Calgary: YEEE-HAW!

I went down to Calgary to visit Ryan for a couple of days over my all-too-brief Christmas break. Fun was had by all, as well as steak. Lots and lots of steak. This at a place called the 'Cattle Baron,' which is a decent steakhouse despite the name, and not, say, an Arby's knockoff or possibly a gay bar.

Our initial plan was to hit Outlaws, a bar where Ryan's disturbingly attractive friend apparently works. Unfortunately, Outlaws is closed on Monday and Tuesday nights. Instead, we went to a) Frank Sisson's Silver Dollar Casino (And Bowling!) where we killed two hours and I learned how not to look like a complete moron playing blackjack. We also went to b) Ceilidh's, or one of the other infinite variant spellings thereof, which is an Irish-pub-cum-meat-market. Like most meat markets, but with a paler, more potato-oriented clientele. It's the kind of bar where the bartender...esses... get up on the bar and perform a faux-lesbian show, and then pour shots down the throats of bystanders. I'm only a little miffed that Ryan got his free and she decided to charge me $5.25 for mine. I'm not entirely sure what that indicates, but it can't be good in the long run.

The following day, once I'd recovered, we headed to the shooting range, which was brought up in the following conversation, had on the preceding day:

Me: Hey, a shooting range.
Ryan: Wanna go?
Me: Sure!

I figured, hey, when in Calgary, do as the rednecks do. It was pretty easy to get into the range - minimal safety lectures were had. Once in the firing range, I noticed several things. The first is that guns are very loud. The second is that I jump like a little girl when loud things go off within four feet of my head. The third is that ammo clips are a goddamn bitch to load. And the fourth, according to the range warden, was that my Glock was jamming because I was holding it 'limp-wristed.' That's right: I'm apparently too faggy to fire a weapon.

Still, it was admittedly fun firing off fifty rounds of a police weapon. But after we were through with a box of ammo apiece for the pistols, Ryan rented an AK-47. I got to fire off five rounds, the legal maximum for an assault-rifle clip in Canada. And man, those fuckers are disturbingly powerful. You feel the recoil down to your feet. The guy firing his rifle across the range creates a pressure wave you feel splash over your cheeks. You realize, 'man, I could take on the entire city with this,' which is why it's probably a good thing that the range warden is right there beside you with a loaded weapon on his hip, to discourage any Grand Theft Auto-inspired thoughts.

The gun store also sold bumper stickers, one reading 'Terrorist Hunting Licence - #911-01 - No Bag Limit No Season.' Wow. Those people sure are never forgetting. When they're old and grey, their grandchildren will ask them, 'What happened on September 11?' and they'll look up with moist eyes and say, 'Something I'll never forget.' But they'll forget anyhow, because they're old and old people do shit like that and the universe has a sense of irony.