Archive for February, 2012

Death Of The Comb Over

Posted in Uncategorized on February 14, 2012 by C. J. Edwards

It’s time to talk about something serious. Something that makes my skin crawl, something that creates a feeling of homicidal rage every time I see it. Yes boys and girls the time has come for the final offensive against the horrid comb over! So break out your weapon of choice whether it be scissors, clippers, or the old standby straight razor, and follow me into the breach my brothers. Come and be one of those happy few who dare to live bald and free.

The first time I was struck with the fear that one day I might suffer from the dreaded male pattern baldness was the summer after my first season of little league baseball. I was twelve years old and I had just broken my elbow after a fence jumping accident. Baldness was never foreign to me. My dad’s brother has always sported a shiny dome and that summer I began to notice my own father was beginning to slide that way as well. Terror stuck my young heart as I sat for days with nothing else to do but keep my elbow still and contemplate the horror that awaited me in adulthood.

One of the reasons the idea of losing my hair revolted me so much was that this was the early 80s. The 1970s and 80s has become legendary for the reign of the fantastically ugly yet often sported comb over. My church growing up was filled with them. Everywhere you turned greasy strings of hair were grown out of sideburns and wispy necks to be pasted to gleaming scalps. My pre-pubescent self would gape in astonishment at the blatant display of mass denial in male society around me. Did they actually think they were fooling anyone? Even if you weren’t sure about Elder so and so or Reverend you know who, you’d just wait for a nice windy day to see if anything lifted off.

This began four years of depression. Even as a young child, I was plagued by a vivid imagination. Constant scenarios and fantasies were always playing out in the twisty ridges of my gray matter which lead me to have issues with flying and many other silly phobias. So from that day forward I lived out countless futures of life filled with girls horrified at my unsightly dome.

When I was sixteen the first blow in my fight against the comb over was struck by Captain Jean Luc Picard. Yes television for the nerds among us gave me hope. When Patrick Stewart strode across the bridge of the Starship Enterprise I felt empowered. His proud well groomed scalp became a commanding symbol of a future where I didn’t have to fear a receding hair line. Since then men like Andre Agassi, Bruce Willis, and Vin Diesel have come out loud…er bald…and proud and stood tall for balding men everywhere.

Today the warrior leading the chic/bald offensive is actor Jason Statham. This weekend I watched the movie Killer Elite. Despite my earlier rants about there being no originality in Hollywood, this movie loosely based on a novel that may or may not be loosely based on real events, was pretty good. One of the reasons for this was of course because Statham was punching and blasting away across the screen under his scruffy shaved skull.

On a side note my brothers, if you want to see and action film but a certain female someone in your life doesn’t get it; take her to see a Jason Statham movie. She will be so occupied staring at those guns (not talking about firearms here) and that gleaming six pack she won’t even care about all the explosions and bullets spraying all over your flat panel. Afterwards she’ll grab that manly shaved head of yours and show you some hard corps action scenes of your own.

This is it men. This is the call you have been waiting for. Let’s gear up and get the word out. I am placing a bounty on the heads of all comb overs. Join me when I say, “I love the sound of a razor in the morning. It sounds like…victory.”

C. J. Edwards

STORIES AND GUNS

Posted in Uncategorized on February 11, 2012 by C. J. Edwards

Now that the Super Bowl is over, and I am done with twelve hours shifts, I can resume my true calling. Yes, I will return to my bitching. Not so much bitching I guess as pointing out a small observation that has grated on my mind for a while. While I don’t read as much as I would like, I do consume a fair amount of fiction. In the past two years it has been crime and noir fiction which has knocked me over the head and drug me to its filthy basement for dark and nefarious things.

When writing crime fiction, it is inevitable that bad things will happen to good and bad people alike, and common instruments in such stories are firearms. Over the last two decades one firearm in particular has captured the fancy of law enforcement, criminals, and writers alike. I am speaking of the Glock handgun created in Austria in 1982.

I am not here to write a history of the Glock pistol. If you would like to read more about how it became the predominate pistol used by American police departments, I have placed a link below for further reading on the subject. My concern is the propensity of authors to make statements about weapons in their stories that are exaggerated, overcomplicated, or just plain wrong.

Being in law enforcement myself, I have spent a great deal of time handling different Glock pistols. I have been issued three different handguns, all of them the Glock model 22 .40 caliber. For back up weapons I have owned a model 27 and currently the Glock 36. The latest model I was issued is the new generation four Glock 22 commonly referred to as the Gen 4. So when I read a good murder scene splattered across the page, you can see why I notice incorrect details involving the Glock pistol the killer is wielding.

The offending line that comes in a few variations and throws me out of the story is, “He drew his Glock pistol, thumbed off the safety, and fired.” Maybe it is a failing on my part, but this little discrepancy drives me up a wall. ATTENTION ALL AUTHORS. Glock handguns DO NOT have external safety mechanisms which can be “thumbed” off or on. No Glock pistol not matter the model is made with a traditional safety which can be turned on and off. The only safety on the gun is built into its trigger in the form of a tiny lever that must be depressed before the trigger can be pulled and the gun fired.

I guess what I am doing by writing this post is pleading with my fellow authors to do proper research in regards to weapons. This is especially important if the story’s main character carries a particular gun or knife that comes into play throughout the tale. My best advice would be to go out and find someone who owns the weapon in question, but if this is not possible find a local gun store that has a firing range. These ranges often will provide a variety of guns to rent to prospective leisure shooters. Often they will even have fully automatic weapons to rent, although the cost of ammunition will cause the cost of the rental to sky rocket when firing on full auto.

At bare minimum get online and read up on the guns your characters will be using. Do a search on youtube, and watch people shoot the gun in question. Many times you will be able to find instructional videos on youtube that show how to load, fire, unload, and clean all manner of pistols, rifles, and machine guns. It is a matter of a few minutes of research and will keep nuts like me off your back. A little research into the effects of ballistics would be advisable as well, but that is a subject matter for another post.

Remember, it is impossible for your character to thumb off a Glock’s safety because they don’t exist.

http://m.npr.org/story/145640473?url=/2012/01/24/145640473/how-the-glock-became-americas-weapon-of-choice&sc=fb&cc=fp