“Bear spray DOES NOT work like bug spray” – IOTW Report

“Bear spray DOES NOT work like bug spray”


This made me think about really dumb things I’ve seen people say or do over the years. You know, the ones that are just a head and shoulders above the usual.

While I’m quite sure every profession has their own share of stupidity, years of working in retail management left me convinced that a huge number of people have no common sense whatsoever, and as most of us know, common sense is often inversely related to IQ. And education!

Here is perhaps my all time favorite unbelievably dumb story. You’re going to think I’m making this up, and it was an attempt at a joke, or someone trying to aggravate me. I promise you, it wasn’t. more

36 Comments on “Bear spray DOES NOT work like bug spray”

  1. I walked into the store and told the salesman that the new shoes he sold me were really painful to wear. He said I had them on the wrong feet. I said these are the only feet I have, dummy.

  2. About 20 yrs ago I worked in a local sporting goods store in the gun dept. We sold everything from handguns, rifles, and shotguns (some of which were VERY high-end).
    The old 80/20 rule is no joke. 20% of customers were either nasty SOBs or AOC-grade brainiacs. Some I felt guilty about letting them go out of the store with their purchase after actually trying to talk them out of buying a gun. Some people are too stupid to own power tools, let alone a gun
    Moral: stupid people are everywhere and some of them own guns.

  3. Dumbest thing I ever saw at any job. Working on a fishing boat docked at the pier. At the end of the pier is a fish processing plant. At the other end of the pier was a class of scuba divers.

    For days and days I would ask them why the fudge they were swimming next to fishing boats and a processing plant. No big deal I was told.

    Go look it up. 2003 Avila beach shark attack. I did not see it directly because I was done for the day. But DAMN. I saw that woman before the attack. One of the ones who assured me it was safe.

    You know, cuz the guy who works at the pier everyday has no clue whats in the water.

    Still bugs me to this day.

  4. You never live that ish’ down, Cynic. Dude is forever know as pencil dick because his wang is so full of lead.

    2nd stupidest thing and one I saw from start to finish involves Cartman. I went down to Tucson to pick up a 32 Chevy. Came all the back up the hill towing it.

    Get to Bones’s yard, swing it around and park it where Cartman was directing me. “You sure you want this here?”


    So I did…and then I adjusted my rear view mirror. Cartman went to the trailer hitch and fought with the cotter pin. I adjusted my mirror a bit more so I could see him clearly.

    Cartman WRAPS THE CHAIN around his wrist and………yanks out the pin.

    Whole trailer with the 32 still on it starts rolling back down a slight incline. Cartman is jerked off his feet goes flying through the air and lands in a cloud of dust and spiky desert plants.

    I’m laughing so hard I thought I was going to puke. I see him bouncing away….and then 2 seconds later I’m out the car door and chasing after him, the trailer and the 32. Caught up to them right before the fence. Thank God everyone has 5 acres.

    I couldn’t stop laughing and Cartman couldn’t stop swearing at me. “YOU BLACK ASSHOE!!!!! F*CKING JEW!!!! I HATE YOU KYLE!!!” Etc..

    Made sure the trailer wasn’t going anywhere then I left with aching sides, snot running down my nose, the works. I pull out as Bones is pulling in. “What happened!?!?!” He asked cuz’ he could see Cartman and the trailer down by the fence.

    I couldn’t respond, just pointed and laughed.

    Dang that was funny funny funny. Yeah, Cartman got his pants and shirt and fat belly all torn up. Funny as hell as I watched it in the rear view.

  5. One of the dumber things I saw was when my squad got called to a department store garden center for an accidental poisoning. Got there and there was this big gal sitting on the floor in mild respiratory distress with a opwn box of a garden pesticide next to her. Asked her what happened and she said she had inhaled some of the pesticide. We had a lieutenant there as a responder and he took the box, squatting next to her to use this impossibly big radiophone to contact Medical Control (pre-cellphone), while my driver prepped the cot and I got the airway bag open to give some o2. More to keep her calm than anything else, I asked her how it happened. She said “I wanted to see what it smelled like, so I did this” AND SNATCHED THE BOX BACK FROM THE LOOIE AND TOOK ANOTHER DEEP HUFF.

    …I was probably a bit less that courteous removing it from her, and now I had to wash that crap off her face and suction her nostrils before I could mask her and package her, but, WOW that was dumb.

