Well, thats not totally accurate, at first I wore a hatchet but the sheath for it ripped sooo… now I wear a knife. At least that is, until I make a replacement sheath for my hatchet. Actually, I really could just wear both whenever the mood so moves me, but that is a lot of metal and would necessitate me donning heavy duty suspenders to keep my pants from falling down. Ever try talking to a girl when all of a sudden your pants fall down to your ankles and go “clank!”? Amusing for the young Miss perhaps, but highly embarrassing for me.
My hatchet is manufactured by Estwing and is a model E24A Sportsman’s Hatchet. It is made from a single piece of forged steel with a beautiful leather wrapped handle, the strongest, most durable design possible. I love the thing and have received many compliments from both men and women when wearing it, which was every day for about two years. The sheath is made of leather featuring a stamped design depicting a sprig of acorns, chrome rivets securing the cutting edge. There is a single chrome faced snap button securing the hammer head which snaps very tightly and is extremely difficult to undo. My one complaint is that the sheath has a belt slot instead of a swiveling loop like most professional fireman’s axes do, so that the handle pivots when sitting down. After some time, the belt slots in the sheath tore from constantly getting in and out of my truck, which I no longer have because the state of California stole it from me (Agenda 21 smog laws…). But thats another story. I tried to repair the sheath with heavy duty staples but it just doesn’t hang the same now and I’m not entirely confident that the repair will hold, so I had to switch to the knife for safety reasons.
I bought my knife at a gun show I went to with my mom, held at the Cow Palace and put on by Crossroads Of The West Promotions. I joined the NRA while there too and procured a one year membership which came with a magazine subscription (American Rifleman) and a really cheapo’ baseball cap sporting big yellow embroidered letters reading “NRA”. For the life of me I can’t understand why they would give you such a cheap, ill fitting ball cap, that I am so proud to wear every once in a while. I’ve seen the cap thrown in the rear windshield of people’s cars and sitting in residential window sills, which is probably the most practical way to display it. On the old noggin though, it looks kind of ridiculous, almost like a propeller should be sticking out of the top. Its the principle that counts however, not the fashion. We should all support organizations that protect both our Constitutional rights and the ability to defend friends, family and fellow citizens, God forbid the need ever arise.
SYNCHRONICITY UPDATE 06/13/14 **********************************************************************************************************************************
At this gun show, I bought a crossbow. The date was January 12, 2013. This poor little girl was shot with a crossbow bolt on March 26, 2013, only 2 months and 14 days later. Coincidence? Too many coincidences to be coincidence. Can we say “set up”?
At first, the purchase of my hatchet was immanently practical, that being a visual deterrent to robbery. The neighborhood that I live in attracts some fairly dangerous characters due to rents being less expensive than other districts (I live in the Mission). I also had been experiencing problems with theft from my truck. In better economic times the City of San Francisco was a prime territory for scavenging discarded items and I very much enjoy the hobby of “dumpster diving”. You would be amazed at the things people throw away, especially rich people. My entire room is furnished with dumpster finds that I couldn’t have ever possibly hoped to buy, even the clothes that I wear. Once you get past the psychological block and embarrassment of digging in the garbage, a whole cornucopia of unique and sometimes valuable treasures will befall you. No thanks Macy’s, Georgio Armani, Home Depot nor Best Buy, i’ll just dig in your trash and get the goods for free! Always with permission of course and usually the blessings of store management (less of a garbage bill for them). A “win win” for all!! The salvaged item may not always be 100% when rescued, but with a little automotive degreaser, blast of a high pressure car wash wand, tighten a screw here, a little solder there and viola! Now you’re cookin with Crisco for the price of lard! But I digress. Having a truck to haul your finds back home really helps a lot but also presents its own hazards. Robbery and theft. Chances are that what you think is nice and nifty, someone else will too. This is especially true if you just happen to have a discerning sense of style and impeccable taste, as do I. Sad face now because the State took my truck (smog test failure). Next, they’ll probably try to take my pitiful little life just for wearing a knife. A war on everything masculine, virtuous and good. Sigh…
