Sometimes Training Pays Off in the Strangest Ways

One of the weirdest moments in my life happened nearly eight years ago and it taught me something about training, education and how we approach firearms. The thing about training is that you train when you don’t need it, hoping you’ll never need it. But when you do need it, it comes in mighty handy.

I once spent a week in armorer’s classes and one of the LE folks attending asked me what I was working so hard towards. I looked up and him and I said, “Life, motherfucker. What are you here for? Department-mandated recurrent?”

I then made a joke about either donuts or ticket quotas. He gave glared at me and left me alone as I went back to reviewing a parts diagram. At the time, I thought it was a waste of time. In time, I would be proved wrong.

Saturday – March 13, 2010

Beware, the ides of March, the soothsayer said. The soothsayer was right. This is/was not a drill. On Saturday, March 13, 2010 my Blackberry (remember those?) buzzed. The time ws 11:45PM.

FC: Hey babe, what’s shaking?

Karen: I’m having a crisis

Karen dated investment bankers EXCLUSIVELY and lived in Dallas. She had two masters degrees and was halfway to her doctorate at UT Dallas. She worked in finance and had more cars with horses on their hoods than most men will ever dream of. She had a house in NRH with a detached four-car garage. When she filled it, she had four Ben Pearson four-post lifts installed so she could get four more in there.

You could say we got along splendidly the first time we met.

FC: Let me guess, your Ferarri is in the shop again? Oh wait your firm’s private jet has to stop in Halifax to refuel to get to London?

Karen: I’m at my parents’ place. And they’re treating me like crap. I have to get out of here.

She was choking back tears, I could hear her gasping for breath inbetween sentences. She had never called me for help. Ever.

FC: Alright, send the address to me. You have my Blackberry messenger handle right?

Karen: Yeah. I’ll be here. I really need you to get here as soon as you can.

FC: Sit tight. I’m on the way.

I got in my F350 and hauled ass up the highway. She was 25 minutes up the road in the boonies outside Baton Rouge, just past Zachary. I got to her parent’s house just after midnight.

Here’s a good rule of thumb: Don’t ever rule up to someone’s house on the bayou unexpected at midnight. That’s an easy way to get yourself shot and there are a lot of hungry gators in them parts. It’s a good way to wind up as gator bait. I called her, but there was no answer. I called her again. I left her a voicemail telling her I was at the end of the driveway by the mailbox.

Next thing I know, I heard the following unmistakable sounds.

(sound of door opening)

Karen: I HATE YOU! YOU ARE THE WORST PARENTS EVER! I CANNOT BELIEVE THAT YOU WOULD TREAT ME THIS WAY! I AM NEVER COMING BACK HERE EVER AGAIN!

(sound of door slamming)

I reached into my center console and pulled out a .357 magnum Smith Model 686 and a bottle of Flintstones chewable vitamins. I had a feeling I’d need one of them that night. I popped a Barney as I realized this wasn’t going to end well. I tucked the .357 into the small of my back as I stepped off the nerf bar.

The next sound I hear is the low guttural drone of two rollaboard suitcases being dragged down a concrete driveway.

This is not good, I thought to myself.

She arrived at the mailbox with excess baggage in more ways than one. Her left hand had the handles of the two suitcases. In her right, she was clutching eight pairs of stripper shoes by the laces/heels with a PowerBook tucked under her arm along with her Birkin bag.

I threw her bags in the back of my truck and helped her into the front seat. I noticed she smells like a Lagavulin distillery and her eyes were more bloodshot than the plate of a pittsburgh style filet served at Ruths Chris I had the night before.

My plan was to get her to IHOP, get some coffee in her down from her problems. Then get her back to her parents’ place. As the fellows in the USMC are fond of saying, no plan survives first contact with the enemy. I was about to find out how right they are.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Karen started crying her eyes out and telling me about the emotional abuse she’s suffered from her parents. She had been adopted and they treated her badly. Her mother then called her and Karen cried and screamed at her on the phone as I pulled onto the highway. She sobbed loudly and told her mom that she was already tried to kill herself once and neither one of them give a sh!t.