    We rolled her out and secured the cot in the unit and were getting ready to roll when they radioed us for a SECOND run AT THE SAME STORE. It was New Box Cutter Night for the Produce employees, and we always got a few slashes out of that. But my patient was complaining about being light headed and the looie was just pulling off, so I told ’em to tone out a second squad as I was enroute to the hospital.

    I waved at the lieutenant as I went by, but he wouldn’t be alone for long, the house was only 5 minutes away.

    That store was great for stuff like that, the box cutter thing was always a big night as was bandanna night when they unboxed and got tarantula bites from surprised hairy spiders, but that’s a different story for another day…

  6. Burr, still broke
    MAY 24, 2022 AT 5:41 PM

    As for stuff like your toe up Cartman, me and my buddy Jack once went to a parking lot at a dam with my minibike and his skateboard, with thd intent that he tie a rope to my minibike and I tow him around the parking lot (we were, like, 14).

    All went well until I decided to leave the main parking lot and go up a hill to the dam.

    Which would have been fine if it wasn’t for all the loose gravel in the apron of the parking lot.

    Turns out skateboards get stuck in loose gravel.

    And gravel gets stuck in Jack’s face after he faceplants at 15 mph.

    …we were good for stuff like this, like the time we played Fire Soccer with a wad of flaming newspaper and gasoline and Jack poured gas on the smoldering paper ball only to find out there was still flame in it, but that too is a different story for another day…

  7. Cartman is still alive. Astoundingly. As is Kenny. But we all sort of expect Kenny to get broken or knocked out and pop right back up like nothing happened. Cartman isn’t as stupid as your Warner Brothers cartoon lady huffing pesticide.

    He’s…well. He’s Cartman. Insults everybody, thinks he’s better than everyone and is proven hilariously wrong over and over and over… He’s the guy who sleeps under my truck in the barn during the summer. 4 loco cans and cigarettes everywhere…

    Saw him square up with a monkey once. Just picture Cartman with a pissed off monkey on his head. “HEY! GET OFFA’ ME OR I’LL KICK YOU SQUARE IN THE NUTZ!!” And it ended just like how you’d picture it.

    Cartman got his ass kicked by a helper monkey.

    Hours of entertainment with that guy. He’s just loud and crude. But you wanna’ know what the best part is? He looks EXACTLY like the fat kid with freckles from that ‘Sandlot’ movie.

  8. Burr, Kyle who thinks he’s Stan
    MAY 24, 2022 AT 7:35 PM

    …oddly, my former buddy Jack was a freckly ginger like that, but skinnier. He was my best freind growing up till he broke into my house and stole my big brothers strongbox from his room. Turned out he bugled a LOT of houses, then tried to sell ME to the cops for his gun robberies (didn’t work), and then wrote me a letter from jail about how it was the drugs.

    I was an 18 yo not Christian at that point, so not a lot of forgiveness.

    I saw him one other time, at the plant. He was passing through as a temp. He looked exactly like he did 20 odd years previously and I guess my fat self looked enough like my then skinny self to be recognized by him, so we said ‘hi’, and that was pretty much it, whatever had been between us back in the day was very dead and we both instantly knew it.

    He never came back, and I never saw him again.

  9. Piffle. Cartman robbed a dead vet. Dude was all old and Cartman was his partial live in care giver. Of course Cartman buttered the dude up in hopes of cashing in. Dude knew what Cartman was up to.

    Before the guy dies he promises to give Cartman some astronomical amount of money. (In the form of Iraqi dinars.) Guy kicks off, Cartman makes his move, get’s a big ass box of bills. Then he tries to covert it.



  10. Burr, we even have a Tolkien
    MAY 24, 2022 AT 8:08 PM

    A token Tolkien?

    …but I just looked, and the dinar is trading 1460 to 1 right now. Its not a lot, but its something. He could have been a hundredare if the box was big enough…

  11. Burr, broke ass mofo
    MAY 24, 2022 AT 5:16 PM

    “Avila Beach is a beach town of 2,300 people”

    …if it were longer ago, I’d say it was the inspiration for the Amity Beach of Jaws…

    …and the shark would have got her femoral, maybe even got deep enough to cause a junctional bleed. Pretty hard to manage in the field, especially with 2003 tech and the fact she’s probably bled out before she could be beached in the first place…


  12. “A token Tolkien?”

    Yes, we learned last season that Tokens actual name is spelled Tolkien and anybody who thought it was Token is a fuggin’ racist.

    Our Tolkien is still cool with wearing the purple shirt with the yellow T on it.

