Eats, Shoots And Leaves

A panda walks into a restaurant, sits down and orders a sandwich. After he finishes eating the sandwich, the panda pulls out a gun and shoots the waiter, and then stands up to go. “Hey!” shouts the manager. “Where are you going? You just shot my waiter and you didn’t pay for your sandwich!”

The panda yells back at the manager, “Hey man, I am a PANDA! Look it up!”

The manager opens his dictionary and sees the following definition for panda: “A tree-dwelling marsupial of Asian origin, characterised by distinct black and white colouring. Eats shoots and leaves.”

OK, so that really has nothing to do with this post, save that it’s a great grammar-nerd joke, and that on Friday I did eat, shoot and leave. (And it gives me two panda-related posts in three days, which is probably a first for the blog.)

A couple of weeks ago, my good friends Caleb and Lauren McPherson were helping me come up with an idea for an awesome birthday celebration. Ultimately, they succeeded nicely, but one of the ideas Caleb had got tabled for a couple of weeks due to waiting for a place to do it.

You see, Caleb had discovered that I had never actually fired a real gun, and decided that should be remedied. And so, on Friday, it was, rather nicely.

We headed over to Athens that morning; they have some friends that live … well, as one of them put it, “find the middle of nowhere, and go another three miles from there, and you’ll find it.” We started the day at the Farmers Market, which I mention only because I include some pictures from there in the gallery below because they were pretty.

If I recall correctly, I fired a total of five different weapons. While I did learn some basics (largely safety), I’m still too unsavvy to try to explain everything. We went from a 9mm pistol on the small side (which was one of my favorites), to the Soviet “Mosin” on the large. There was a rifle with a nice scope that made absolutely no difference in my ability to hit things. (Which varied by weapon. I was able to hit a foot-wide target from a decent distance with one; with another, I took down a small tree well behind the target area. Whoops.)

My favorite, both to fire and for being able to say that I have fired it, was the Kalashnikov. Even as a complete tyro, the fact that I was firing an AK-47 was just rather cool. After emptying a magazine, I got them to let me try it again with the stock collapsed so I could fire it from the hip. My accuracy was no good, but, really, at that point, who cares? Plus, now that, at different times, I’ve fired a Kalashnikov and smoked a Cuban cigar, I have a decent resumé in case, for any reason, I ever need to become a communist revolutionary. Which, really, if those are any indicator, wouldn’t be that bad.

Viva la revolucion!