“You wouldn’t know what you would do if…”

Oh, that fun old phrase. I have heard it many times over the years.

Yes, I have been accused of being a know it all. I do not know it all, but given my background and essentially having five parents form a variety of backgrounds I have had a wonderful sampling of experiences. Some experiences have been great, others not so much.

For today’s tale from Griz involves that phrase used in the title of the post. I think part of it was mentioned in the post about Trigger Warning and PTSD.

“You wouldn’t know what you would do if someone shoved a gun in your face.”

That one is quite presumptuous. Many of us roaming around are veterans. The less fortunate have been combat vets and had to deal with this situation more times than you would want to know. [Free tip of the day form a vet to a civilian: Never, and I mean NEVER ask a vet if they have killed anyone. Little kids get a pass, but will likely get a kind request to never ask that question in the future.]

In my case, I am quite fortunate. I am a combat era vet, but not a combat vet. A combat vet is pretty obvious, they saw action. A combat era vet served while there was combat action, but they were not part of it. I was discharged as Gulf I was spinning up and due to a service connected injury so I was spared what my brothers and sisters in arms endured.

Now The first time that I had a pistol thrust in my face, my reaction was a bit different than the next time it happened. I had just turned the ripe age of 15. Now my step dad had this idea to no longer be a renter, be a home owner. Well the home, was full sized conventional school bus. The joke at the time was that my room would be a trailer, and when I turned 18, he would just pull the pin and I was to hope that we were parked at the time.

If you have ever been in an older bus, you may know how the door gets opened. There is a handle reach from the driver’s seat with a long rod that connects to the door. When it is pulled closed, it snaps over a small hump to be a lock. Now, if you want to open the door from the outside, you do a CPR style thrust to the screws where the rod attaches to the door. Sometimes it may take a few thrusts to get that handle to pop over.

I was about to move to Maryland with my Dad and step mother so I was having some farewell gatherings and was staying out late as it was July with great weather. When I got “home” that night, I was struggling with the lock. Then all of a sudden I got it. the door popped. Only it wasn’t me that opened the door it was my step-father. All I was was the muzzle of his Colt 1911 staring right in the middle of my face. Yes folks, it was pretty much the way that you see it depicted in the movies. That barrel sure looks HUGE! The teachings of my youth kicked in. Freeze, keep hands in view, and be calm. It only took a moment for me to be recognized and allowed in.

Once you face the one eyed stare and lived to tell the tale, it is easier the next time. For this I have to fast forward to 1989 when I was a whole 22 years old and in uniform. Like many of the enlisted men at Fort Benning (As it was called then) I went to the enlisted club on Main Post to drink and enjoy the music. At that time that music was accompanied by scantily clad young ladies (well then they were my age and a little older. As I look back, YOUNG, but legal ladies) and they had less on as the music continued. I have always carried the bouncer mentality and tended to befriend the DJs and dancers always happy to watch over them.

On this particular evening the DJ and his girlfriend had a bit of a tiff. She stormed out and the DJ was stuck in the booth. I had given her a couple of moments, then followed to check on her. After looking for a few minutes I saw her in the passenger seat of a pickup. I walked over and opened the door and was starting to ask her if she was okay. I think the conversation started off like “Are y… [sound of a round being chambered into a .45]” Only this time, I did not freeze in place, like I was taught to do. Now I holding onto more refreshed instructions and reactions. I simply rapidly reached over jammed the webbing between my thumb and forefinger between the hammer and the slide, then closed my grip over the weapon, disarming the prick who dared draw on me. Yes, had he had the balls to pull the trigger I would have had a hell of a blood blister. If he had balls AND reflexes, I could have been dead. Having “his” pistol in my possession, I finished my sentence. “Are you okay?” she said she was so I closed the discussion with throwing the pistol back at fucktard, telling him that if he ever came near me I would kill him without question. At that, he started the truck and flew out of there like his ass was on fire.

Sad thing for him was that a pen and notepad is part of your uniform. That make it cake to grab the license plate as he fled. Another thing that did not make his night is that the MPs are always roaming around the enlisted/NCO clubs since we tend to get drunk and rowdy. It you are one of my more regular readers, you have already connected the dots. The MPs rolled in and I had a chat with them about my all to recent encounter. I decided that I had had enough fun for the evening so I am a couple buddies rolled to his off post trailer. When we got their we got a call from the MPs. PFC (maybe he was a sergeant) Titus has a suspect that they needed me to come to identify. Okay, cool, I am on my way. I stroll in, PFC Titus leads me to a window and low and behold there is a very dejected and upset fuckwad and as a bonus a co-fuckwad.