  13. I lived in Los Osos, not Avila. Drove every afternoon down the 1 past all the old dormant volcanoes. Drove the other way at 2:30Am.
    Anybody who visits Cali should check out the area. Hot Springs, golf, marinas, all kinds of nature junk and sailboats.

    The Nimpomo dunes are there. Totally awesome. It’s where D.W. Griffith filmed The Ten Commandments and there’s still bits of the old palace sets under the sand. Bring a dune buggy.

    Up the coast is San Simeon. The local bar is better. Can’t miss it. Just south of San Simeon,….pretty much the only commercial building in either direction for 50 miles. 70’s Cowboy decor. Bring Valium.

    Interior is Paso Robles. Bring a horse.

    Also, the 58 rises from the coastal area and cuts over the mountains all the way to the 5. Try that in a 74 bus during a daylight blizzard. Back end slides out making any turns…..which are necessary to navigate…..because turns. Exhilarating. Bring a sweater.

  14. I know what you’re thinking.

    A. why post on a dead thread? Because I’m awesome and I don’t give a fudge.

    B. That’s all well and good Aaron, but that monkey story is B.S.

    It’s not. I picked Cartman up one night because of an alleged party. I get there, party is over, Bones is asleep. Cartman is drunk. Hyper drunk. He has money for 99 bananas. Some cheap ass booze. I’m pissed, having driven all that way for nothing. We go to the liquor store in Chino Valley. He winds up getting the same brand but Peach flavor. Then we drive back up the 89. He remembers he needs smokes. We pull over at the Pink Store. (since closed, FBI raid, look it up) He gets out, heads for the double glass doors, which are open. I’m behind and to his right. I can see into the store. I can see an old guy, not blind as he had to have driven there. It was just us and him. And a monkey on a leash wearing a reflective vest like you see on service dogs.

    Cartman flips out. “HAHAHAH!!!! A FUGGIN’ MONKEY!!! OOG! OOG OOG!”
    He making monkey gestures and he’s loud as hell and twice as drunk. I didn’t hear what the old guy said, because Cartman. But Cartman continues to approach making monkey movements with his arms. I saw him bend down to get eye to eye.

    And then the monkey was humpin’ his head like a football.

    Cartman, when we finally got home, wanted to press charges. It took a while to talk him out of it. Why? The store had a security camera aimed right at the front door. Full color. It clearly showed him instigating and taunting the animal. I saw it days later. HILARIOUS.

    Plus we all ragged on him so much for getting monkey raped he decided against it. He did get some nasty claw scrapes on the back of his head. Luckily there was plenty of Merthiolate and rubbing alcohol at Bones house. I looked really hard for something more painful but that was the best I could do.

    Like I said, hours of entertainment.

  15. And how did we all get South Park names?

    Kenny and Bones(A.K.A.Jimmy Volmer) I knew from motorcycle club world. I knew Cartman because he lived in a trailer in Jimmy Volmers yard. Jimmy paid Cartman the princely sum of $20 a day. In return for trailer privileges, the occasional shower and electricity, Cartman was “taught” by Jimmy every single day rain or shine, how to reassemble old timey cars with asbestos brakes and a 12 step starting process. A slave. He had to accept the deal. Dudes a deadbeat dad hiding from his ex wives and kids. If they find out he’s making ANYTHING he’ll get hit with all kinds of legal paperwork. He really is Cartman.

    Anyway, one day I’m taking Kenny( he got his name first, by unanimous acclaim due to his ability to bitch slap Death with a slimy used dildo whenever the ever hopeful idiot shows up for him)…..anyway, I’m Taking Kenny to Bones place because mutual acquaintances, we get out of my truck, and Cartman walks up. Kenny looks all suspicious and says “I know this asshole.” Cartman is all smiles. “DUUUUDE!!! I haven’t seen you forever! Good to see you!” He walks off. Kenny is stunned.

    He turns to me and says, “Last time I saw that guy I was collecting money he owed. I went into his apartment and beat the crap out of him.” (with a St. Louis Cardinals miniature souvenir bat, for the curious.) “Now we’re friends?”

    Sorta’, we all know each other and started using South Park names when I said to Kenny after his story, “What do you expect? The dudes a real life Cartman.” Of course Cartman overheard and immediately started calling me “Kyle” because apparently I’m a treacherous, black, Christ killing Jew. Kenny actually agreed with Cartman. Not because I have hidden Jew gold (I do) but because I do sometimes give the “I’ve learned something today…” speech. Usually at the the most inappropriate times and places. All the other names fell into place naturally. Our Butters even LIKES being called Butters.
    No Stan though. He’s too cool.

