Thursday, November 10, 2011

Mr. Nice Guy

By Rob Watson

I may have mentioned in earlier posts that, in my youth, I was fairly unsuccessful in the pursuit of  young women. The one I caught then had to be tossed back later. From these experiences, I have gained useful knowledge that should be passed on.

During my earliest years, my parents took the family to the movies every Saturday night. If you watch movies made before 1960 or so, you will see the hero played by a handsome, well mannered, "NICE", Gary Cooper type guy. ( with the possible exception of Clark Gable) They always removed their hats in the presence of the feminine gender. They always addressed them as 'Madam' or 'Ma'am'. they were always polite, courteous, and diffident. From these, I took away the conviction that I should be a "NICE" guy. I learned from their behaviors in the movies, and later, after entering my unsuccessful years, from a four inch thick book on manners. I became, and for the most part, remain a "NICE" guy.

This Mr. Nice Guy persona first paid off at my high school class's 40th reunion. I was sought out by a woman, who in her youth, and still 50 years later, is, very nearly, the prettiest girl in our class. "Robert", she began, "I have always considered you to be one of the nicest guys I know."  She went on to contrast my niceness, politeness, courteousness, and diffidence with the rude behaviors of my male peers of the former time. If she ever reads this, she may be surprised to know that, that was the first time in those 40 preceding years I took "NICE" as a compliment.

I have been called "NICE" even "REALLY NICE" many times in my unsuccessful years. (I never considered it a compliment) This, because after 1960, self confident, Clark Gable type assholes became the most desirable type for young women to fawn over. "Robert, you are a (NICE, REALLY NICE) guy but... " translated into "Buuzzz off, turkey!"

You frequently hear lonely women complain "All the good ones are taken." I would hear this and take it literally. You could almost see me as Hermione in the Harry Potters movies, with my hand raised high waving vigorously... "Here I am. notice me!!". It took me a considerable time to learn "All the good ones are taken." really means "All the self confident Clarke Gable type assholes are taken and only "NICE" guys are left"

Some of these women eventually learn that, from time to time, a "NICE" guy can be transformed into a genuine "good one" with the generous application of unselfish love. Fortunately, the same can be said for the self confident, Clark Gable type assholes... sometimes.

This post is never to be construed as a treatise on understanding women. For a man to try to understand women is, simply, a fools errand.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Attempted Robbery??

By Rob Watson

An incident in Wife's store today brought back memories of the most exciting day at my gun store. Here we have a doorbell beside the store's door down stairs. Customers have learned that they can ring the bell and one of us will open up for them. Today just after Wife locked up, the bell rang and she went to open up again. An hour later she returned with a disturbed expression on her face. She had had two men come in  and behave rather strangely. " If I ever call you on your cell phone but do not say anything, Come down stairs immediately... there may be trouble." Now, on to my story.

If you go to some gun stores today you will find the clerks armed, usually with a sidearm of one sort or another. I had considered that, but began advertizing on a mostly ladies radio station. This drew a noticeable number of regular lady customers. I decided the 'armed clerk' might be counter productive. However I did hide a large revolver under the cash register.

When I had my gun store, Blackie, a customer, would come and hang out, keeping me company. Sometimes he, being knowledgable about guns, would help other customers. We talked a lot and got to be good friends. Blackie knew about the large revolver.

One afternoon, late, four young men, probably in their twenties, entered the store. Three went to the far corners of the store. One approached Blackie and me. This young man says "Why aren't you guys wearing guns?" Before I could spout off my lame comment, Blackie says "Just cause you can't see them, don't mean they are not there."

From time to time, I am a little slow on the uptake. I realized Blackie was bluffing for some reason. Neither of us had a weapon. We were both some 30 feet from the large revolver under the cash register. Then my eyes were opened to the similarity in dress of the four men... loose fitting nylon jackets, all with the same color pattern, black nylon cargo pants, and white athletic shoes... all widely dispursed around the store.

It is entirely possible these young men were innocently entertaining themselves by looking around gun stores. That is not what I believed at that moment. With pounding heart I casually walked over to the large revolver under the cash register. I began to plan the best way to defend myself from four targets with six bullets.

I decided the talker was the leader and should be taken down first. Then I would look for the one who posed the greatest threat after the action started. Blackie was seated next to the empty shotguns. The shells were stacked immediately below the 'self defense' weapons. He later related his plan was to burst a box of shells on the floor, grab the self defense gun and defend himself.

I began my own brag. (I had learned to be proficent with rifles and decided to learn to shoot pistols. The local gun club had monthly competition where you run from place to place shooting at steel targets. you are scored on time, all targets must be hit. Each course required about 50 shots. Most competitors had high capacity semiauto pistols. Because revolvers are more reliable, I chose to use one of them. I would have to reload twice as often as the semiautos. I decided my stratagy to be competitive was not to miss... no misses, no extra reloading times.) "Say, Blackie, Did I tell you I have gone five months in the pistol competition at the gun range without missing a target... That is about 250 shots on targets without a single miss." (yes it is true.)

After a few minutes, as if on silent signal, the four left the store. Blackie and I decided they were casing us and would be back to rob us. The shotgun was immediately loaded and returned to it place on the rack. It would ever remain so. When it was time to close, still fearful of a robbery, I locked the  doors and carried the shotgun out the back with me to my car.

We never saw four young men in gang clothing again. I will always be convinced that Blackie's bluff,
 "Just 'cause you don't see them... " saved us from an unpleasant experience.