What was I talking about? Oh yeah, robbery. Robbery and theft, thats it. Now getting back to the story, I had a neighbor in an adjacent building who is both a state penitentiary and federal ex-con. He had begun robbing me. Well, he was at least working up to robbing me and was certainly grooming me for the prospect. He did this by approaching me (between prison stints) while I was sorting through my salvaged finds on the tailgate of my truck and saying things like “oooh, this looks nice, I could give this to my sister, she has a house…” or “man, I could use this to fix my lady’s vacuum cleaner”. He would then pick up the item of mine, glare at me menacingly with a wicked grin and act like he was going to walk away with the thing. It seemed as though he was sizing me up, like I was one of his fellow gang member criminals who wouldn’t dare call the police. He would then suddenly and very irreverently toss whatever he had picked up back into my truck and immediately pick something else up. It would make me feel very uncomfortable and threatened, violated even. He was about six foot tall (I am five feet eight inches) and very muscular, a Pelican Bay regular which he wistfully referred to as “The Shoe”. After the second time this happened I began to think to myself, “self, this ex-con gang member is one day just going to walk off with your stuff or maybe even do something worse, you are going to have to find some way to discourage him and I mean right quick.” So I thought about it, brainstormed about it, finally coming up with a solution. I said to myself “What can I carry that is absolutely legal, functional as a tool and will also act as a visual deterrent, so that I never have to actually use it? Not a firearm, not a Taser, no, not pepper spray (that would only piss him off) and not a stick. I got it! An ax! No, no, an ax is just a little too big. What is smaller, more convenient, practical, legal and has the same basic visual impact as an ax would to someone intent on doing me harm? Now I’ve really got it, A HATCHET!” Images of George Washington and Davey Crockett began to dance in my head. I was so proud that I could now both solve my ex-con problem and simultaneously emulate two of our history’s most virtuous men (second to Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior, of course). I bought the hatchet the very next day. $60.00 and it was the last one in the store, the last of the short handled models before being redesigned. It was waiting just for me! Before I tell you how my new little best friend went over with the ex-con, I need to explain a few more things.
The Tenderloin Housing Clinic assistant director (the property management non-profit that manages my hotel) has since sent me a letter forbidding me from wearing my hatchet either inside of the building, nor on any property they own, including the hotel where I live. Why would they do such a thing, you ask? Some such nonsense about the hatchet could be construed as a weapon and that if I had justifiable reasons for wearing it that I could subsequently re-submit my request for reasonable accommodation for a re-evaluation… blabbity, blab, blab, blah, blah…etc. and so on. Can you believe that?? Just who do they think they are telling me how I can dress and what I can or cannot wear, in my own home? The “home” that I pay rent for, every month, ON TIME!?? The unmitigated gall. The nerve. How dare they? Actually, it isn’t entirely their fault, I kinda sort of started it. They were only responding to my “Reasonable Accommodation Request” form to wear my hatchet inside of the building, for both religious and cultural reasons. I only did this though, because the then building manager Ms. Kia Bautista (of gang tattoo infamy in a previous post) informed me that there had been a complaint and that I had to stop wearing it. That is when I decided to submit my reasonable accommodation request, based upon religious and cultural beliefs as my justification.
Decades ago, I took a world religions class in college and had become fascinated with Sikhism and the faith’s requirement that all adult males who completed certain religious tasks, must wear the Kirpan at all times (among other duties). The Kirpan is a small, curved dagger that can either be worn concealed, or out in the open and is for the purpose of protecting the innocent from evil and injustices. A Sikh male who has earned the right to wear the Kirpan is duty bound by faith to always be ready to fight for the sake of good, and I must say, I like that notion very much. I am not a member of the Sikh faith however, I am a Protestant Christian, but we do share similar doctrines concerning this topic though. More on that later. Anyway, my assertion to manager Kia Bautista was that both my religion and my heritage allowed me to be similarly equipped so as to protect myself and others, should the need arise. The complainant that I believe Kia was referring to ironically, may have actually benefited from me being so girded much later on.