    There you have it. Fun, descriptive secret names we use for each other. Nobody else knows who we’re talking about when using the names so it’s good security.

    And now you know why Cartman……really is Cartman.

  16. I love talking to myself. Cannot get enough of it. I would surely date one of my clones. After putting all the rest into some sort of labor camp.

    See? I made a total sociopath joke. JUST LIKE STAN DOES. You know…cuz’ he’s all disillusioned and …like…daytime drunk. Also, not a psychopath. Those people are born that way. Stay away. Sociopaths are made. I earned my world weary cynical douchebag status.

    Also, I do say “Really?” Just like Kyle does. Some prospect or someone…but let’s face it, it’s usually a prospect, suggests something naively stupid. I feel duty bound to offer up a “Really?…:significant pause:….r..Really?” :head tilt: Before said idiot goes and does something that earns him an embarrassing ass kickin’. even if it’s just verbal. I just enjoy seeing their brains work….you can see the light bulb starting to glow over their heads or hear the steam whistle goin’ off or whatever gears and gadgets are being turned on upstairs.

    And then later, whether idiocy or tragedy prevails, I can say….”You know, I’ve learned something today….”

    Also, I don’t really mind being called kyle. At least he’s smart.

  17. Dumb stuff Cartman has done.

    1. WD-40 and lighter against a wasps nest in the engine bay of a Ford Galaxy…. I was indeed there and got a nice bite under my eye. Looked like I was shot by a b.b. Cartman looked like a bag of frozen frog dicks had been slapped full across his face.

    2. Corvair boat. Really? You need me to explain how that went?….r…really? :head tilt:

    3. Afore mentioned monkey fight.

    4. Handmade 2 stroke motorcycle with solar lamp from garden as headlamp. Used for drunken runs to liquor store. Rural. No streetlights. Pros: ability to ditch police by cross country escape. Cons: inability to see 20 foot drop off, resulting in loss of alcohol, a tooth, the bike etc…

    5. Despite years of servitude to a guy in a wheelchair, he cannot drive. I always end up test driving stuff for Jimmy Volmer before he converts it to hand operation. Because Cartman can hit anything with anything. Go wild imagining that. He’s hit it all.

    6. Barbecue fun. Self explanatory.

    Sidebar: he’s alive the same way Homer Simpson is alive, sheer dumb drunken luck. Current employment? Outside the auto parts store offering stranded or distressed motorists quick fixes for cash.

    7. his dog. You know what? I’ll skip this one. Suffice it to say the dog …um…..liked to “spritz” pretty much everywhere. Peak moment? Cartmans in the passenger side of a convertible, client in drivers side testing out Cartmans repair. Dog in the back. Guy drives, dog gets excited and sprays all over this guys interior.

    That’s about all I care to say about that.

    8. moonshine is dangersome to make.

    9. so is meth.

    10. Dating a homeless stripper fresh out of detox is a good idea and I luvz her so. Train Wreck, meet the Space Shuttle. Mas spectacularrrrrr.

    I could go on but I don’t need to. Plus, I’ve sorta made a comic out of his monkey adventure years ago and I think I’ll just go on with that.

    Um…..thanks for attending my TedX talk about knuckleheads.

  18. …good GOD, AB, you’re almost as self-indulgent as I am!

    …I knew there was a reason I liked you…

    But your stories are better, so you get a pass anyway.

    Sometimes I think we’re just a couple of aging guys trying to put our memories somewhere before they pass into oblivion, posting relatable things that belong to a world that exists now only in our fallible minds, that perhaps someone may glean something from those of us that went before so not all is lost forever…


    God bless and protect you, Mr. Burr, fare you well whatever your fare, and may your fate be other than mine, and all your trophies remain with you to the end.


  19. Sort of. I just like writing. Might as well jot down the interesting things I’ve seen over the years. Also, I do not write for other people. I strictly amuse myself. If people like it, fine, if not, also fine.

    And lastly, ever since Jr. High I’ve sought out the losers, the damaged ones and the slightly nutz. Drove my parents crazy. I was in all A.P. classes yet I preferred hanging out with the kids I met in detention. Stuff happened in their lives.

    Being in a motorcycle club is JUST LIKE HANGING OUT WITH THE KIDZ IN DETENTION. Stuff happens.

    Like this one day, I was dropping Kenny off at his house. We pull up and his old lady is beating the shit out of his sportster with an aluminum bat. We sit there for a sec in stunned silence and then hop out.

