I want the "Typical Gunshow" tale with all the beanie baby tables and the urinal cakes that overwhelm the food bar. I want to read it at our gun club meeting. Thanks.
Bump, for the night shift.
Someone out there has gotta have some stories. (I don't.)
Originally written by: J David Phillips
Subject: The Brooksville Gun Show Rag. doo daa , doo daa, doo daaa
Is your show anything like this one?
Arrive early. Usually a short wait to get in. For parking that is.
Overpriced parking that costs more than show admission. Gunshow is
usually held at the same time the Women's Knitting Society Doll Show is
held, and they open earlier, so all the good parking is snapped up. Oh
well, I suppose no one in Florida has any right to complain about walking
in the rain.
Now we've got the line to get in. Let's see, there are three lines. Gee,
this one is a bit shorter. Oops, why is it going so slow? Why the ####
is everyone in MY line paying with loose change? Cripes, the other lines
have cleared out twice over. Finally get to the booth. Oops, now it's
shift change. At 9AM?
A couple of sleezy looking good ole boys holding up the wall shout " Hey,
what'ya got on that chrome AK? Does it have the switch on it ?"
Now for the line to get in. Everyone has to be checked for guns. No, I'm
not carrying a gun. Thank goodness. The old geezer rent-a-cop is having
trouble trying to figure out how to open someone's 30-30 action.
OK, now we're cooking with gas. Literally. I have to run the gauntlet of
BBQ grill dealers.
Ah, a gun table. Looks interesting. Oops, spoke too soon. Someone must
be kidding. These are parts guns and this guy wants 50% over MSRP? Move
Here's a familiar sight. This old fella always has a table full of
Winchester Model 71's. The same table full. Meaning he hasn't sold any
for several years. I guess he's just displaying his collection and is
tired of saying they aren't for sale, so he's resorted to putting
astronomical prices on them to discourage sales. At least that's what I
can figure out.
Oh look, the Beanie Baby dealer fom Ozello has managed to move closer to the front door.
Couple of ultra fat sleezy good ole boys holding up the South wall shout
" Hey, what'ya got on that there chrome AK? Has it got duh switch on it ?"
Now I have to run the gaunlet of safe dealers who take your order but
never deliver. My sister had to get the state attorney general involved
to get her money back from one. Quickly move on.
Make quick pit stop. Wish I had gone before I left home. The facilities
are so filthy that I cannot describe them here. Wish I had used the safe
of the ripoff dealer to relieve myself.
Now I pass the snack bar. I could never figure out why it is located
right next to the restrooms. People are standing in line for hotdogs
that look like they've been cooking since the last gunshow. The smell of
hotdogs and urinal mints must make some people hungry, I guess. Quickly
This guy seems to have quite a crowd around his gun parts. Wait to get
close to table. Dang. It's all the pot metal 1911 bushings with built-in
comp and bayonet lugs. Work my way out of the crowd and on to the next
More Beanie Babies from a dealer in Aripieka.
Now a jerky and sausage vender from Brooksville.
Darrel and Darrel come up to me and ask " Hey, what'ya got on that chrome
AK? Do it have the switch on it ?"
Ah, some real gun parts. Unfortunately none for any of the many gun
projects I have. but it's good to know that if I ever get a Mondragon
that this guy has cornered the market for firing pins.
More beanie babies from an idiot in Crystal River.
Say, here's three tables with books. Let's see... "How To Turn Your
10-22 Into A Thousand Yard Assault Sniper Rifle". "How To Make A Fully
Automatic 10-22 Assault Sniper Weapons System". "Converting Your 10-22
Into a Fully Automatic Thousand Yard Assault Sniper Weapon". Hmmm, I'm
begining to see a pattern here. Move along.
Ah, the mountain man muzzleloader dealer. This guy seems knowledgable,
reasonably priced, has lots of inventory and accessories, and is
friendly. Too bad I'm not into muzzleloaders.
Here's a fellow I can't figure out. He is a collector. Yet he brings
glass display counters. Six of them. Full of brand new guns with
warranty. No 4473, cuz he ain't a dealer. He's a collector. Gee, wish I
could be a collector and sell dozens of brand new guns still in the box
from my collection each weekend. Course, if you are in 'business' , then
you have to have a license.
Next is the eight tables of guns from a local storefront dealer. They
are selling like hotcakes. Can't be the price, because they are marked
up even more than what they sell for in the store. After looking over
the guns and hearing "You gunna buy or what?" from three different
clerks, it begins to dawn on me that people are there for the abuse. I
think they're from Inverness.
Quickly move along.
Here's a table dedicated to sniping. He sells sniper rifles, sniper
scopes, sniper ammo, sniper clothes, sniper books, sniper bumper
stickers, sniper posters, sniper conversion kits for 10-22's, sniper
jacket pathes and how to snipe video tapes. Quite a crowd too. The
seller is telling some youngsters about the brave and noble Waffen SS
snipers who would hold their fire while old Russian women crossed the
street with their babies. Made sour mental note that perhaps Waffen SS
snipers might be a level above Lon Horiuchi.