Her name was Gina Prasad and she was a front desk clerk here in the hotel. A sweet and pretty woman, I miss her very much. Gina was working here in the very same position as when I first moved in, eight and a half years ago. When I learned of her suspected concerns about me wearing a hatchet in the hotel I was very confused. The new Case Manager told me that one of the staff here had expressed grave concerns about me wearing a “weapon” on the premises and said that it was against the rules. I informed the CM that my hatchet was not a weapon but a tool that I used to assist me in perusing my favorite hobby, that being scavenging discarded goods. It was the truth too. There are all sorts of tasks that are best suited to the cutting force a hatchet can offer, not to mention it doubled as a pretty decent hammer. Rubber hoses, copper & aluminum wire, breaking apart plastic cases and speedily freeing bolted down parts are just a few of it’s uses that readily come to mind. Sometimes you even encounter incredibly large rats that like the same items you do and who are disturbingly unafraid of human beings. I’ve never had to defend against one of those thankfully, but having a trusty instrument in the hand was somewhat comforting.
Whatever you do though, DON’T EVER CORNER A WILD RACCOON. They are absolutely fearless and have ice pick like claws, razor sharp teeth, are stronger than you think possible and will not under any circumstances back down when trapped. They will chew a hole right through you. Make them angry and they will even chase you at a gallop. If you ever stumble across one of these master survivalists, BOW DOWN to a scavenger greater than you, then run the opposite direction as fast as legs will carry. At the bare minimum they can inflict upon you a right proper case of rabies but, did I digress again? Sorry. By now you can probably surmise that my hobby has given me more than a few “war stories”. Back to Gina Prasad, former front desk clerk and all around sweetheart.
Gina had an abusive boyfriend who came into the hotel (months after her complaint about my hatchet), accused her of flirting with a male co-worker, viciously beat her in the front office and then kidnapped her. He was an ex-con too, just like my robbing neighbor. I was not in the building at the time and only learned of the crime from a fellow tenant a few days later, after not seeing Gina at work. Incidentally, THC has a policy of keeping us tenants in the dark and will tell us nothing of serious things that transpire. I have actually witnessed some major stuff go down with the manager present, walked up to them after and ask for details, only to be lied to and told that “nothing happened” or “I don’t know”, even though I was standing right there behind them watching it with them. I hate liars, true children of the Devil they are, who is the father of all lies.
Well, I had finished this post but Linux gave me a little trouble and threw out much of my work on reboot. I have a busy day today so I’ll have to get back to you with the rest of this story tonight. Until then, stay tuned. I’m as eager to finish as you are to read it.
Ok, I’m back now. There was a bit of nasty business that I had to attend to with some people who believe in a God other than the one I do. I really wonder if they understand that paying for your sins here on Earth is far preferable than doing so in eternity. Does anyone ever think about that anymore? You talk about what you are thinking, and I rarely hear God seriously discussed in daily conversations. It is like some switch has been turned off in their heads. If you are only here for 120 years max and then over there for all time never ending, which period warrants more gravitas? It is very, very difficult for me to harm people or do anything that injures them. It pains me to be confronted with the fact that to many people, it is no problem at all. And for what? Money, power, prestige and or sensual pleasures? Laugh, sing, drink and be merry for 120 max and then what? There is an existence after that you know. Just ask anyone who works in an industry that manages death. Rant over.
My neighbor, the ex-con, was not fazed at all by my hatchet. I found that kind of strange. I often try to imagine how the minds of people who have been through very rough experiences work. The answer I usually come to is that the more traumatic and harrowing the situation is, the more relaxed they become. Like this is something they are familiar with and derive comfort from the predictability, no matter how mortal the danger. Sick or heroic? Maybe a little of both. I can say that he didn’t try to bully me ever again. I guess all he needed was to have a clear hierarchical boundary set so that he knew his place in it. Typical behavior that is observed in both packs and gangs.
As for Gina Prasad, she was immeadiatly fired from THC and banned from the building. She came back for one day but had to remain outside on the sidewalk. She told a neighbor that she was going to move back to Hawaii. No word about her boyfriend.
What do all these groups have in common?
Their success depends upon them being good scavengers.