Monday, June 16, 2008

i bought tickets to the gun show

No really -- I bought a ticket to the gun show on Saturday for $6. Sure, it was out in the nether regions of Northern Virginia's suburban sprawl (Big up Dale City!). And sure, the Nazi memorabilia and racist/sexist bumper stickers were flying off the makeshift booths as quickly as the Russian-made semi-automatics and German-made pistols (Hilary's place is in the house...just not the White House! Zing!). And sure, the whole shebang may or may not have been street legal (it definitely was not). But one thing's for certain -- I bought a goddamn ticket.


You know, there are very few times I feel awkward in situations. In fact, in the case that a rare awkward moment does arise, I quite enjoy that small moment of tension, mostly because I like to observe how others react to this type of meaningless distress (you can learn a lot about people this way). But until Saturday, never in my life have I felt so out-of-place, so awkward in any environment. Ever.

That says a lot because I've been in some pretty dang awkward situations. I've cried at work (awkward!); I've been caught talking sh*t about someone who ended up being within earshot just feet behind me (really awkward!); and, of course, I once got mistook for a Eastern European streetwalker by whom I thought was a regular gypsy cab driver, which resulted in me having to roll out of the moving vehicle (super-MacGyver-style awkward!).

But speaking typing of MacGyver, while at this shady gun show being gawked at not only as one of the few females in attendance, but as one of only two females with all of her teeth in attendance (the other one being my bestie The Law, of course), the illegal gun show wasn't a total loss. I did manage to find what might be the greatest book -- even perhaps better than True to the Game -- I've ever laid my dead, empty eyes on: the U.S. Army's "Boobytraps," published in 1965.

To quote from this prolific piece of literature: "Manufactured boobytraps are dirty trick devices...Certain basic principles, as old as warfare itself, must be followed to get optimum benefit from boobytraps. Knowledge of these principles will aid the soldier, not only in placing boobytraps expertly, but in detecting and avoiding those of the enemy." Whoa.

But more than the this work of literary importance's philosophical phraseology, are the detailed and informative diagrams, including:

The tricky boobytrap under bricks:



The classic boobytrap concealed in a book:



The ever-clever boobytrap in a pipe:



And, perhaps the dirtiest trick (literally) of them all, a boobytrap in your German chocolate (just think how much of a fudgey mess that would cause!):


This information is invaluable to me, as not only am I already quite familiar with explosive devices (wow, I think I can hear the government pen scrawling down my name on a terrorist watch list now...), but I write about such devices on a near-daily basis. We modern-day folk now refer to them as IEDs (improvised explosive devices), but you can count on the fact that I will now exclusively refer to them as boobytraps in any given professional situation. That is, the next time I pose a question to, say, some under secretary of science and technology, I will phrase it as follows:
"I understand there's been quite a bit of overlap between the Department of Homeland Security's explosives program and the Department of Defense's. How can you assure us that we --the taxpayer-at-large -- aren't paying for the same counter-boobytrapping technologies twice? How are the DHS and DoD counter boobytrapping programs working together to ensure money is flowing into different but cooperative counter-boobytrapping progams to help defeat boobytrapping both for use in the United States and overseas, where boobytrapping has really proven to be a problem? Boobytrap."
My job just got exponentially more awesome. Thank you possibly probably illegal gun show!

Now, why am I convinced this gun show may have been a little underground, you ask? Because when I tried to document my experience at the gun show, one of the many men with unusually bushy facial hair threatened to lynch me: "No photos in here! That's the quickest way to get kicked out and arrested!" Oh Dale City, Virginia! It's the only place I've ever been where shooting a gun is totally fine, but shooting a camera will get your "arrested." How fitting. But luckily, the man who looked like a scruffier Dog the Bounty Hunter, didn't wrestle wrastle the camera away from me and I was able to escape unscathed with one photo, which happens to sum up the gist of the shady-gun-show experience:


Yep. What's going on in this photo is exactly what it looks like. That dude is nonchalantly carrying a rifle in his right hand and is about to pick up a handgun with his left. However, this was not the most retardulous man to attend the gun show. Nope, it got much, much more retardulous, and, well, straight up retarded even, as the 30 or so minutes we were there wore on. But that incident, which I will call "Pardon the Expression: Socks," deserves its very own blog post. In fact, this whole week is going to be themed around this gun show, including posts on what to wear to the illegal gun show and what to do in and around Dale City after to the illegal gun show, including where to buy a tight romper. Yeah, I just said that. Romper. It's going to be one wild summer! Stay tuned...

