropriate skill set, but also appropriate expectations. Turns out, the guy I needed was a guy I'd known for years. Never in a thousand years would I have known that this mild-mannered teacher with an amazing wit and a great brain would also be a guy with an arms stockpile to rival a small-time militia. Other people, however, were hip to his real passion (besides teaching and his wife)- small arms.

We made arrangements to meet at the local "Rod and Gun Club" (which was really just a firing range). The local police department was re-certifying so it was like walking onto the set of a John Woo movie: lots of pop-pop-pop, lots of yelling, lots of stinky gun powder. I'll admit, I was surprised to see picnic tables- this didn't really seem like my first choice for a Family Friendly outing, but R assured me that the community of folks who frequent the place were harmless. I took him at his word but I also kept my eyes peeled. He opened his trunk and pulled out a duffle full of stuff. And by "stuff," I mean guns. Big ones and little ones. Being a teacher, he started me off with a bit of history and a quick overview of how they were the same (they all have safeties, they all go boom, they're all wicked helpful in the zombie apocalypse), their differences, and then- just to scare the crap out of me- the skinny on what exactly happens when a bullet enters a person- er, a zombie.

Suffice to say I had a healthy respect for the thing going into this. After his little lecture, I was scared shitless.

Then we went down to the range. And, without further ado, my results:

See those red arrows? Those were my first three shots.

Yeah. Pretty badass.

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