Sunday, January 11, 2009

Remember, we used to be our own country.

I had quite a wild day yesterday. I’ll admit that sometimes, as a stay at home, homeschooling mother, I lose touch with the outside world. You don’t realize it is happening, you just go on about your merry way until something snaps you back to reality. Life is not the nice little cozy, clean, orderly, well mannered place that you’ve created (OKAY, are trying to create) at home.

There are people out there who are, shall we say, different.

I spent the day at the local gun range, taking the class to get my CHL. For those of you not from around these parts, that stands for Concealed Handgun License. Yesterday was the classroom portion. I spent from 8 am (YES! 8AM on a Saturday!) to 7:30 pm in this classroom.

This is not a new facility. This facility has been smoked in since its creation and even though it is now illegal to smoke in it you can still barley breath in there. The air is heavy with the smell of 50 years of smoke. The yellowing walls are plastered with every imaginable gun related poster. It was fascinating.

But even more fascinating than the environment were the people. There were about 25 people in my class and another 10 in a separate class to renew their licenses. The races were pretty equally mixed and representative of our area. 7 or 8 black people, 9 or 10 white people, 6 or 7 Hispanics. Of the black people, there were professionals, a grandma, a couple young college students and one kid that looked like a gangbanger with his saggy pants and hoodie. I sat next to him for a while early on.

Of the white people it was about the same, a few professional looking men, Sir D and I, one other middle age couple, and 5 redneck friends. I am sorry to be prejudice, but there is no other term for these gentlemen. They were all friends and sat at a table together across for where Sir D and I were sitting. They all had camo cargo pants on, hoodies with T’s advertising ammo or beer under them, and ball caps. I couldn’t resist surreptitiously snapping a photo of one of their ball caps during a break. Can you read it?

Here is a closer view.

Yes my friends, it says ‘Killing Machine’. Turns out, this guy is a Marine Reservist. And this was his hat. And, after listening to his comments with his buddies and in the class, it is also his life’s motto. Soon this man will be legally carrying a firearm. I pity the bad guys this guy encounters. Also, see the Pepsi bottle behind the hat? At one time it did indeed contain Pepsi. It now contains the chewing tobacco this gentleman chewed and spit out into this container during the class. Right across from me. I got to watch it drip down the inside of that clear Pepsi container for the better part of 10 hours.

I must say here that while I did learn some very important things concerning the legality and safety issues regarding carrying a concealed weapon, I think I learned more about human nature.

I would not classify myself as a prejudice person, but we all make immediate judgments on a person upon our first contact with them. For instance, there was a very nice Lexus in the parking lot. I assumed it belonged to one of the white, well dressed businessmen. It did not. It in fact, belonged to one of the middle aged black men wearing casual clothes that appeared to me to be of the Wal-mart variety (I should know).

The sweet little old grandma? She was downright frightening. Part of me hopes she does not pass. She’s ready to shoot anyone who looks at her cross-eyed. The pudgy Hispanic guy, and the non descript 60 year old white haired man? They were the best shots in the place. Dead center, every time!

But this one is the best. I love this part. On the written test, of 50 questions that you must pass after the course (along with a shooting test) only two people got a 100 percent. Know who they were? Not the Marine. Not the redneck hunter guys. Not even the best shots in the class.

It was me, and the gangbanger with his saggy pants and hoodie. Who by the way, turned out to be a very well mannered college student.

Also, I worked on my crocheting all through the class. Got a lot done too. I wonder how many times the instructor has seen a slightly pudgy, white, homeschooling suburban mom show up for her CHL, crochet her way through the class, then ace it with a 100 percent.

We’re just blowing stereotypes out of the water down her in TX. But don’t tick us off, apparently a lot of us are armed.

Oh, and the 5 redneck guys? Well, unfortunately, they were exactly as they seemed. 5 Rednecks; chewing, spitting, cussing and now legally packing heat.

5 Killing Machines, released onto the streets of Texas. It’s starting to feel a little like Tombstone in these parts.


Michaela said...

I loved this post. I am making my husband read it when he gets home. He will enjoy it too. We are fellow heat packing Texans. Welcome to the world of self-protection.

Tonya said...

All ya'll Texans down there are scary. Funny how my family fits in there perfectly fine and I didn't think THEY were scary! Maybe I should have ...

Oh, and why are you getting the CHL? I understood you got this for hubby, but you're going to carry too?

Tonya said...

I loved hearing this last night and laughed again reading it today. I too let the hubby read it. YAY for 100% You rock!!

Ronette said...

Loved the story, Tricia! Be careful down there! :-)

Halfmoon Girl said...

When will so called "tough guys" learn that the real men are the ones that can do cool, tough, dangerous stuff, but are quiet about it? Or could be bad dudes, but chose not to be, cause it's just wrong? Or don't spit tobacco goop into a Pepsi bottle in class? They want tough? You gave showed it- a homeschooling mom of 4 is as tough as they come, in my opinion!

rainydaymichele said...

Great post, Tricia! LOL. I will have to show it to my dh. He will get a kick out of it. Go, get 'em you homeschooling mom, you!