Although my 7.3 liters of Navistar-built diesel puts down 500 ft/lbs of torque, it’s no match for the weight of the emotion-filled fifth wheel from hell I had just picked up.

Now, my plan involved being out in public. If I took her to a restaurant or a diner like this, there is a 100% chance someone would call the cops and even though I didn’t do anything I didn’t want to spend the night in jail for appearing to have abused this poor woman.

One thing my friend Paul told me is that there’s only one thing you can do with a hysterical woman. You can’t fix it, but you can calm her down and get her stable and deal with it later. Of all the possible outcomes, that was as good as we were gonna get that night.

As I drove back at exactly the speed limit, the hysterical sobbing and the cries for help continued on the phone all the way back to my ranch. Her battery gave out 15 minutes into the conversation and she threw her phone out the window as I pulled off the highway.

I guess pressing ‘end’ just isn’t enough for some folks.

We were back at Maison du FC. As I open the door, she tried to get out and stumbled nto my arms again. I got her upright next to my truck grabbed her things and we got to my front door where I dumped everything in the foyer. She sat down at my dining room table and started bawling her eyes out.

I’d apparently gone into this head first. Just like Pete Rose.

That’s when I realized that I was in a prison without bars.

FC: Karen, you want a drink?

Karen: Sure.

I grabbed a bottle of Buffalo Trace and two glasses. I cracked the seal and poured her one finger and two for myself. She grabbed my glass.

I told her that I too had issues with my father. She asked how I overcame them. I took her by the arm and lead her into my den where I pointed at the bronze urn that contains my father’s cremated remains.

FC: That’s how.

Karen: What are you talking about?

FC: I never overcame anything with him. Jack Daniels killed my father so I didn’t have to.

Karen: I’m so sorry. I shouldn’t have asked that question.

FC: It’s okay. You didn’t know.

Karen: How long has he been gone?

FC: Lets see. It’s 2AM. So in about 12 hours, exactly 365 days.

Karen: YOUR DAD DIED AT 2PM?

FC: Yes.

Karen: ON THIS DAY LAST YEAR?

FC: Yes.

Karen started to sway and I caught her wrist midair. She looks at me and starts crying uncontrollably again and we hug. I took her back to the dining room table and she asked me to grab her Birkin from the foyer. I headed back to grab it, returning to the table to see she’d poured herself an entire glass of bourbon – neat. A full eight ounces.

If I didn’t stop her, I’d end up taking her to the ER for an activated charcoal intervention. I took the bottle and put it back in the cabinet. She asks me to get her asthma inhaler out of her bag.

I open the bag and found a GLOCK 23. She always had an affinity for .40’s, both the caliber and the beverage vessel.

Just a recap:

She was stinking drunk.

She was angry at her parents.

She’d already claimed to have made at least one attempt at suicide.

Now, I’m not an expert at relationships, but there are a few things I’d picked up over the years. One of them is that you don’t take anything from a woman’s purse without permission. EVER.

I reached into her bag and grazed the extractor/loaded chamber indicator as I fished around for her inhaler. The extractor was flush with the slide. I’m not 100% positive but I did it again on the way back up. The chamber wass clear. I slid the purple hockey puck over to her and she took her medicine. She cried some more and talked some more as she drank some more bourbon. I told her when she sees the bottom of that glass, we’re going to sleep so drink wisely.

She unloaded even more on me and asked me what burned the bridge between my dad and me.

My old philosophy professor, who dressed up as God on the first day of class (!) decided the first impression he would make with us was throwing us a line. He opened his power point and the slide read:

Are we willing to do the right thing for the wrong reasons or the wrong thing for the right reasons?

Years of Catholic school had prepared me for this moment.

Forgive me father, for I am about to sin….

I told her about how terrible my dad was and the times he was insensitive as all hell to my brother and me and treated me like an employee rather than a son. About how he would lie to me over and over again. About how he would promise me things and never deliver.

She began bawling her eyes out hysterically and hyperventilating. Which was exactly what I wanted her to do.

Yes, I lied to her. I manipulated her feelings. And I will admit both those things are wrong.

Considering the circumstances, it was the right thing to do because as she bawled loudly, the sound of her tears masked the sound of me going into her bag removing the loaded magazine from her pistol.