    Kenny and his wife are celts, no matter how many Nordic tattoos they have. Irish. So it was hilariously loud.

    Turns out she had found an OLD cell phone of his and read his texts to some skirt he dated YEARS AGO. That took awhile to convince her. Hilarious…etc…. and then we stood around Kennys bike leaking oil and gas and just sorta’ looked at it in stunned disbelief.

    Then I got the bat and the tank. Welded the bat to one of dents it fitted into perfectly and hung it on a wall as part of my “Tru Luv” series.

    Kennys wife is a pistol. Hot redhead with zero emotional control. We all love her to death and are all somewhat scarred/in awe of her. Because….HOTT.

  20. I should point out that for every epic and hilarious story, there are a couple of tragic, sad, and maddening stories.

    I just don’t focus on that aspect of life. Everybody has drama in their lives. No need to dwell on it.

    Take the Mole for example, a character name from the South Park movie. In our world, he’s a professional junkie. Like, he can go for a year or two stone cold sober. Top notch motorcycle mechanic. Responsible. On time. And then one day he’s got a needle in his arm or is caught with OUNCES of heroin.

    Which is what his girlfriend said to me one fine evening over the phone. What did it have to do with me? Well, the Mole had been renting an outbuilding from me allegedly to “store some stuff”. Dude was growing weed in a hidden room and I had to go and uproot 30 grand of weed plants and then get rid of them by dumping them on a dirt road far, far away.

    The only possible way he can get away with this crap is if he’s a confidential informant. So the nickname, ‘The Mole’ is apropos. Also he complains and bitches like the movie character does so it works on a couple of levels.

    Why is he alive? I dunno’. One of those 5th or 6th generation Arizona natives. He knows everybody, everybody knows him. We just accept him as another player in the game.

    And yes, of course I was furious when I found his weed room on muh propertie. But I am man enough to recognize…..that ish’ was funny.

  21. You know what else is funny? Hanging out with the Mole. One time I walked out of the grocery store just as all the cops pulled up and jumped out looking for somebody. I just knew it had to be somebody I knew. So I walk to my truck. The Mole is standing right by it. I say hello, whats up. He asks for a ride. We slide right by the Po-Po looking the other way and I dropped him off at his house. No questions asked.

    Every damn day it’s the same. Like the one and only time I ended up in the local hoosegow for fightin’. Like, I didn’t even really fight….although I may have totally instigated it verbally. The point is, I’m chillin’ in the cell and The Mole is drunk and talking ish’. Motorcycle cop walks by the cell. Mole says “Nice boots…..FAG.” Then he looks up. “Oh hi Sargent Mitchel. How’s Beth?”

    Of course Mitchel and the Mole went to H.S. together. Mitchell wound up marrying Beth. But the Mole banged her before that. So….yeah.

    Anyway, for months after that anytime I pulled up at an intersection there would be Mitchel on his cop bike frowning at me. Sometimes I had the Mole with me. What do you think happened every time?


    Mitchel jabs his finger at me to pull over. I’m laughing out loud. Mole gives zero f*cks. Because the next day he knows he’ll just do it again.

    Hell, we’d drive by Mitchel with someone pulled over by the side of the road. Mole would roll down the window and yell “ffffFFFFAAAAAAAGGGGGGGGGGG” at the top of his lungs for the full Doppler effect.

    And now you know why I know the local police so well. The Mole introduced me to them one way or another.

    Bastard…..yet…..a hilarious bastard.

    Haven’t seen him in months. Probably in jail or in Phoenix. Or both. He’ll turn up eventually.

  22. Good golly am I glad I happened to come back to this thread! @BFH, this one ought to go in some kind of special archive.

    @Burr, you are a self-made force of nature (if that makes any sense, I’m a monkey’s Uncle Al). I know you said it matters not to you if anybody else likes what you write, but I happen to like it a lot. That and $12 will get you a 3 liter jug of Carlo Rossi “Paisano”.

  23. I’m rarely the star of these stories. I’m just there watching the Titanic go down, ready with pithy comments.

    Plus, I’ve lived here for a dozen years. Stuff doesn’t happen EVERY day. More like once a week…. or whenever 2 or more of us get together. I have blood splattered hunting stories, bar fight stories…yep. I’s part of the reason the bar has cameras inside watching everybody. Bike crashes, Injun reservation shenanigans, police raids….police raids…police raids…. also some heartwarming stories about neat animals.

    Like Cartmans original dog, Buttface.