But before I put the metaphorical bullet hole through the proverbial heart of this first gun-show-themed post, here's a photo I snapped of some the typical artwork being displayed on people's car windows in the gun show's parking lot:


That is some serious freedom painted all over the rear window of some guy's pick-up. Let that sh*t ring.

28 comments:

Shannon said...

Dude, where was this in Dale City? That auditorium looked sort of familiar.

And the best thing to do in Dale City is experience the alphabetical Dales in all their glory - Ashdale, Birchdale, Cloverdale, Darbydale...I wonder if they've gotten as far as Xylophonedale in the 13 years I've been away.

Luscious Leo said...

If they got all the way to "X" it would probably be Xenophobedale ...

Marissa said...

WHOA! You people just blew my mind. I thought Dale City was just a town named Dale City. But now you're telling me it's an alphabetical conglomerate?! That is too much. I have no idea which one we were in. I thought we were in DALE CITY! Perhaps it really was some sick and twisted parallel universe where Bill O'Reilly is President and Dick Cheney is Vice President...oh...wait...

I-66 said...

It's the street names. Many of them have a dale suffix... Forrestdale, Glendale, Hillendale, Kerrydale. No Marissadale. Not yet, anyway.

And I once got caught talking shit about someone... they were walking behind me and two others as I was blabbing on, before I heard from behind "what about Sue?" only it was Sue, referring to herself in the third person. Caught red-handed, I did what anyone else would do... pretend it never happened: "Yes... what about Sue?"... and kept walking on my merrydale way.

Socrates Johnson said...

Money Making idea #26:

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BAD said...

This post was so good, I fired seven shots in the air.

Marissa said...

i-66--

I do like the sound of Marissadale. But I'm not sure I'd want that street to be located in Dale City.

SoJo (may I call you that?)--

You supply the denim. I'll supply the guns. Nature will supply the eagles. And Dale City will provide the profit. You're a genius.

Marissa said...

bad--

Only seven? You clearly need an automatic, young man!

Shannon said...

Dale City isn't technically a town, or a city. It's an absurdly large (and, yes, alphabetical) housing development within Woodbridge, created by Cecil D. Hylton and named for his wife Dale...I know this because I went to C.D. Hylton High School.

Yeah, I went to an academic institution named after a developer. And I think that tells you all you need to know about the 'Bridge.

Shannon said...

Correction - he didn't have a wife named Dale, that's just what they told us at THE HIGH SCHOOL NAMED AFTER HIM, where you think the info would be semi-accurate. Dale is simply in honor of the gorgeous rolling hills of Hoodbridge.

BAD said...

>You clearly need an >automatic, >young man!

bitch, please. I live in New York, not Makhachkala.

Marissa said...

shannon--

Your childhood sounds fantastical!

bad--

Oh, my BAD (LOL!) -- I forgot we live in a land with "laws."

maryjanejeff said...

I used to work in neighboring Lorton. Woodbridge has one very, very good quality for sure. Dixie Bones BBQ. But Rosebud is just as good and I can hop on Metro if I really want to lug BBQ home on an hour ride home. I always mean to go down to Occoquan because I like old school Main Streets but not until gas prices come down.

Marissa said...

maryjanejeff--

Hot damn, I love BBQ. I don't know what Occoquan is, however, and what are these gas prices you speak of? I don't own my own car, so I use my ZipCar membership, which pays for gas, meaning I might need to get on some baby-back ribs on the soon. Thanks for the tip!

maryjanejeff said...

Marisa, Occoquan is a small little town on the river of the same name. You take Exit 160 or one of those exits between 150 and 161, but I do remember driving by it once and seeing a couple of cool looking shop facades.

If I could go carless, I would. In my field though, you never know when you're going to have to find a new gig that isn't on the Metro. At least I take comfort in knowing I can go 6-8 weeks without visiting a gas station, sometimes longer.

I like both Dixie Bones and Rosebud. The former has seating which may give it an advantage over the Metro accessible but you pretty much have to carry it elsewhere Rosebud.

Hard Times BBQ: acceptable but there are better grub options, at least in Old Town.

maryjanejeff said...

I mean Marissa, very sorry about that. Didn't notice it until I hit post.

Anonymous said...

"Oh Dale City, Virginia! It's the only place I've ever been where shooting a gun is totally fine, but shooting a camera will get your "arrested." How fitting."
--------------
Outside of a shooting range, it's illegal to discharge a firearm just about any other place in VA (and that would include Dale City).

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