Stop at a little table with an interesting old pistol. Unfortunately,
the seller is not there, as he ate one of the hotdogs and is soaking up some
of the restroom mints, but his sister's cousin's daughter's boy is,
and he's watching the table. Have to come back later.
Oh look, the magazine dealer. This old gentleman makes my visit
worthwhile. His prices are pretty high, but it's amazing the magazines
he comes up with. I need a magazine for a Walther P-38 in 22LR. By
George, he's got one. New in wrapper. $60. Ouch. Buy it anyway. Have to
make the parking and entrance fee seem worthwhile. Wish he'd sell out of
his house, but no, only at gun shows.
More Beanie Babies from another idiot in Lecanto.
Bruce and Larry from Queer People, Inc, ask " What'ya got on that there
chrome AK? Does it have the switch, sweetie?"
Another magazine dealer. Let's see what he has. Lots and lots of bins of
magazines for every imaginable military firearm since WWII. Uh oh, they
are all USA magazines. But, they're guaranteed for life.
And another book dealer. Let's see. "How To Turn Your 10-22 Into a...."
QUICKLY move along.
A pawn shop table. Cheap jewelry, watches and junk from a competitor in
Crystal River. I guess he's finally found out that one has to watch how
much stuff they take into the store.
Another sausage and jerky dealer from the place next door to the pet store
in Crystal River.
Alright! An old west firearms dealer. Rusted pre-war Win 1894 - $650.
Rusted Iver Johnson topbreak 32 revolver with peeling nickel finish -
$400. Halfway decent Colt SAA - note says it was owned by Jesse James.
Another parts dealer. Yep. Lots of parts alright. Too bad they all are
either demilled by being torch cut or look like they've been salvaged
from a sunken U-Boat. Thought I heard someone say they're from the Atocha,
and found by Mel Fisher.
Here's an interesting table full of guns. Decent prices. Decent looking
old guns. Hey, just what I'm looking for. Says the bore is good. Can you
please snip the ty-wrap so I can inspect the bore? Why not? Oh, you
aren't allowed to do that? Show management said so? How come all the
other dealers do it? You won't sell to me because I'm a trouble maker?
Geeeesh, must be from that Hernanidiot club.
Surplus military clothing. Lots of it. Along with surplus moth holes.
All at non-surplus prices.
Table full of cheap toys made by slave labor in communist China.
Oh boy, this looks interesting. Lots and lots of reloading equipment,
much of it in older boxes. Might find some obsolete dies. Yep, just what
I need. 25-35 and 32-40. I figure $20 each is fair. What? Do you know
your price is double the new RCBS price? Take it or leave it? They got a
lifetime warranteeee. Leave it.
A guy selling gun stocks. Do you have a stock for a pre-64 Model 94
Winchester? Looks around, slightly confused, then says his stocks fit
all Winchester 94's. Sorry, but no, they don't, they are the same stock
as the Win 1892. Well sonny, I've been in the stock biznuz for thutty
yaars, and I oughta know.
Familiar looking cast bullet dealer. Lots of nice looking bullets. Ask
him the same question I ask at every gun show. Do you have soft cast
45-70 and 45 Colt bullets with either SPG lube or no lube? I see, only
hard cast with lube so hard it might as well be plastic. What's SPG ?
Another gun dealer. Hmmm. Interesting Broomhandle Mauser. Say can I
***HEY MISTER YOU WANT TO SELL THAT SPRINGFIELD?*** look at your ***WHAT
DO YOU WANT FOR THAT WINCHESTER?*** Broomhandle Maus- ***I HAVE A
BAYONET TO FIT YOUR GARAND RIGHT HERE*** Give up and leave. He'd rather
cast his line at fish going by than one nibbling on his hook.
Another Beanie Baby dealer from New York, shouting out " Such a deal for
See an old acquaintence of mine that is a total gun show whore. Hey Samuri
Davie boy, you sure have put on weight. How much ya got on that there
chrome AK? Does it have the switch on it?"
A table with all sorts of old junk, none of it having anything to do
with firearms, being manned by a kindly looking old lady. Politely smile
and nod and move along.
Table full of project guns. All torch cut in two. Yep, they'd be a
Samuri sword dealer. I started feeling for my pocket gun and the switch on
Nazi collectibles dealer. Why are these guys always about 330 pounds,
need a shave, have a tooth missing, wear plumber's butt jeans and wife
beater t-shirts and have their hair slicked back? Oh, the 'DEATH TO ZOG'
bumper sticker is a nice touch. Skip whole row.
Demonstration row. Here's a guy with a hotplate and tea kettle showing
how his goop fog proofs your eyeglasses. I bought some of the stuff a
couple of years ago . Still have it, as it doesn't work. Here's a guy showing how his
vacuum cleaner can pick up a bowling ball (will keep that in mind when
the bowling ball buildup on my carpets gets out of hand). Here's a guy
selling a complete butcher shop kit. Bandsaw, huge sausage grinder,
giant meat slicer, more knives than a Ginsu ad, everything to keep
Jeffery Dahlmer happy. Here's a guy selling a meat blade that attaches
to your chainsaw to cut up your deer. Must be for the high volume
hunter. What else? A knife sharpener. Carpet shampoo. Car wash. Kit for
making 800 lbs of jerky. At least walking this isle was better than
going by the hotdog and urinal mint stench.
