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Monday, February 28, 2005

drinkin' guns and shootin' beers

My friend diver Dave and myself and another guy I worked with in the diving biz used to go out and shoot off some heavy duty weapons whenever we had a chance. Of course this meant gettin' drunk on beer and hauling a frikkin' trunkload of guns and ammo for us 3 to just kick back and unload into the woods. Kind of expensive fun, ammo for automatics and shotguns isn't cheap by any means and you can go thru a box of 50 rounds in a few minutes pretty easy with the right weapons. Of course, it just ain't fun unless you unload shitloads of ammo.

One day we had come across this area in the woods down in a swampy area near Houma, La. not far from where all lived. It was an impromptu dump in the woods, in the middle of bumfuk nowhere and had only one way in and out. You know the kind of place, old mattresses, washing machines, piles of rotted furniture and even had a few junked cars all sitting in the middle of this huge clearing way off the main roads. A country repository for the crap people have no idea what to do with except for using it to decorate the woods and forests. This ended up being our favorite spot for drinkin' and shootin'.

Did I say we had weapons? Let's see, the collection we 3 could muster was pretty decent, we had a couple of 12ga shotguns, one pump the other double-barreled, a couple of automatic handguns, one a .45 and the other a .9mm, two hunting rifles bolt-action with scopes, an old lever action Winchester and a couple of homemade guns, one was a zip-pen gun that fired .22 shorts and the other was a home made rebarreled flare gun that fired 12ga. shotgun shells with a barrel only as long as the shell itself, yeah, this badboy was a 12gauge handgun folks. A one shot streetsweeper that was quick and easy to reload. Oh, and don't forget the ammo, we had boxes full everytime we went and the beers popped almost as frequently as the guns.

We had a nice bright sunny afternoon one day and decided to go for some fun, we loaded all the gear up and hit the shops for ammo and beer and hit the dump. The other guy in the group, I can't recall his name so i'll call him Bobbie got this bright idea of making cars go BOOM like in the movies. He had read somewhere that they often used gasoline straight up as an explosive for the huge fiery ball of flame and black smoke effects you see in the movies. He figured that if we put a plastic milk jug of gasoline inside a junk car we could scope shoot it from a distance and the fuel would vaporize and explode like a mo'fo. Sounded great but just shooting it might not ignite it so we set up a small candle inside the car near the gas jug propped up inside and lit it.

Have you ever wondered just how much energy is stored up in a gallon of gasoline? Well, let me tell you, it's a fukkin' LOT, just think how many miles your car can go pushing all that steel and yourself along the highway against wind resistance at high speeds and with just one gallon, you sort of get a handle on how much raw power is inside that innocent looking jug full of gasoline. Of course, until you see it in close up real live action those thoughts just don't occur to you. So here's the scenario, we have one junker car, a gallon of gas, a candle and a high-powered hunting rifle (can't recall the caliber) and 3 drunk dumbasses in the middle of nowhere. We set all the stuff up and move back a ways from the "scene" and Dave takes aim with the scope while leaning against an antique washing machine.

Dave pulls the trigger and sets up a cataclysmic eruption of raw fuel and rifle energy that actually lifts the entire vehicle off the ground and sends flying glass and auto parts and debris of every description flying at warp speed in all directions surrounding the violent explosion. The fireball that ensued was incredible, rising a hundred feet into the air just like what you see in the movies and the searing heat could be felt from, uhmm did I say we moved back a ways? Well we could have been twice as far away and it would have still been too damn close. My hair and eyebrows were singed and the blast nearly knocked me off my feet, my ears were ringing for days afterward and we laughed so hard at what we had done that my sides ached from the straining muscles for days afterwards.

Did we ever do it again? Hell yes we did, we're guys dammit and blowin' shit up is what we do, and damn if it ain't just sheer outta' this world fun. So next time you're havin' a cold beer and think about guns, be careful, ya' might just get your hair singed.