When she turned her head to get more Kleenex from the box that I tactically positioned behind and to her right, she wouldn’t see me pocket the magazine.

She finished her glass and I got her suitcases out of the foyer and took them to the guest bedroom. I rolled both bags in to find that she’d grabbed my bottle of Buffalo Trace again and was drinking it straight from the bottle. You know what? Fuck it. She went to Tulane. She knows how to party.

I make up the bed for her as she took a shower. Even after that, she still reeked of alcohol and poor life decisions. Not all that different than the four years she spent at Tulane.

I tucked her in and I told her we’d deal with everything in the morning. I put a bottle of water and four Advil next to the nightstand.

It was 4:00 a.m. I had company coming later in the day. This sucked.

My alarm went off at 8:00 a.m. My contacts were stuck to my eyes and after a 10 minute long fight, I declare victory. Against all odds, Karen was already awake and sitting at my table with a glass of freshly squeezed orange juice. And there’s a fifth of stoli on my counter that was not on my counter last night.

I grabbed my Blackberry, called her mother and asked her to drive over here and get this mess out of my house. I has company coming over later in the day and I wanted to make her problem her problem again. When the arrived, they began apologizing, but i wasn’t having any of it.

I told them she needs help and to get her to an inpatient facility or group therapy or something. They took her, her suitcases, her stripper shoes and her laptop. I told them her Blackberry was somewhere in the vicinity of the offramp from US 190.

I headed back to my desk, took the loaded magazine out of my pocket and threw it in a desk drawer.

All things considered, am I proud for lying to her and manipulating her and making her cry (even more)? Absolutely not. However, given the circumstances, I had needed to do something to get that magazine out of her gun. Desperate times call for desperate measures. I like to think that maybe I made a difference. We’ll never really truly know what was banging around in that head of hers.

The good news is Karen made it through that rough patch and she’s doing better now. She has yet to ask for her magazine back.

I’m tempted to have it mounted on a plaque, a testament to the ingenuity of friendship.

comments

  1. avatar some internet nerd says:

    can we get a tl;dr for this?

    1. avatar that other internet nerd says:

      “I have a White Knight complex, and made somebody else’s problem my problem. But this stokes my ego, proves what a Big Man I am, and excuses all sloppy writing and proofreading.”

      1. avatar James says:

        Thanks, I gathered it was something along those lines but couldn’t be bothered reading.

      2. avatar Supermike says:

        Haha… yep 😂

    2. avatar Cloudbuster says:

      I’m ashamed to say I read all the way to the end hoping there would be a point. To anyone else: save yourself the trouble.

    3. avatar Bloving says:

      That was a tad callous…
      Alright then – here it is:
      Not every gun owner has their head on straight at all times. If someone is having a rough emotional time (and/or is intoxicated) and you feel they may be a danger to themselves, there is nothing immoral with some subtle intervention until they have a chance to sleep it off and get their head clear.
      That is all.
      🤠

  2. avatar Bob says:

    Tl;dr

    FC removed a magazine from a suicidal friend’s pistol

  3. avatar Kyle in Upstate NY says:

    I reached into my center console and pulled out a .357 magnum Smith Model 686 and a bottle of Flintstones chewable vitamins.

    Man that made me crack up 😀

    1. avatar Vic Nighthorse says:

      Sounds like he reads Lee Child novels, a lot.

    2. avatar John in AK says:

      What was the serial number? Did it have a target trigger and hammer? Just IMAGINE how much better this could’ve been. . .

