A Well-Armed Militia and a Heavy Dose of Paranoia


This afternoon at lunch, I stopped by an Army surplus store with a colleague to pick up a couple of work trip souvenirs for my boys. The two of us were dressed in suits and driving a domestic sedan where everyone else within a 90 mile radius was wearing Carhartt overalls and driving F150’s.

When we walked into the store, the guy working there seemed a bit suspicious and quickly interrogated us in a customer-centric, yet an I’m-gonna-set-my-place-on-fire-if-you-guys-are-ATF kind of way. After determining we weren’t G-men with an agenda, he became very friendly and in a completely casual and comfortable manner carried on about subjects ranging from the liberal agenda that is eroding our freedom, how jerky has a shelf life of 1 year (bunker stocking purposes) and how some group that he belongs to is something that I should introduce my kids to because it gives the kids a “real” history lesson about our constitution and what it means to be an American. He had a real it’s-us-against-the-godless-liberals type attitude when all he knew about me was that I’m a white man in a suit who doesn’t work for the government and buys souvenirs for his kids.

I’m pretty certain that I don’t give off a militiaman vibe and am still trying to figure out why he would assume that I’m into bunker stocking, assault rifle ownership issues and raising my kids to withdraw from society to have fellowship with overly-paranoid extreme right wingers who have wet dreams about no gun control laws? As Stuart Smalley once said, when we assume, we make an ass out of Uma Thurman.

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