THIS IS A REAL TRUE STORY, rather than a Hollywood true story. You know, the ones that say “Based on a true story” or “This story is based on actual events.” And 90% of the story is complete fabrication. Well, this here’s an honest-to-god real true story! Back on January 16, 2014, the Daily Kos ran a brief piece on their Facebook page:
“In 1996, Australia experienced a mass shooting which resulted in 35 dead and more than 20 injured. They quickly enacted new guns laws at the national level in response to the tragedy.
Since that time, there has not been a single mass shooting in Australia, and the gun death rate has been reduced from 2.6 per 100,000 population to less than 1 per 100,000 population. The US gun death rate, by comparison is more than 10 per 100,000 population.”
A Janet Linde was the first reader to post a response. A person after my own heart, she said (appropriately condescending and mildly sarcastic):
“Yeah, well, we can’t do that here. You know, the Framers and all that blah, blah, blah. We need our guns to fight tyranny, and while we’re at it, to protect against guys that throw popcorn.”
She had 64 replies to that remark when I came across the site and the thread. Without reading the other replies, I posted this reply to her comment:
“I am 62 years old. I was a bartender and a bouncer for years and I worked some really nice places and some real pits. I have had a gun pointed at me six times in my life, twice in the really nice places.
Each time by a stranger, so I was never truly aware at the moment exactly how serious each gunman was—how close to death I might have been.
Fortunately, in all six instances, I had a large box of popcorn with me and was therefore able to stand my ground and defend myself.
What have I learned from these close calls with death? Never have them put butter on your popcorn—it’s too hard to hold onto when you have to grab and throw in a tight situation . . .”
It took Ms. Linde a few minutes to reply to my claim:
“That’s hilarious! Glad to hear you were able to fend off these gunmen SIX TIMES! Must have been some really mean popcorn.”
As I was otherwise occupied, it took me almost two hours to get back to the thread. I read Janet’s remark and responded:
“No, Janet. Just good old American popcorn. I have found that if you prepare your own at home, a dusting of cayenne pepper and parmesan cheese makes it even more effective. (And tastier, too.)”
For those of you who think that my initial response is all cock and bull, I confess that it is not completely 100% true:
• I had a gun pulled on me four times. 1
• I had popcorn to defend myself once. 2
• I had to talk my way out of the other three. 3
Cartoon by Bill Day.
1 Twice the guy pointed his gun at my belly, once the guy suavely opened his Armani sports jacket and showed me the Smith & Wesson .38 snub-nose in a shoulder-holster. That was much scarier than having the gun in my guts because this was a made guy.
2 I threw it in his face and ran.
3 I was Dirty Harry-like cool until the situation was over. I mean, I never flinched, batted an eyelash, or stammered a word. When it was over and I was safe in my apartment, I got drunk really fast. And fortunately, I’m much better at embellishing a story than at wielding popcorn defensively, otherwise, I might not be here to tell you this real true story . . .