      “I carefully slipped on my Fruit-of-the-Loom briefs (white, Easy-Fit, size M), then put first my left leg and then my right into my well-worn Levis Boot-Cut blue denim jeans (size 36/40) with the slight tear in the right front pocket, and fastened them around my lean, muscular, slightly-tanned waist with the 1.25″-wide brown cowhide leather belt (Booney & Smith, Model 266) and the ‘Freedom Isn’t Free’ American-flag metal belt buckle made by the US Belt Buckle Company of Portland, ME (Box 21 Route 1, 01005). That’s not that far north of Biddeford, where you can still get a lobster roll for less than $5.00, you know.
      Then I coolly slipped my Smith & Wesson (Bangor Punta Era) Model 686-1–you know, the one with the pinned barrel and recessed cylinder–serial number 7K26589 with its 6″ brushed-stainless barrel, target grips (Goncalo Alves, of course), white-outline rear sight and red ramp front, out of its slightly worn blue cardboard box, and gently loaded it with six (it’s OK, it’s DA) Federal .357 Magnum LE357125 125-grain Hydra-Shok cartridges, starting from the upper left of the cylinder and working around anti-clockwise, then closed the cylinder smoothly and slipped the shiny Dealer-of-Death into my GALCO Model 6 OWB holster, already attached to my belt.”

      See? THAT’s how you write heavy, pedantic, over-detailed B*llsh*t!

      1. avatar Tom in Oregon says:

        Dayum!
        That was some good reading.

      2. avatar Rokurota says:

        Thanks, Bret Easton Ellis. Go review your business card again.

  4. avatar ZI says:

    Ok, this sounds like a “Dear Penthouse”
    With the good parts removed…

    1. avatar Just Sayin says:

      Hahaha
      Roger that.

      Although cudos to FC for keeping me reading.
      “Fool me once…”
      LoL

    2. avatar Mike W. says:

      Milk thru nose at that one ! lol

  5. avatar Ed says:

    With friends like that…..FUCK NO. I dont care if that pussy pays off in gold…

  6. avatar tsbhoa.p.jr says:

    “…and had more cars with horses on their hoods…”

    i had a truck with a deer on the hood once, but i don’t think you could say it was prancing.
    other than that, cool story bro.

    1. avatar Gun Free School Zones are a crime against humanity says:

      I had an owl on my windshield recently. That was a fun few moments.

      1. avatar tsbhoa.p.jr says:

        perhaps you were parked above his burrow.
        and it’s easter lilies that are toxic to felines.

        1. avatar Gun Free School Zones are a crime against humanity says:

          I was doing 35 at the time. He just really wanted to meet me.

        2. avatar tsbhoa.p.jr says:

          fireflies are de- lighted to meet me that way.

    2. avatar Scoutino says:

      I had a deer on my minivan’s hood and pigeon on my helmet’s face shield.
      No pony or prancing horse to be found in my garage.

      This story, which I read thoroughly (waiting for something interresting to come up), tells us about lost opportunities and bad friends who would steal our magazines.

      I bet you pat yourself on your back for possibly saving her life. What could have stop her from stepping in front of a semi truck if she wanted to die that day? How would you feel if she got mugged, raped and killed the next day, knowing you rendered her defensive hand gun useless?

  7. avatar Specialist38 says:

    DID NOT READ.

    Quit posting shit this douchebag writes!

  8. avatar John Thayer says:

    I thought that style of prose went out with “True” magazine. Apparently not. Too bad. It should have.

  9. avatar internet tough goy says:

    I think I like it better when he’s writing assholish assholery. The article is what would happen if someone with aspergers tried to write noir

  10. avatar former water walker says:

    THIS is what passes for writing?!? Although his thoughts on Hillary may turn out to be correct. I hope not. I made it halfway. Twaddle R us…

  11. avatar Ed says:

    Asshole article about who NOT to hang out with….gee thanks.

  12. avatar Larry says:

    Didn’t understand the first part , horses on hoods ?she owns Mustangs ?
    Gave up shortly after , way to,long and dime novel wordy .

    Cool story Bro ?

    1. avatar tsbhoa.p.jr says:

      as far as this tale is concerned, i would refer you to the badge on the hood of a lamborghini. it’s a far more appropriate critter and it comes from bologna.

  13. avatar Sam says:

    Wow. What drivel. Why are you wasting our time with this crap?

    This drops TTAG credibility down

  14. avatar Indiana Tom says:

    Seems like an interesting group of people.
    Happy where I am.

  15. avatar samuraichatter says:

    Where to begin?!

    You gave alcohol to an already intoxicated basket case and left more lying around – even after knowing she had respiratory issues.

    You lied about your family history, which borders on the sacred, just to stay in the friendzone.