It turns out that the fuckwad twins were medical holdovers like myself. Just waiting for their discharge orders to go home. Here’s the difference, I was just doing some drinking and doing my duty during duty hours. These guys were caught, on post, drunk, DUI, and in possession of not just loaded firearms, but a bunch of stolen parachute gear and other military property that they were not supposed to have.

If you are familiar with the military justice system, it is fairly different than the civilian system. We are property and get treated differently. They very likely turned their almost out status into convicted felons serving time doing hard labor (I was told that at Fort Benning, hard labor mean pretty much splitting wood form sun up to sun down with meal breaks. Maybe it is true, maybe it isn’t. I would like to hear form some with a definitive answer to know.) then when their sentences were over, they would be given dishonorable discharges before they could head for home with their tails tucked between their legs.

To this day I have not had to stare down another muzzle unless it was one that I owned and was cleaning or inspecting.

I did once face a drunk man with two knives. That was a fun New Year’s Eve. Long story short, I was bouncing for a roommate at her bar. Dude was too drunk and got belligerent so she tossed him. He did not think that a woman had the right to stop a man from drinking. Now, she COULD have dealt with him, but I stepped in (sorry ladies… at least now I wait to see if you want me to step in, or if YOU want the fun of dealing with these assholes.) and he pulled the two kitchen knives. I did an outside crescent kick taking one knife from him while shaving a layer of two from my combat boot. That pissed me off later as I had hours of spit shining on those boots. Estúpido borracho retreats to his car and it starting it up. I on the other hand and now wound up tight. I spotted a section of pipe and proceeded to go to town on tonto borracho’s car. That window was TOAST and he tore off out of the parking lot, but not before hit me with his car. I saw the hit coming and jumped up to reduce the impact. I bound off the windshield and rolled off the side. Jackalope was playing pinball from car to car for who know how many blocks before the cops got him. I spent the stoke of midnight that new year in the ER at Bethesda Naval Medical Center getting glass picked from my scalp and making sure that nothing else was damaged.

So yeah, for many of life’s adventures I do happen to fucking well know how I would react. Next time you are tempted to ask a stupid question, rethink about it. Think about the odds and probabilities that you will not like the answer or it may make you look the fool.

Tales from Griz

Gather round lil chillin’s and let GrrrPa Griz tell you a tale.

Perhaps it is a dream, or perhaps it is just a tale of caution, I will let you decide. One never knows how statutes of limitations may or may not apply.

A long long time ago and state, far away, a man went out to the pub and had too much to drink. He was homeless and also without a car. Though in that state of inebriation the lack of a car was best. One of the other folks in the pub was passing within a couple of miles where the man was camping so he gave the man a lift.

A couple of miles to stagger in the middle of the night… When he came across a full size steamroller for a road project. The drums were about six feet tall a full lane wide. Drunken curiosity got the better of him. He mounted the steamroller. Well, let’s let it be known that they were not well protected form unauthorized use, it was after all a different time. Just a key in the ignition and all inhibitions (and common sense) were long gone. She fired right up.

The transmission was simple, a lever on the column; forward, neutral, and reverse. She went forward nice and easy. However, the drums were empty so they were LOUD. Brum-de-clang-bang! down the road he went, slow but easy.

Now being the middle of the night far off form street lights, it was easy to see when a car was coming. The glow would come up on the horizon and in the treetops. Well, that was the signal! Toss her in neutral and jump down then into the bushes… after all it could be the county police, or state park police making their rounds. Who wants to get caught for a DUI on a stollen steam roller?

Okay, the coast was clear, just a car. This happened several times.

One of the jaunts off of the steamroller the guy got a shock going over the fence. no really, it was an electric fence! That made it a little more challenging getting back to the idling steamroller. After some attempts at thought the path to clear the fence was worked out.

Back in the saddle, the steamroller continued brum-de-clang-banging down the road. That was, until it came to the top of a moderate hill that from experience driving this road he knew was a somewhat winding road as well. Not doing to try taking the roller down, was there even a brake? who knows/remembers?

That steamroller was left idling at the top of the hill. Time to wander down the hill, just about half way back to camp.

At some point our drink-dumb wandering did another stupid thing. He lay down on the double yellow lines to take a quick cat-nap. Caring not if one of the many cars known to fly up and down this hill were to come along.

Lucky for the tard muffin, a driver came along and checked on him and offered him a ride to where the road came to a T. To the point where, if you know where to look, there was a path to a little camp with two tents housing all of the possessions that he owned.

By the miracles of the tress and nature surrounding this foolish and drunken man, he made it back to camp safely. A question lingered in his mind. Why did the good Samaritan not mention the steam roller that he HAD to pass at the top of the hill? More than likely, it was the stink of the alcohol that connected the dots.

Sometimes, you have to be thankful (extremely thankful) that you survived the utterly stupid things that you may do in your youth.