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Author Topic: The Night of Randall's Crates  (Read 3343 times)

Joel

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The Night of Randall's Crates
« on: September 08, 2004, 07:57:30 pm »

‘Twas a warm Texas Friday, and nothing was brewing.
Then Randall called up and said, “Drop what you’re doing.
Come over to my place if ready or not.
I’ve something to show you: you’ll like it a lot!”

Now Randall my friend was a much older guy.
He sure loved to shoot, and I don’t tell a lie.
If there was a gun that he didn’t possess,
It probably didn’t exist yet, I guess.

From memorabilia of old Nazi swine
To Afghan jezhails, and a couple of fine
Springfield trapdoors, a beautiful pair.
And the best thing about him: My friend liked to share.

Infatuated with things that go bang;
If they’re really phallic, a helluva wang!
He had MAC-10’s and Thompsons and greasy M-3’s:
The cost of the ammo brought me to my knees.

So needless to say, when I took Randall’s call
I dropped everything and got right on the ball.
I jumped in my car and drove out to his place
With a whole bunch of ammo (y’know, just in case.)

He waited for me at the door of his house.
I started to enter, but right then the louse
Said, “No, it’s not here. We’ll need a short hop.
The surprise is locked up in the front of my shop.”

Now, Randall took pictures to fund his disease
Of weddings, and students, and some guy’s main squeeze
In short slinky undies; a painted-up mime
Hung framed in the front of his shop all the time.

But he also sold rifles and pistols and knives
And I often imagined the effect on lives
Of mothers of students who came to buy prints
And saw racks of AR’s – these were not subtle hints.

But this time, the moment we walked through the door
I looked in the lobby and there was no floor!
There were wood crates and cases of rifles and ammo
Enough for an army – some serious blammo!

“Randall,” I said, “What the hell is the deal?
Did you knock off an armory? Possibly steal
A shipment of weapons the army had bought?
You’d better get rid of these things! You’ll get caught!”

“Naw,” Randall said, “For it’s legal as breathing.
Everything here that you see will be leaving
On trucks in the morning. But John, until then
I need to guard them. So I called my friend.”

I was a pup at the time, not yet thirty
I thought I knew all you could know of the dirty
Dealings of those who took over our lives
As I callowly waited for nights of long knives.

I was stupid in ways that I now wince to tell
As I think of the place that seems heaven in hell.
I had thought Randall just one of the boys
Who always had good things to drink, and some toys.

Sure, we spoke of things as we thought they should be
And we cursed all the jackals that live in DC.
But it was just talk; I could never know more
Till Randall invited me through that front door.

He trusted me then, and I never knew why.
As far as he knew, I was only some guy.
I played with his toys, and I drank up his booze
With little to live for, and nothing to lose.

We went to the back, where his office was kept;
A place that was normally all neat and swept.
There were two ways to enter the office at sight;
The studio left, and the photo lab right.

There on the tables, and arms of the chairs
Were enough loaded guns to draw anyone’s stares.
An M16 leaned at the studio door
And a suppressed MAC-10 near the lab, on the floor.

I stood for a moment in silence, I guess
As I thought of the ruckus implied by this mess.
And I said to him then, as we walked though the door,
“Randall, my friend? You expecting a war?”

He smiled at me gently, and said, “Guess we’ll see.
‘Cause as far as I know, there’s just you and me
Who know where these crates are, and what they contain.
But John, if I’m wrong about that, there’ll be pain.”

Now, that was the start of a very long night.
I never thought Randall would ask me to fight
When I didn’t know who, and I didn’t know why.
But that night he sure seemed like a serious guy.

The first three or four hours of that dubious service
Randall was jumpy, and making me nervous.
He kept standing and sitting, and pacing the floor.
And then around ten, someone rattled the door!

Randall jumped to his feet, and he grabbed the MAC-10.
Went out through the door of the lab, and just then
The whole situation got terribly real.
I didn’t know just how the hell I should feel.

I snatched up the Colt, and I crouched to the floor,
In the studio shadows, my eye on the door.
I didn’t know why or by whom we were blown
But I sure didn’t plan I should die all alone.

Now please understand that I never did buy
Some great obligation to fight and to die.
I never knew why this night looked like my last.
My friend never told me, and I never asked.

If you think that sounds odd, if it makes me look dumb,
I don’t disagree; but here’s my rule of thumb.
I was never worth much; just a young damnfool whelp
Till my friend chose to trust me and ask for my help.

I was proud, at that moment, to sit on that floor,
Alone in the shadows, my sights on the door.
If I heard Randall’s Ingram, then I’d fire too.
Though I didn’t know what he was planning to do.

It’s possible just a few seconds went by
While I crouched there and watched my life pass by my eye.
Then Randall came out, with no gun in his hand.
And opened the door to an unarmed young man.

The gentleman entered with all good intention;
A customer Rand had forgotten to mention.
A problem mainspring was the cause of his biz
As I sat in the shadows, and tried not to whiz.

The rest of the night passed without more event.
In the morning I helped load the trucks, and they went
To some other place, and I never knew where.
I never did ask, because I didn’t care.

Now, whatever that whole thing was really about
Was a myst’ry to me, just some young redneck lout.
Wherever those crates went, whatever was up,
I never asked Randall. And Randall shut up.

Parts of my story are only a con.
His name wasn’t Randall, and mine wasn’t John.
And maybe he didn’t take pictures of stuff
And maybe the part with the crates is just fluff.

The years have passed quickly, now I’m an old fart.
Old Randall went quietly into the dark.
And what he was up to, he never did tell
But he taught me a lesson I’ve tried to learn well.

For silence and trust often walk hand in hand.
The things that you know are not yours to command.
But the finest and best gift you ever can send
Is the gift of your trust, asking help of a friend.
« Last Edit: September 09, 2004, 11:43:23 am by John DeWitt »
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Roy J. Tellason

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The Night of Randall's Crates
« Reply #1 on: September 08, 2004, 10:53:24 pm »

Good stuff!  :-)

 
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Lightning

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The Night of Randall's Crates
« Reply #2 on: September 09, 2004, 09:46:29 am »

Awesome, John.  Thanks.

--Lightning
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