I was attending a weekend shooting match once. There was no housing, as is generally the case for private club matches so I decided to motel it, which is generally no big thing. A lot of shooters do this. The process is simple. You rent a room, drag your gear in and sack out there.
I found out that all of the Motel 6/ Red Roof places had been rented, so I had to spend the night in a place that had a lobby which stinks. Lobbys can create problems as the desk people can see what you drag into your room.
Guns, stolen motorcycles and dead hookers tend to draw a lot of attention.
Not wanting to leave my gear overnight in a pickup, I simply tied it all to my cart and wheeled it through the lobby where a bored clerk paid no attention to the three cased rifles, cart, spotting scope and assorted gear.
I was up early and something unusual for a match happened. I got on the first relay, shot and was done for the first day by about noon. By 1300 I was back at the hotel room with a rifle to clean and my gear to go through for the next day when I would be on the range for the entire day.
I was sitting on a chair with newspaper spread out all over the floor clad in nothing but a pair of undershorts when the door opened and the maid walked in.
Then she spotted me and started to apologize until she saw the service rifle and then her eyes popped out of their sockets and she went agape and slowly backed out of the room. The instant she was out of the room, I was treated to the spectacle of watching her run down the hall babbling away in some strange foriegn tongue that I didn't recognize, but if I had to guess it was something like Tamel or Swahili or something rather third-world.
It was rather funny to watch, but I sure knew that wasn't going to be the end of things.
It took me less than a minute to put on a pair of shorts and T-shirt, grab my wallet, stick my feet into my shoes, grab my room key and head down to the lobby. I figured the best way to deal with the upcoming chaos was to face things head on.
I arrived in the lobby, picked up a free USA Today, sat down and hid my face in it.
Sure enough, in seconds a pair of pretty concerned policemen showed up and went straight to the desk. I waited until they had listened to what the desk pople had to say and then I got up and somewhat blocked the way of one of the pair of officers.
"I know the guy in 137," I said. "He's a real good friend of mine. I can help. I even heve his room key."
That stopped the pair of them cold. I had just started to explain wthat there was a service rifle match going on when the maid that started this hash in the first place saw me, turned white, pointed at me and screeched, "Dat him!"
"It most certainly is me," I said. "There is a service rifle match, as I was starting to say, in town here. I am one of the competitors. I shot on the morning relay and have the afternoon off. I was sitting in my room cleaning my rifle when the maid walked in on me, went into a panic called you."
Of course, the two officers were not mollified, and asked me a half-dozen questions asking me if I was in some kind of militia group or something along these lines. I answered as best I could until we got to my room and I opened the door.
The officers charged right in and saw my disassembled rifle on the floor and approached it like it was a rattlesnake or something. I reached down for my scorecard and the match bulletin and handed to to one of the officers.
"I don't know anything about this," he said.
"Call the station and I'd just bet there's one of your officers shooting in the same match," I suggested. "It will probably save us all some time."
'Don't tell us what to do," snapped the younger of the two. Then he turned, saw an open box and in an excited voice said, "There's about 100 rounds in this box!"
"Eighty-eight," I answered. "It's enough for one match."
"How much ammo you got?" demanded the other cop.
"I left home with almost a thousand rounds," I answered. "This weekend is going to put a pretty good dent in it."
The two of them traded incredulous looks.
About this time, the manager walked in with an older police sergeant. "What's going on here?" asked the sergeant. The two officers explained that they had been called on a complaint of a man with a gun in a hotel room and started to suggest that maybe it was some kind of militia meeting or something along these lines.
"More like the maid walked in on one of the shooters from the match at the shooting club," interrupted the sergeant. "Happens every other year, or so it seems."
"He says he has a thousand rounds here," said the younger of the two.
'Yeah? So?" asked the sergeant.
The two officers gave the sergeant a dirty look as the sergeant turned to me and looked at the bulletin and scorecard I offered him. He looked at the scorecard and turned to the pair of officers. "That's a 90 and a 95 at 600 yards," he said. "Betcha this guy could take your heads off at that range if he wanted to."
The pair looked a little more uneasy. The entire bust of the century wasn't going like they thought it was going to go.
He turned to me, "How'dja do overall?"
"Middle of the pack," I replied. "Offhand crucified me."
"Yeah, I can see," he said.
The manager interrupted and explained that he had just taken over managing the hotel recently from another state and wanted to know it this was legal. The sergeant explained that between the shooting matches and the deer hunters he should get used to seeing people traveling with firearms in that neck of the woods.
I looked at the sergeant. "You got about ten feet of that 'Crime Scene-do not enter' tape I could drape across the door to keep the maid out?" I asked.
The younger officer interrupted and said something about how the tape was for official police business.
The sergeant snapped back, "We used to buy it at the police hardware store until purchasing found they were being raped. Now we buy it off the rack at the joke and novelty store." He turned to me, 'Hell, I'll give you my entire unopened roll!"
He then turned to the two officers and told them to get back to work.
The sergeant and I spent the next half-hour discussing the matches and shooting in general while the manager listened. When I mentioned the Garand match the sergeant asked me if my Garand was one of those I had gotten from the government and nooded when I told him it was a CMP rifle. He turned to the manager.
"He got one of his rifles from the governrment," he explained."They sell them to qualified shooters."
The manager looked surprised.
Ten minutes the door to my room was draped with the crime scene tape the sergeant gave me, the maid never returned and I had a pretty good weekend even though I couldn't for the life of me manage to hit a bull in the ass with a canoe paddle all weekend.
my other blog is: http://officerpiccolo.blogspot.com/ http://piccolosbutler.blogspot.com/