Gun Frenzy

It's always a sad state of affairs when you've spent X-pounds* on a holiday to California only to find that the most exciting thing to happen on some days is winning at Solitaire. But then this is Orange County and that could easily happen but not to me - hell no - with a fresh pair of legs and the usual skewed sense of humour I set off on a bit of a walk around the seemingly endless roads that make up this armpit of a county to hunt for danger while trying not to get run over by the frankly abysmal drivers that seem to be the bulk of the american drivers.

Hell, by about 7am this morning I had already seen enough driving "anomalies" to give Skiv a coronary. Skiv mate, next time you come here wear a nappy as you will shit yourself from shouting so much at these fuckwits. I mean, I know fuck all about driving as you know, and even I was starting to look a bit like you mate, yelling myself hoarse at the fools that brazenly pulled out in front of us in a complete traffic jam despite actually making no forward progress in the process. This country is so full of idiots, that the freak is actually called the village non-idiot.

My quest for adventure (in Orange County finding adventure as such is like finding gold in a urinal. It needs a little imagination) took me past some weird and wonderful places in Little Saigon that convinced me once again that I am part of a strange cultural experiment carried out by aliens in which an already confused vietnamese boy, unsure of his identity is placed within a race of people clinging to theirs.

The shop with the sign "Water and Eggs" which sold nothing but water and erm...eggs was a highlight of Little Saigon which felt very third world indeed, and I got a particular thrill from seeing signs everywhere which read "No Solicitors".

But the best part of the day came after visiting the paintball shop. I was crossing the road wondering to myself what a gun felt like and bang! it hit me. Across the street was a gun shop. It called itself The Armory or something really macho and I thought it would be a great idea to go in there and tell em how crap I thought their country was and perhaps to kick up a debate on the right to bear arms. So I marched in there and...chickened out.

I cannot quite describe what came over me. It wasn't fear as such as that requires suggests that the entity which you fear has power of you. You respect that which you fear. I couldn't care less if I died, but it hit me there and then that the main problem with the right to bear firearms is that any fool can carry one. And following on from my earlier point, most Americans I've met in Orange County are fools. And as much as I don't mind dying, I DO mind being killed by an idiot in much the same way as most people wouldn't object to being run over by a Porsche but have reservations about crossing the road in front of a Skoda.

I've walked into Martial Arts shops and dojos and felt genuinely humbled by the fact that the owners/senseis could very easily kick my arse from there to the moon. But there's always been the respect there. There was no respect here though. I would never dare insult a sensei but any fool can pull a trigger.

As I stood in front of this guy with a strong Texan accent and the IQ of a slime mould I decided that although I could have kicked up a storm for a laugh, I would just see how far I could get by humouring him without getting killed. I got as far as suggesting that a rifle had a barrel just long enough to shove up someones arse before I just got bored of being there and left.

Before heading back to the safety of my own home via a bonsai shop I decided I had to check if a rumour I heard was true. So I set off to Wal-mart, the owners of Asda (yes they even sell George clothes) to see if you really could pick up guns with your weekly shopping. I wouldn't believe it wil I saw it.

And i saw it.

There between the camping gear and the toy section (yes i'm serious) was the gun section in all its glory, with glass cabinets full of rifles and shotguns, the perfect addition to any shopping basket. Fucking maniacs.

*Now if I'm gonna be honest, in this case X is equal to nothing at the moment really...

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