Back in college, I worked at a restaurant in a bad part of Jacksonville. Of course, if you've ever been there, most of Jacksonville is "the bad part," except for a few acres in the Baymeadows area.

Anyhow, we had this really rowdy redneck bar next door. One night, two locals had gotten more than a little inebriated at this bar and got thrown out.

The bar and restaurant closed at the same time. The two angry men had gone home and gotten a pistol.

OK, this is where it all comes together...

Ten minutes after closing, the assistant manager and I were walking to our cars across the street when a car pulled up in front of our restaurant and opened fire with a pistol, taking out several storefront windows and then speeding off. My boss and I, who were safely across the street, just stared in disbelief for a minute. When things looked safe, we went back and checked the damage. A leather jacket that I had at the time had been hanging next to the front door, and it now had a nice clean bullet-hole through the left lapel.

Two days later, the radio station at which I worked got a single by the Chills called, "I Love My Leather Jacket," which is about a gift a dead friend left behind.

I still have that 45 (the record, not the gun!), and I have to wonder if there's poetry in this somewhere.

once upon a time, not too long ago, i had a friend who lived in a part of town that was ostensibly a nice, middle class part of town, but to the locals, it was just a really stupid place to live, especially if you had kids. but anyway, my compatriot and i were watching action movies and eating twinkies and goofing around like teenagers who have eaten too much sugar are wont to do, when suddenly: "ooh! quick it's an action scene! i can hear it! lemme up!" no, actually, that wasn't an action scene, that was a love scene featuring Arnold Schwartzenegger. and then the light begins to dawn on us as the *thwap*plink* gets a little closer...holy shit! there's some loon out there shooting at the house! the entire episode might have lasted forty-five seconds. a whole lot of things can go through your head in that time, even when it's cut down to thirty, because you're an idiot for the first fifteen. most notable, besides the obvious, "oh my god, i'm going to die!", was probably a line from an Andy Fairley song called "Ghost": "I had so much to offer and so much to say, but i pushed the wrong button and got in their way". i don't think i got off the floor for a good six minutes after that. then i looked at her, and she looked at me. and i said, "dude, you're sitting on the twinkies." mostly because at that moment there was nothing else to say. i could not form any other coherent sentences. then we broke out in gales of post-traumatic hysterical laughter, and like the hyper teens we were, started winging "ass-twinkies" at each other through the rest of the movie.

really, there was nothing else we could have done. it was so surreal that we couldn't process it, and returned to semi-standard behaviour for two hyper fourteen year old geeks.

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