    You got involved in a domestic dispute that you knew next to nothing about for again friendzone.

    You mentioned stripper shoes more than once, she “climbed the corporate ladder”, and she is from LA. I am guessing she was a least decent looking. You are a guy and you answered her call with “Hey babe, what’s shaking”; that tells me you wanted that dixie pie – the kind that is only served south of her belly button.

    How/Why are you proud of this? Did it ever occur to you that SHE is the a-hole who wrecks the lives of everyone she meets? She’s a lush and that explains her bad choices. What is your excuse?

    * “She was stinking drunk. She was angry at her parents. She’d already claimed to have made at least one attempt at suicide.”

    Half of the female population at any given college.

  16. avatar TheOtherDavid says:

    Horses on hoods.

    OK. Options include
    1) an actual horse – so wrong in so many ways
    2) Ford Mustang
    3) Ferrari
    4) Colt AR, although in fairness he did not say “prancing pony.” And I’m not aware of “hood carry” being an approved option
    5) “Hood Carry” on the other hand sounds like something that happens in Chicago with a HiPoint
    6) “HiPoint Hoodcarry” would make a great name for a 2A advocate that makes guest appearances on Spongebob Squarepants.

    1. avatar HiPoint Hoodcarry says:

      Whatchu talkin bout?

  17. avatar H says:

    April Fools? 🙂
    Read like 1980s Penthouse Forum.
    Do you write for them? 🙂

  18. avatar Matt says:

    Jesus, Mary, and Joseph; that was obnoxious. I’ve never read an article by this guy that didn’t leave me thinking that, a) I just wasted my time, and b) this guy is a jerk.
    Whatever bets you guys keep making and losing that you keep having to publish articles from him… Just stop. Please.

  19. avatar CZ Peasy says:

    I made it to “dated investment bankers EXCLUSIVELY” before I realized I had been punked and stopped reading. So bad.

  20. avatar Mad Max says:

    In all the gin joints……..too many dots…

  21. avatar Stokeslawyer says:

    I knew FC was an idiot. He basically wrote a novel about how he needed a freakin’ armorers class to remove a Glock magazine.

    1. avatar Cloudbuster says:

      I should take one of those classes. Having to buy a new Glock every time the magazine runs dry is getting expensive.

      1. avatar Gun Free School Zones are a crime against humanity says:

        They ship from the factory with loaded mags? No wonder they’re so popular.

  22. avatar Anner says:

    I almost…almost…had a bit of hope that an article from FC wasn’t a total piece of condescending shit.

    http://web.archive.org/web/20161110172142/http://www.thetruthaboutguns.com/2016/11/firearmconcierge/voted-hillary-clinton/

  23. avatar BC says:

    So you [claim to have] mouthed off to a cop in a class, take the time to take a children’s vitamin when you feel a pistol is needed, give copious amounts of alcohol to someone you knew was already drunk (even worried about alcohol poisoning), purposefully make someone try to feel worse when you heard them say they’re suicidal, apparently can’t distract said drunk person long enough to pull a mag, do it secretly instead of actually telling them what you’re going to do, and then claim it’s how you used training?

    Don’t break your arm patting yourself on the back. Cuz you don’t deserve it.

    1. avatar TStew says:

      ^-this.

  24. avatar Underdog says:

    What in the Glock was this drivel? Not only was this fiction/fantasy bad, but the epic detachment from English and standarderdized writing gave me a headache before the second paragraph.

    How did this BS get posted?

  25. avatar miforest says:

    good job.

  26. avatar Swarf says:

    Wait. You took an armorer’s class to learn how to remove a Glock mag?

    Pretty sure this whole dog’s breakfast of an article was so you could lie about calling a cop a “motherfucker” for no good reason.

  27. avatar Rusty Chains says:

    Wow, I must be a genius, since I can tell if a Glock has a round in the chamber and even remove a magazine without ever having attended an armorers school!

    Damn, I’m smart!

  28. avatar Buck says:

    April fools anyone, otherwise wow

  29. avatar Spartan357 says:

    None of this ever happened

    1. avatar Jack Crow says:

      Yep. Why anyone at TTAG thinks readers want to read the latest from FC is beyond me.