More Beanie Babies from the Christmas Store down the street.
Table with lots of AR15's. And the obligatory old geezer spouting off to
no one in particular, "By gum, that be them thar ay-salt wippins thet be
gettin the rest of ouh gun rayhts taken away, yessir. No self
ray-spectun sportsman would evah own one o dem. No sir. They need ta be
banned." Notice at least he has a wide space around him. Maybe it's a
plan to keep from being jostled by the crowd. I think he's the guy that
sells the blowguns down the aisle.
T-Shirt vendor. Has t-shirts like "DEATH TO ZOG". Gee, this guy is about
330 pounds, needs a shave, has a tooth missing, wear's plumber's crack
jeans and a wife beater t-shirt and has his hair slicked back. Shake
head wondering if he's related to the Nazi collectibles dealer.
This table is loaded with all the gun gimmicks of the last 30 years.
Glow in the dark sight paint. Folding 10-22 Assault Sniper Weapon Stocks
with Flash Hider and Built In Bayonet Lug and Oversized Tactical Safety
and Magazine Release kit. Barrel heat shield for 10-22 (they get might
hot after conversion to a thousand yard fully automatic assault sniper
rifle, ya know). Ah, this is interesting. Why I don't know. A 150 round
snail drum for a Charter Arms AR-7. At least when you're living off the
land you won't have to reload all winter.
Jerky and sausage dealer from New Jersey, shouting " Oy Vey".
Bikers selling Harley parts for 20% above retail from one of the biker trash
shops around Crystal River.
Mutt and Jeff stop by and ask, " What'ya got on that chrome AK? Duhs it
have switches on it?"
Local gun club group who says they are raffling off a Winchester 22 Magnum
rifle with a 3-9 scope. Raffle tickets are $10 each and go to
defending gun rights and their building fund. What building? Free club
patch, suitable for patching holes in your shirt. Ask them who won the
last rifle they were
raffling off. Sorry, can't tell ya. Privacy and all that. Do you at
least have a photo of the winner holding up his gun? Uneasy silence
while they all look at each other with that "gee, maybe we'd have more
credibility if we faked a photo like that."
Guy with a few bins of gun parts and a HUGE-BY-LARGE sign that says I
CARRY ALL GUN PARTS - JUST ASK!. Do you have a loading gate for an 1886
Winchester? No. Do you have a firing pin for an 1892 Winchester? No. Do
you have an extractor for a Rem 788? No. (Hmmm, let's try an
experiment.) Do you have a kit for converting a Ruger 10-22 into a
thousand yard fully automatic assault sniper rifle? Yessir, sure do.
Old woman at a table full of books. She weighs about 330 lbs, has a
tooth missing, greasy hair and is selling books with titles like "DEATH
TO ZOG". She vaguely resembles someone. Shake head and move on.
Only a couple of tables to go. Getting hungry too. And need to make a
pit stop. Figure I'll drive to the nearest McDonald's rather than risk
the toilet mint aroma hot dogs and the filthy facilities.
And what are the last two tables?
Beanie Babies seconds from their factory.
And a guy who has REALLY figured out marketing. His table has jerky,
10-22 conversion books, rusty gun parts, old reloading dies, a few Nazi
medals, and a rusted up top break Webley revolver, formerly owned by
My contribution? Parking fee, entrance fee, bought one pricey magazine,
headache from the toilet mint smell, and two black tire marks out of the
I honestly wish there were more of those at gun shows.
Hot Damn! Got a phone number?
We have had the southern womens show at the same time as the gun show. Talk about putting a daycare next to a dingo farm
All they need is some ex-military in an ill-fitting uniform preaching about the ills of the government and signing autographs.
Thanks. I will identify Mr. Philips as the author of the original version. Thanks
went to a gun show at the george r. brown convention center in houston once, while i was visiting friends from out of town (austin). the george r. brown convention center is a pretty large building, and can operate 4 conventions or trade shows at one time, due to the fact it's basically a large, rectangular box.
we pulled into the parking lot, and discovered that there was, in fact, a cat show next door. my buddy pointed out there was something, somehow, fitting about that particular juxtaposition.
gun show in one section, cat show in the other. plenty of targets...
I don't want to ban Beanie Babies and jerky, I just don't want to see them at gun shows. Sheesh!!!
I just wish that when I go to a gun show early on Sunday morning pay, the 6 to park and pay 6 or 7 to get in the door that the mother scratchers would be there to sell their shit. I always call this time a blanket sale cause the tables are covered with FUCKIN BLANKETS!!!
I remember way back in Houston when they had gun shows at the Albert Thomas Convention Center in the 70's. Tables were covered with VietNam surplus, you could peruse all manner of shit. One time a dealer yelled out that this wasn't no goddam museum his shit was for sale. Some of us replied, thought it was a museum, cause regular stores didn't charge admission like a fuckin museum does.
Don't forget the several individuals in the crowd wearing camo jackets and smell like sweat and @ss! There is one exception: the guy who smells like soap that showers only when he goes to gun shows!