ENCOUNTER with C.I.A. Military Dude
What follows is my conversation with a well-muscled dude in a paramilitary shirt (outside on Starbucks’ patio) yesterday.
Military Dude: (pointing) “Rear tire : ya got a flat, Buddy.”
Me: “Thanks. Slow leak. I have a hand pump.”
Military Dude: (Eyeballing the pocket knife clipped to my pants) :
“That your EDC?” (Every Day Carry)
Me: (Removing it and handing it over to him) “Here ya go.”
Okay, so this is a “guy thing” and it led to a “You show me yours and I’ll show you mine” situation. (Only: not THAT kind you dirty-minded galoots.)
This burly, stereotypical man-bot began divesting himself of an awe-inspiring arsenal of “defensive” weapons while I watched slack-jawed.
He introduced himself.
His name is Rothwell, but I momentarily thought he said “Roswell” and I glanced at his ear tips to check for Vulcan status.
Eventually, he said his name was Weldon, but he went by the nickname: CRUNCH.
Crunch Rothwell: “Glock 9”
He had lifted his untucked shirt revealing the automatic weapon tucked into his waistband in front, pointing muzzle down at his poppycock.
I winced inwardly.
Crunch recited a litany of descriptions of the various hardware and began telling me how he’d been a Navy Seal and had worked on contract with the C.I.A.
“I can’t talk about that...” he said --as he began talking about it.
Every few sentences, he’d begin by saying, “The Good Lord gave us brains so’s we’d have the good sense to... “
(Fill in the blank with cautionary advice about taking proper measures by purchasing expensive defensive gear.)
Finally, he tossed it back to me with a half-smile, “What other gear ya got on you?”
I reached into my various pockets and came up with a packet of rancid cashews.
Me: “These are to protect me from deadly indigenous wildlife attacks.”
His eyes got wide.
Me: “Aviary predators with scathingly brilliant tactical incursion techniques.”
Crunch: “Um--I don’t follow you.”
Me: “I can’t talk about that.” (I would be embarrassed to tell him about Edgar the Crow.)
He stared at me a few seconds. Probably he was deciding whether or not I was insane or just mocking him.
We sat in silence.
Finally, I got up and excused myself. He nodded. As I placed my hand on the door pull, I stopped, half-turned and offered my own version of cautionary advice.
“Say, Crunch--the Good Lord gave us brains so’s we’d tuck our Glock 9 in our rear pant waistband. You see, He in His infinite wisdom knows a pistol can sometimes discharge accidentally. Consequently, He hath provided a groove between our buttcheeks to prevent the bullet from injuring our corruptible flesh.”
I flashed my most friendly smile and disappeared inside.
Sure enough, I peeked through the glass as Crunch Rothwell transferred his Glock 9 to his rear waistband.
I always say, “Pay it forward. One day you save your own ass and the next somebody else’s.”