      I can only assume, cynically, that FC drives an angry (myself included) comments section, and more comments=good for biz.

      If any editorial oversight were happening, it is tough to imagine this making it to “print.”

  30. avatar Thomas says:

    This is the dumbest post I have read on this site.

  31. avatar Gralnok says:

    Wow. Just wow. Not a single comment to say the guy did the right thing.
    Did he go about it the right way? Probably not, but there is no real right way to deal with this sort of situation. I’ve had suicidal friends before, friends who just called me up in the middle of the night, bawling their eyes out, friends who I’d still support, because I personally consider myself a good friend. Nobody knows exactly how to deal with this sort of situation, but it could have gotten much worse. Now, eventually, we all have enough of these friends who constantly say they will kill themselves. I personally don’t tolerate that sort of talk anymore, but I used to. A long time ago. Everybody makes mistakes. Everybody does what they think is best. Usually, at least in my case, I ended up fucking things up and prolonging a rocky relationship that should have ended much earlier, but the intentions were still good.

  32. avatar Joseph says:

    ” I once spent a week in armorer’s classes and one of the LE folks attending asked me what I was working so hard towards. I looked up and him and I said, “Life, motherfucker. What are you here for? Department-mandated recurrent?” I seriously doubt you said that.

  33. avatar Moltar says:

    well damn maybe the stuff I write does stand a chance… I mean you publish this absolute dreck. Look everything about this reads like a cross between a very bad noir novel and a dear penthouse forum letter dated 1976. I cannot explain how little I care that the “lady” in this story owned either Mustangs or Ferraris, wore stripper shoes as FC terms them, and just why in the hell was it so important you went to a Glock armorers course and insulted a cop you didn’t know for no reason? As a side note stripper shoes do not include sensible heels nor the strappy heels currently in vogue. You say stripper shoes and most of us picture black or red patent leather Fvck me pumps or similarly styled stilettos, also her dating preferences DO NOT matter in this context unless you’re trying to play up your conquest of her which you didn’t include in your story but we all know happened once she passed out in your guest room or just after the shower you say she took. Look FC you’re an asshole so at least own it admit you thought it was a late night booty call like she’s done so many times before but instead you rolled up on a family argument. Oh and also I wouldn’t be parking near peoples’ mailboxes and pulling my revolver if I were you THAT is a damn good way to get shot or arrested.

    I will give you credit in that you prevented a suicide but honestly I really don’t think she was going to go through with it anyway, I suspect it was much like many a teenage girl doing the same back when I was in high school and it was just another desperate cry for attention. When she didn’t get the results she wanted, she called you because she knew you’d be good for the attention she craved and she could easily string you along while only having to lay still for 5 or 6 minutes while you furiously thrust away.

  34. avatar ZachN. says:

    So you had a female friend who was a complete gold digger and then you took advantage of her because you are a complete irredeemable piece of trash? Sounds about right for you.

  35. avatar KMc says:

    Didn’t I read this exact story a few weeks back on Reddit? FC needs some new material, Robert.

  36. avatar lopaa says:

    I read the post and get some important facts about analytic. Thanks

  37. avatar fteter says:

    Sometimes you have to violate a lower principle in order to fulfill a higher one. Well done.

  38. avatar Marty McFly says:

    Brother, you can write. But this was stupid. Do you “quietly slip the car key from the fob” of a drunk buddy that wants to drive? No, you take their keys. I guess we are to assume that ALL ammunition in the home was under your direct control — being an armorer and all, you know you can drop one in the pipe without a clip, right? You’re may not be an instructor, so I would guess you didn’t realize that a chamber indicator checked in the dark is NOT AN ADEQUATE METHOD of determining that a firearm is not in Condition 1. Why not put the girl to bed and secure the weapon? The story would have been just as good (although the beginning STILL would make no sense.)

  39. avatar Bill says:

    I would have just boned her.

  40. avatar Justsomeguy says:

    This is the worst article I ever read on this site, and there have been some doozies. I kept at it because I thought there had to be a point there somewhere. I got to the end and I still haven’t found it.

    Does anyone realize just how poor and non functional this commenting system is?

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