    But it’s just chronicling life in a small town as it slowly and painfully gentrifies. Sorta’ like the Dukes of Hazzard if it started to get crowded with housing tracts and stores and paved roads. Civilization moves in and brings and all the boring rules and boring people that come along with it.

    Even the guy who makes tshirts for me has stories about nekkid’ stripper girls from Seattle shipped here by their parents to a rural detox program dancing on his copiers after hours because they were simply bored.

    Arizona, the non city parts, are dope.

    Drink, shoot stuff, ride horses, blow stuff up. Let your tension and anxiety go while you bust caps with one hand and pee with the other. It’s why I’m so non political nowadays. There’s doins’ a’ transpirin’.

  24. No idea what’s goin’ on in the other threads. Who cares? It’s story time with Uncle Aaron.

    Surprised no ones asked me any questions. Usually you all are so full of them. I can tell you everything from how to roll up a rival motorcycle club, hand grenade a small business and get caught with 70K in cash, all the way to how to get the f*ck outta’ Mesiko’ when you really, really, need to be out of that country.

    Also, gardening tips. Always up for exchanging those.

    And any graphic arts tips. You know I still draw my comix in regular pencil before inking and erasing all the extra lines?


    Also, I now carry my daughters PINK .22 in the ride. I’m tellin’ ya’, get shot with it and your social life is ovah.

  25. Fine, I’ll ya’ about Buttface. Cartmans original dog. And I might slightly redeem Cartman in the process. I mean he did something worth redemption. Actually it’s the only worth while thing he’s ever done as far as I can tell.

    Simple story. Cartman is walking down a dirt road and comes across 4 or 5 local tough guys. They were fighting dogs in the front yard. The littlest one was being used as chew toy by the bigger dogs. Cartman has never owned a dog before, and only one other since Buttface passed. So no one knows what got into him. Probably he got lippy and decided he could cash a whole bunch of checks his mouth was writing. Maybe he really did feel sorry for those dogs.

    No one saw the fight. Cartman looked pretty bad. But here’s the thing. Cartman won. Our son of a bitch worthless Cartman took on 4 or 5 bad boys and beat them bad enough that they NEVER came looking for him even though they lived in the same town. That’s a world class beating.

    This little runt of a dog was SO HAPPY. Worshiped Cartman like he was Snausage Jesus. Never had a leash. Never wore a collar. Was the smartest dog on the planet. Never bothered anybody, was super chill and tolerant with kids… Did a ton of tricks. But of course they were Cartman tricks. Like, Buttface would be asleep on one side of the room and he’d be on the other. He’d call her name, she’d wake up….and then he’d say, “C’MERE WHOOOORE”. in this goofy voice. Buttface would collapse her rear end and drag her rear legs and lady bits across the floor, usually someones, nice rug, to Cartman. All the while wagging her tail and lolling her tongue out with a great big doggie smile.

    Play dead, fetch, all that stuff. Never seen a dog like her before or since. No way Cartman made her smart. I really think she was so grateful to be rescued that she devoted her life to making him laugh.

    And yeah, Cartman named this gem of an animal, Buttface.


  26. One more before summer break. I may or may not head down to Mesiko.

    Long before my South Park Adventures, or my Philippines Adventure or even the Adventure Down under, even before I first constructed the first, briefest of outlines for my plan of world domination and eventual destruction, there were the Colonel Granpa’ Adventures.

    My old man, Colonel Granpa’, was the 100% bonafide real deal ol’ skool Marine. Every single foray I had into shipping dry goods or training mooks in sweaty ass places was because of him. Straight nepotism, son.

    My 9 year old pointed out to me recently that my old man did indeed, teach me to fly, years before I learned to drive. Never thought about it before, but it’s true. He was the X.O. and then the C.O. of El Toro Marine Air Base, 3rd Wing. Patches looked like this. https://cdn.shopify.com/s/files/1/0104/5069/8304/products/PG412_424x423.jpg?v=1575476290

    Thanks, Disney Studios.

    Anyway, my old man was a Vietnam combat vet. A DAMN GOOD ONE. I know this because one year Pops decided to accompany our Boy Scout troop on an outing. Probably because he was tired of hearing everyone complain about our troop of miscreants. He figured if he came along everything would be mellow due to his Command Presence(look it up, civilians) which he had in spades. NOBODY lipped off to him and all shenanigans were on the super down low.

    This particular trip we were floating our lazy asses down the Colorado river on flat rafts we built on top of four inner tubes. 2 scouts to a raft. 3rd or 4th day down this ugly mud river and the guys in the raft ahead are freaking out. They had drifted to close to the scrub brush and cottonwoods on the bank of the shore and two big ass cottonmouth snakes were swimming towards them. They only had a couple of paddles.

