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I Need To Listen To My Own Advice

Literally the scene last night.

Full disclosure, I haven’t seen Kingpin but I am “obtaining” it right now to give it a watch.
Took an Amish family out to dinner and then bowling last night to celebrate one of their kid’s birthday. We have known her for years and are very fond of her so I was happy to drive them. Dinner was an an overpriced and underwhelming Mexican place in Fort Wayne. Very unimpressed. Then off to an entertainment venue for bowling.
About five minutes there and two things became readily apparent:
– This was the exact situation I warn against getting yourself into
– The setting and clientele is why we all need to know our ABCs: Always Be Carrying
In my nearly 50 years on this globe I have never set foot in a bowling alley until last night so my image of what a bowling alley would be like looks like a lot like a 1970s sitcom, lots of White guys in polyester pants and White women with big hair. 
That was inaccurate. 
About half of the patrons were White,  mostly teens and young adults, a few couples and families. Having fun on a Friday night.
The other half?
Jeebus, I had no idea bowling was so popular with the joggers. A few piles of burning tires and I would have thought I was back in Port-au-Prince.
Sure the bowling alley was naturally a little noisy with conversation and laughter, balls crashing into pins and some music playing but the real racket? 
Wandering Africans, all shouting at each other. One corpulent black woman who, not kidding, walked past where I was sitting a dozen times, bellowing into her phone while she was video chatting with some other African woman, rocking some spandex outfit and atrocious fake eye lashes. A handful of their kids tearing around like maniacs. Multiple conversations happening at the same table, all at maximum volume. How charming! How enriching! 
A mostly public venue with a large percentage of diversity, kind of dark and alcohol being served. That is a textbook set-up for something bad to happen. I wasn’t bowling anyway so I spent the entire evening watching over the Amish and having my head on a swivel.
I take it this was a typical crowd because an off-duty cop in uniform had his car parked out front and was hanging around, showing the flag as it were, so I am assuming the alley pays him to just be there as a deterrent so that no “altercations” happen as those often turn kinetic when Africans are involved.  It wasn’t in an especially bad part of town but it was close enough to the bad parts to be convenient. 
One thing I knew for certain, if something went sideways it was going to be bad. Too many shady characters, too many Amish teens and kids who would freeze or panic. We probably shouldn’t have been there at all, especially on a Friday night. Amish can be kind of naïve about stuff like this and a little fatalistic about bad stuff happening. I gently suggested future bowling extravaganzas be held in smaller venues with less access for the unsavory. That suggestion was warmly received.
Sure it sucks that there are places in the cities we built that should be fun family entertainment that simply are not prudent to patronize but something sucking doesn’t make it less true. It was an important reminder for me. It is easy to talk about avoiding crowds when you live out in the country and only venture in town to get groceries but there is a reason for that warning. Obviously nothing happened and we could almost certainly go every Friday night for the next 12 months and nothing would happen but the odds of something bad happening go way up when you ignore the warnings. You don’t get bonus points in life for tempting fate.
Just remember, we have rules for a reason and you ignore them at your own peril. Lesson learned.


  1. Anonymous

    way back when I used to live in the city, I kept a loaded ar15 close to hand at all times.
    but that was philly and what used to be a nice area was becoming a shithole fast. I was always armed
    even before the permit to carry. any place you go today will be a problem. the chances of shit going sideways today is more on the likes of when, not if. remember the sage old man. stay away from crowds. that man knew what was up and had more than a few ideas about it. I do miss reading his posts every week. anyway, it does seem like the joggers tend to fuck up everything they touch now don't they ? anyone else feel like we standing in a puddle of gas just waiting for a spark ?

  2. Mike Austin

    When I leave out the door of my apartment I am armed. Always. Either 9mm or .40, with a spare mag. Whether going for a jog or on my bike. Always. Going to dump the trash or going to fetch the mail. Always. My apartment is 40 percent jogger. Always—and openly.

  3. Anonymous

    That's just life in the 'burbs, if you ask me. My immediate area on Long Island for the last two decades that I lived there was blindingly White, but the trendy-chic mall just two miles across town became a literal no-go zone after 5 pm Friday and Saturday. Ditto the beaches from early afternoon onward, every weekend between Memorial Day and Labor Day. Fast food joints, dollar stores, amusement parks, you name it. We were not exactly overrun with diversity on Long Island until fairly recently. But there were certainly pockets of it.

    Funny thing, though – I never ran across a single jogger at a farmer's market. Ever. Something about all-cash venues that don't take EBT, I am guessing. And the closest thing to rednecks that we produced in that area.

  4. Arthur Sido

    That has been true for a long time, the mall we used to go to as kids in the 1980s ended up dying shortly after I got out of school because it was overrun with animals and no one wanted to shop there.

  5. Tree Mike

    I'm old, not getting into any fisticuffs, can't run, only sorta quick walk. My EDC is a 1990 G19 with 2 G17 mags with plus mag bases. With the way things are going, you may be laying down suppressive fire while retreating. Careful out there.

  6. Skipperdaddy

    My AO is 0.02 Pop joggers and when I do see one they smile and say hello. We have our share of druggies though. ABC 24/7. “ What are you afraid of?” Not a fucking thing. Stay strapped or get clapped.

  7. Jim Wetzel

    Local question, Mr. Sido: what bowling emporium did you go to? It wasn't all THAT long ago (well, ten years, which to a geezer like myself is pretty much yesterday) when I bowled in a league over at Pro Bowl West, and it wasn't a bit diverse … it was,you know, like America.

    Where you were: did the name involve anything like crazed pins? Just wondering.

  8. E M Johnson

    2 spare mags always, added a Tx legal length fixed blade on off side recently. plus several spare mags in vehicle too. need a method to secure a long gun in vehicle for once I get back to it

  9. E M Johnson

    I'm thinking of taking out bottom of rear seat in the truck. Then bolt a Hornady AR locker with a padded cover onto the floor. Just the dogs ride back there so that's not a problem. Not a big fan of RFID locks but its more secure than one of those with a file cabinet type mechanism

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