3.31.2006

Halcyon days of the Kalashnikov


While I was in graduate school for my MA in Janitorial Science (a.k.a. creative writing), I worked summers up in Pingree Park, which is located just to the north of Rocky Mountain National Park. It was a wonderful, carefree time. I didn’t get much writing done, but I did get mountain hard.

What really made the summers exceptional were the human beings that chose to isolate themselves in the mountains. Everyone had their reasons – some were on the run from Johnny Law, others were looking to get back to nature, and some of us were just desperate for a job that paid in room and board.

One of the bosses of my trail crew was a staunch libertarian. He would spend his off hours tinkering with assault rifles and hosting movie nights (the film with women in bikinis shooting machine guns was always a hit).

Anyhow, while I’m a fan and friend to libertarians everywhere, the fringes of the movement always seemed more amusing than serious. And so amusement was the tenor of our road trip when a friend and I made the trek to town to a legal gun shop, laid down our summer’s hard earned cash and bought a Romanian AK-47, a few 30 round clips and several hundred rounds of ammunition.

Was there a point or purpose to owning an eastern-bloc assault rifle?

Absolutely not.

But, like the time I did the dyed hair thing, the experience was almost the point in itself. Given your finite life, is this something you’d care to add to your life’s resume? Some folks say no. Others say yes.

We used the rifle for photo shoots and set dressing for home movies, and generally did everything with it but actually shoot it. I learned to field strip and clean the weapon (never know when that might come in handy), and always behaved like a responsible gun owner.*

Fast forward several years. Last week I was driving back home over the mountains and the front tire on the Subaru blew out. I pulled over quickly but not before the tire had shredded. When I got home I discovered that in order to lessen transmission wear on an all-wheel drive vehicle, you need tires with identical wear. Unable to find a tire with the wear we needed, H and I elected to buy four new tires, deciding that $400 for tires was cheaper than new transmission in a couple years.

Sadly, despite being a highly paid gaming industry professional, even that $400 was a bit out of my range. And in one of those strange moments of synchronicity, a relative asked to buy the rifle.

And so it goes. I can no longer lay claim to being the owner of an assault rifle.

But I can say that I was once so poor that I had to sell an AK-47 to afford tires, and that’s a pretty fun story.

Besides, in the analysis of the tires vs. rifle equation, the sad truth is that I’m the sort of guy who would rather flee than fight, no matter what friends say. ;)


*Some things you just don't screw around with. Ever.

14 Comments:

At 12:09 PM, Blogger saurus said...

you sold the AK?!?!?!

damnit. talk to me before you do these things. I'd have paid 400 for it.

 
At 12:12 PM, Blogger saurus said...

wait a second. i just reread this. is this relative in wyoming? bloody hell, it is the compound up there. I'm going to have to one-up my gunbuying now.

 
At 12:19 PM, Blogger Grimbones said...

Yup. Wyoming. So technically we can still get at it when the Russians invade. ;)

 
At 2:06 PM, Blogger matt said...

Wyoming? We named the /dog/ Wyoming!

(I didn't figure it would be much use to him, not having thumbs and all..)

 
At 3:10 PM, Blogger SnakeOil Sage said...

At least you'll be ready to flee to the mountains when the Russians invade, like in that documentary, "Red Dawn."

But if Chuck Norris was president, he'd just roundhouse kick all those paratropper planes back to Cuba.

CHUCK FOR PREZ SUCKAS!

 
At 3:38 PM, Blogger Silverfyre said...

Awww, man, an AK-47? And you had to sell it? Ouch...Such nice assault rifles. Nothing beats an AK, save an AR-15. But, that's just personal preference.

Get yourself a nice, cheap 22 long rifle. Great for blasting paper targets or invading Russians.

 
At 4:27 PM, Blogger Mother1219 said...

"the sad truth is that I’m the sort of guy who would rather flee than fight, no matter what friends say. ;)"

There's a group of fleeing frat boys in an Indianapolis Mall who might disagree with that!

 
At 4:47 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Did you ask permission from the REAL owner? I gotta say, I'm sorry to see her go...
technobi2000

 
At 6:53 PM, Anonymous Christine said...

Didn't I read some editorial you wrote concerning the dangers of knives a few years back?

And you own(ed) an AK-47?!?!

Hypocrite. ;)

--Christine

 
At 9:39 PM, Blogger SnakeOil Sage said...

Hell, I'd go for a Kalashnikov. You can stuff 'em full of sand and run 'em over and they still fire. Plus they've got like, six times the punching power of those wussy M-16's.

Which is the difference between putting down a bad guy and gently taping his shoulder at 300 years.

 
At 1:11 PM, Blogger Grimbones said...

Hey! Good to see you C. How are things?

Besides, like the guy says, life is too short not to be a hypocrite. ;)

//H

 
At 1:12 PM, Blogger Grimbones said...

Technobi:

Your cut is coming by the end of the month, so call off your leg-breakers. ;)

 
At 1:15 PM, Blogger Grimbones said...

“There's a group of fleeing frat boys in an Indianapolis Mall who might disagree with that.”

Yeah, I’m still embarrassed about that. Way to make a first impression with Ed and Jeff. I was just so stoked on your book … or at least that’s my excuse. I need a sign that reads “Unpredictable when Frightened.” :(

Heh. Maybe I'll make that a t-shirt for GenCon.

 
At 1:31 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I heard a rumor your guys tried to shoot down a dead tree?

 

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