    My old man hears the commotion or sees the waving paddles, whatever, from a considerable distance upriver he comes barreling downstream on a speedboat. He pulls up and shuts down the engine and I sh!t you not, from 30 yards away on a boat bouncing in it’s self made swell, he pulls his Officers .45 and with the first shot. Astoundingly, hits cottonmouth #1 as the freaked out kid on the raft raised his paddle up into the air with the snake on it. BLAM! Cottonmouth head explodes. My dad is 10 feet to my right. I can see all of this perfectly. He aims at the water. BLAM! BLAM!. Cottonmouth #2 is dead. Boat still bobbing up and down, scouts still screaming their heads off.

    The coolest damn thing I have ever seen.

    30 seconds later a big ass coast guard, no, really a coast guard chopper flies over because firing a big ass American gun shooting big ass American bullets on the Colorado river is frowned upon.

    But dig this. Coasties land, Pop tells them the story and who he is. Does he get a fine? A warning? Nope. Pops a hero. We get a nice escort for the rest of the day.

    No one f*cked up that entire trip.




    You know why he beat that guy? Not because he flipped my dad off, or the guy disrespected his military stickers on the front windshield, or even his dope ass car. No. Nooooo. Just no.

    Dude nearly met his creator that day because he disrespected my Moms.

    No joke, kids. Don’t do that. Like, ever. You never know who “keeps it real”.

    My Dad, Part Great Santini, part Cotton Hill. 100% American.

  28. But Colonel Granpa’ isn’t all fire and brimstone. Here’s a tale about how I pulled my first heist, got away with it and helped Colonel Granpa’, Who Was Major Dad at that point, become a Kentucky Colonel before he became a U.S. Marine Colonel.

    On my dads “I love Me wall”….you know, it’s wall Military people or cops or professional athletes put all their awards and accolades. Not a trophy room. It’s a wall. Has diplomas, medal recognition papers, stuff from jump school etc.

    On my dads I love me wall is a small framed award from the State of Kentucky, recognizing him as an Honorary Colonel of Kentucky etc etc… for outstanding humanitarian work in Minneapolis St. Paul of all places. What he did made the news, and is my first T.V. appearance.

    See what happened was one overcast day my Pops and I pulled up at this gate in the utterly depressing Navy motorpool yard for broke down junk the Navy was too lazy to get around to maintaining. me? 5, maybe 6. Pops? A Major. Out of no where this Marine technical Sergeant appears. he has bolt cutters and then he’s gone but the gate is open. At this point a Staff Sergeant shows up at my dads elbow. This guy was the first Marine I’d ever seen with the sleeves rolled up. Had tatts. Wore those old school military glasses. He didn’t say much beyond “aye aye, sir” and he gave off an uptight vibe.

    Anyway, we, all three of us, some of us hand in hand, strolled through this grimy boneyard of dead Navy trucks and whatnot. Shopping, for all I knew, for the perfect pumpkin.

    Alas, no pumpkin was to be found but what we did find, was a big, asscrack grey, Navy school bus. At this point things got very technical and by the book between Major papa and this obvious hard case Massa Sergeant. Lot’s of saluting and permission to do this and that, Sir. Followed by “carry on” and so forth. Delightful. I thought, a play just for me.

    Well, before I knew it, that decrepit school bus, which had earned a look of professional disgust from the Staff Sergeant was up and running with the hod dropped back down and the Sergeant behind the wheel. Two things happened. As well slowly rolled out of the yard, I asked the Marine why he looked so mad and why didn’t he smile. He said, looking me dead in the eye with a deadpan hardcase expression, “I am smiling,” The other thing that happened was Papa ditched me for his Cougar and we hauled ass out of there.

    Never forgot that saying.

    Major Dad did have a plan. I mean sure, committing my first act of grand theft auto was cool, but now what? “What” turned out to be us driving the now modified bus I.E. the serial numbers and Navy markings were painted over but not much else because F.U. Jack, Marine Corps….we drove that bus around on Thanksgiving day all through the twin cities looking for homeless people. then we encouraged them…I mean I did. I was a lil’ kid….to get on the bus for a big Turkey dinner with all the fixins at this big low rambling one story 70’s church. Resistance was futile. Gunny had a quota and by the Ghost of Chesty Puller every eligible son of a b!tch homeless bum or hobo was getting on that G. Damned bus is they knew what was good for them. Thank you Gunny Davis for my first lesson in multi syllabic swearing as a tool for positive reinforcement.

