Lisa celebrated her birthday this past weekend with an 8-species barbeque. On two grills were cooked up beef, chicken, pork, duck, lamb, buffalo, vennison, and crab. I tried everything except the Beef and Chicken, I think. Everything was pretty great. Lots of people came by and brought additions like salad, fruit, chocolate fondue, and even frosted cupcakes inside ice cream cones.
Aside from cooking large quantities of meat, another tradition on her birthday is to buy a gun. This would be only the third year of the tradition, so it’s a tradition in its infancy. Still, a bunch of us went to a gun shop in Las Vegas to check out the wares.
Gun stores are always a trip — not so much because I’m surrounded by hundreds of human-shredding machines, but more because the people there are a bit unlike those I normally meet. A choice quote from one of the store employees: “Unfortunately there hasn’t been a war on American soil in a long time”.
Despite being very nearly a pacifist, I do find guns interesting, and I enjoy target shooting. Lisa already has a 12 guage shotgun and a .38 caliber semi-automatic pistol. She went to the store thinking she would by some type of rifle.
To my great surprise, at the very upper end of her price range they had a used Romanian AK-47, a gun design which has always been a favorite of mine in a sort of mythical way.
After perusing the other options, and trying to ignore my sycophantic adoration of the Kalishnikov, she eventually decided to go ahead and buy it.
The next day we took it out to the desert along with Jared’s SKS and Lisa’s .38. Jared kindly bought about 200 rounds for the AK. We also brought a couple of pumpkins, a few bottles of soda water, and a stuffed Scooby Doo animal that Lisa won at a Carnival a couple weeks ago. Jared, Eric, Aki, Lisa, and myself were in attendance.
To note: shaken-up 2-liter soda bottles give the most dramatic reation on the first hit. One jumped at least five feet in the air. However after that they dont really react at all. At 69 cents a pop they don’t give you quite the value of a small off-season pumpkin, which reacts well when hit over and over. It’s kind of like playing Asteroids as each pumpkin fragment becomes a new target.
Scooby was surprisingly unreactive, as the bullets passed right through the fabric and styrofoam peanut stuffing. We couldn’t tell we hit him until we went right up to him. In fact there were about 20 hits (those little dots) from Lisa’s 30 round clip at what I would guess was over 30 yards.
Back at the pad, Jared (a veritable gun enthusiast) taught her how to strip, clean, and reassemble the AK. Seeing the incredible internal simplicity of the weapon, my respect for its engineering was confirmed.
Jared said that a Russian friend of his used to strip/rebuild AK’s in grade school. They had all the kids do that. After a few repetitions Lisa did very well with the process, though probably not as well as your average 80′s Russian schoolkid. Next week she plans to do it blindfolded underwater with her feet.
I wonder how often Macs and an AK have shared a table?
Lisa was an absolute crack shot with the AK. She really is a natural with an assault rifle, and seemed quite pleased with her purchase. I predict serious trouble for any home invaders. Unfortunately there hasn’t been anyone invading her home in a long time.
Thanks to Eric for taking and sharing all these pictures!