Wednesday, November 2, 2016

There are a couple of sounds that tend to make people stop in their tracks.

One is a pump shotgun being racked. Most people can't tell the sound of one simply being racked or a shotgun where a shell is going into the chamber. I can. The shell displaces air in the barrel and makes a certain thoomp to it. It is overpowered by the racking noise but is there.

The other sound is that of an Old School West Side Story switchblade knife opening. It has a certain sound of its own.

Back in the Year One when I was in a Community College after I got out of the Army I discovered there is also something else that makes the same sound. 

There were these cheap tape measures they sold in the college bookstore for some reason. If you pulled out about 8 or 10 inches and let the end of the tape go the tape would retract and it would make the same sound.

Some dumass was behind me when I was headed over to the cafeteria and had one of those tapes and did just that. It made the switchblade sound. When I heard it I acted instinctively.

I spun around and threw my books at the hapless kid. He had just pulled the tape out and let it go again as I spun around. It flew from his hand and I saw what had caused the sound but it was too late.

The books hit him. He wasn't expecting it and he stumbled back and fell on his butt in shock.

I went over to him, helped him up and picked up his tape measure. I pulled out some tape, let it go and made the sound.

"That sounded exactly like an Italian switchblade opening," I said. "I didn't know who or what was behind me so I instinctively swung. I'm sorry."

He stood there agape and a friend of mine ran over. He helped pick up everyone's stuff and asked what happened. I told him and he took the tape and tried it out.

He looked at both of us. "Pic's right," he told the kid. "It sounds like a switchblade opening. You scared the hell out of him and he reacted. You probably got off light. I'd have lit you up."

My friend was a former grunt. 

The kid was fresh out of high school and was under age but there were a few places that served 3.2 beer. I offered to split a pitcher with him after school and he accepted. It smoothed things out.

I would imagine now that something like that would entail the services of counselors and other do-gooders.

It's too bad that we can't seem to be able to have a beer or cup of coffee and sort things out easily any more.

To find out why the blog is pink just cut and paste this: NO ANIMALS WERE HARMED IN THE WRITING OF TODAY'S ESSAY

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