    And then the news showed up. So I got to be on T.V. next to the other kids hanging out on the floor. I was unfortunately, unable to get my speaking part on air as answering the nice news lady (who smelled wonderful,) who all these people were that were being fed?

    I said, proud of my new education. “GODDAMN BUMS.” 5 years old ladies and gentlemen, 5 years old.

    Anyway, it was a good thing the news showed up and ran with it. The Navy, as it turned out, who didn’t need the bus and only wanted the bus back because Navy, wanted my Dads ass. It came down to, “do we bust this major for doing something awesome that the public knows about….or do we make this feeding the Go…I mean the homeless an annual deal and award this cocky bastard with some military parade and flim flamery in front of the cameras and then promote him far, far away?

    I’ll take Door number 2, Monty which leads to California and these giant blimp hangers that can trap lil’ clouds inside way up at the top and then rain down on the Marines working down on the deck.

    Oh, why did my dad do all that? He’s a committed Christian. Used to be a Methodist preacher from Mississippi in his wayward youth BEFORE joining the Marines. He was the real deal. Decided to do God’s work because he could. That’s why he used all Sergeants. protected his officers. Enlisted were just following orders so they would be spared if it all went wrong. That’s all it was. one guy decided to feed some GO….homeless and used all the means at his disposal to pull it off.

    I dunno’, some drunk in Kentucky saw it on the news and he got a lil’ award ceremony from Kentucky who apparently wanted to cash in on the good publicity all Boss Hogg style.

    As far as I know. The Thanksgiving feed still goes on.

    God Bless the USMC.

  29. Too bad none of you will read this. It’s the best story, spelling and grammatical errors aside. Also, it was Master Sergeant, and Gunny Sergeant. Just those two guys. Not all these random and incorrect ranks.

    Master was the bus engine hotwire expert and ace mechanic. Gunny escorted Pops through the yard. Not sure which one opened the gate…or who altered the engine serial numbers or the exterior paint.

    All I know is that the bus didn’t run, was in a yard abandoned, but then ran for days and days all over the city alter 10 minutes of Marine Corp do or die handiwork.

    He really impressed me. As did all the other non coms who showed up on Thanksgiving day to make it all work. He didn’t even ask those guys. They just showed up BAM! Team effort.

  30. Oh yeah, we got the bus and then it had to be hid somehow from the Navy for some days before thanksgiving. They eventually figured out a 35 foot land yacht was missing and were dead set on getting it back.

    I do not know how my Dads Gunny performed such astounding and amazing feats of bureaucratic legerdemain and miraculous slights of hand involving official paperwork. That’s sorta’ a Gunnys job in peacetime. I do know the Master Sergeant, who had a mustache and would later remind me of D.Day from Animal house told my Pop, “Not to worry Sir, it’s all squared away” When asked where the actual bus was. You know…cuz no one but him knew where it was or wasn’t at any particular time.

    It just had to be rollin on the streets downtown on Thanksgiving. I rode twice on that day, besides the earlier theft. My brothers rode or accompanied Pop on other related missions. Never figured out why we tagged along until I got older. Pops was an officer and responsible and supposed to be at his desk or whatever…..but he did have kids. I’m now convinced we were used an excuses. “Where’s Major Dad? I need blah blah balh by 16:30” “Sorry Sir, Major Dad is taking one of his sons to the dentist.” “Didn’t he do that yesterday?” “No sir, different son.” “Oh…well….can’t blame a man for having sons…I can wait until tomorrow I suppose. But no later! Find Major Dad!” “Aye Aye Sir”.

    Lastly it was my Mom who organized the food with other Marine wives. Church just initially charged for the hall and kitchen use, but gave it away gratis after the publicity kicked in. Also, since it mushroomed in size on that first day, a lot of previously unmentioned Marines and families pitched in on the spot.

    After my hilarious outburst, I was sent home with my mom.

  31. The event mushroomed because the TV people came early. Initially we had a semi open kitchen and a dining hall that had cafeteria style folding tables with white table cloths.

    Then the TV aired it as a daytime story and went back to it live. People just started walking in. The big accordion style sliding doors separating the small hall from the main worship hall had to be opened, more tables set up and then the Marines arrived. Literally. With those 20 roasted Turkeys at a shot from whatever industrial ovens the Marine cooks use. All that stuff. An excellent adventure for all concerned.

    Totally not a madhouse but a low key yet busy affair.


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