I’m in Hamburg this week with Sparky and I have soo much to talk about. Unfortunately it is all about his office. As he told his co-workers about this blog, I am censored from writing about it. I’m so sad because there is so much I could dish on. It’s killing me, really.
On the upside, I am currently ensconced in a corner of the office with Internet access, the new Killers and Panic! At the Disco. PATD has the best song titles.
Since the last post was about my dad, I figured I’d give him one more shot.
I’ve mentioned it before: My dad likes to shoot guns. He only kills paper and then only what he can eat. No target goes to waste. When I met Sparky, he knew about guns but was pretty much against them. He saw no reason that anyone should own guns. He was a peaceful eurofag, the polar opposite of my dad. Then my dad took him shooting.
I have never seen Sparky happier than when he’s shooting a big caliber gun. The funny thing was how different all our (Jeffy, Sparky and I) shooting styles are. My dad is a hardcore gun user. He can’t even see all the way down his lane, yet he can do the happy face thing. He’s awesome. He’s not someone to piss off when holding a gun.
My dad has a friend, Marty, who shoots with him. These are two guys you want in your corner when Armageddon hits. These men are the toughest men I know. They both have colorful pasts. That they’re both alive is really due to their resourcefulness, tough-as-nails steel core and luck. They go on weekend retreats where they do nothing but eat red meat and shoot. Apparently they don’t bathe either. Another reason it’s a “Men Only” weekend.
At one point, Marty lived next door to my dad. They had wanted to put in a type of security system where each would have a panic button installed that when pushed, would ring at the other’s place. Once pushed, the owner of the respective house should fall to the floor, as the other would come over shooting. Anything over three feet would be blown away.
Marty and my dad really liked this idea. Their wives, however, nixed this idea. Something about not wanting their homes shot up and children and cats.
My step-mom does not shoot. She refuses to touch a gun. Truthfully, that’s okay for the rest of us. One more person at the gun range would be too much. We’re usually fighting over who gets to shoot the fun ones.
We all have our favorites. Mine is a certain sniper rifle that when taken apart can fit in my handbag. It appeals to my spy fantasy. I can use it and pack it up in less than a minute. It has a 100 round hex clip for those days I need just a bit longer. After the rifle, I prefer a 9mm Beretta. I can shoot it without closing my eyes. It’s just a little too big, but not so much it hurts. I can reload in seconds. After a good hour session with the Beretta, I walk out of the range sore and exhausted, yet surprisingly energized. And there is nothing like the smell of gunpowder and oil on fingertips. (Tip: Do not wear v-necks, scoop necks or anything remotely low cut to the range. Ejected shells leave nasty burn marks and the rules state that no one is allowed to complain of pain in the range. Jeffy bloodied the skin between his thumb and finger when it got in the way of the hammer. He wasn’t even allowed to close his eyes in pain. So burns from shells falling into cleavage are not acceptable.)
I have no idea what type of gun Jeff shoots. When we go to the range, there is usually so much competition as to who is the better shot (I am), I don’t notice what he’s shooting. I DO know he likes them big and loud with a bigger butt. Or rather, grip. You need a bigger grip with bigger calibers. He seems to have learned his technique from those gangbanger movies. He’s always shooting fast and sideways. Hot-doggin is another term for Jeff’s style. My dad is always yelling at him to shoot straight and have respect for the gun, but boys will be boys. And Jeff gets bored fast. As soon as the clip is empty, he moves on to whichever gun is already loaded and is ready to go. See, as much as Jeff loves to shoot, he hates the finger work that is necessary to keep a gun loaded. He says it hurts his thumbs to reload a tight clip. (He listens to rap.)
Sparky, on the other hand, loves the finger work. He’s got it down to a science. He’s almost as good as I am, but my hands are smaller. I can manipulate lead more easily.
Sparky prefers the .44 mag. He’s something of a size queen. He always chooses the biggest and the loudest. Truthfully, he’s the only one strong enough with enough endurance to shoot a gun of that size. Just watching him go to town, emptying the clip, reloading and emptying the clip again leaves me breathless. Sparky likes to use guns others have used first. He likes them warm to the touch. He seems to think that previous use distributes the gun oil evenly. He suggests that this type of warm-up lubricates the barrel, allowing for a faster, more accurate bullet. One day of shooting is enough to tide him over for weeks. He keeps reliving the experience, talking about it, smiling about it. And it’s no wonder. He probably shoots more lead than the rest of us combined.
Come Christmas, Sparky and I will be at Jackson Arms with my dad and Jeffy. Jeffy and I will have our annual “I’m better than you” contest which I will win and then we’ll go out for beers and burgers. And I cannot wait.