Yo’ mama probably refused you her tit when you were a baby, and you grew up a malnourished high school softie. Got you a gun, lil’ tight t-shirt, and became an overcompensated tough guy.
That’s one of a few memorable Martin Lawrence lines from the otherwise largely forgettable 2003 Michael Bay explosion-fest, Bad Boys II. It’s memorable to me because as soon as he described the “overcompensated tough guy,” I knew EXACTLY who he was talking about. Seen far too many of those dudes in my relatively short lifetime.
And just the other day, I encountered that dude yet again. A few of my fellow orphaned Rangemaster refugees and I all got together and paid a visit to a new establishment in town: a freshly minted indoor firing range, which shall remain nameless for now (partly because it doesn’t have a name yet, well, not exactly…but I digress). Anyway, the five of us sat down for a pre-scheduled chat with the owner of this get-up. He had space to teach HCP classes, but confessed to limited experience as a firearms trainer. We had about a hundred years of HCP training experience between us, but no place to teach. Match made in heaven, right? Oh, so wrong.
From the start, dude had an interesting attitude. First, he was quick to explain that the only reason he didn’t have much training experience is because he didn’t need it and didn’t want it. “I don’t wanna know all that stuff y’all know.” I assume he expected to simply farm out that part of his business. Fair enough — and given his stance in that regard, I figured our potential contribution to this enterprise was pretty evident. But he kept saying things like, “So what do you all have to offer me.” We told him (or at least gave him the abbreviated version), and then he’d ask again. “Y’all came here ’cause you see I got a nice business going. But I’m trying to see what y’all can bring to the table.” Well sir, again, here’s a run down of our credentials, um, one… more… time..… Crickets.
Of course, me being the sleazy lawyer that I am, I had already invested a couple or three man-hours of recon on this dude in preparation for our meeting. Thanks to the Google machine, I knew that (1) the business name that he had given me did not have an HCP school certificate for Tennessee, (2) dude himself was not a certified firearms instructor, (3) the “investigations company” that he ran prior to opening the range raked in a whopping $30K in revenue last year (not sure if that’s net or gross), (4) dude didn’t own a home but had listed his home address (and his business address) as some chick’s house, (5) dude’s security guard license was expired, and (6) dude has five or six cases pending against him in circuit court (most filed by Capital One). That’s for starters.
Now, those are red flags but not necessarily insurmountable. So after several rounds of fruitless grilling from him at our little pow wow, I tried to squeeze some blood from the turnip. He had been conspicuously mum on his own credentials, so I finally asked him, with as much disarming politeness as I could muster (not exactly in these words): Dude, who are you? I mean, seriously. We had gone through several rounds of detailed introductions and all he could give us in return was “I’m an analyst. I work for the government.” An analyst? What does that even mean? Which government? You know, there’s more than one. Then he punctuated that morsel of plattitude with a sprinkle of “I’ve travelled all over the world” and a dab of “I’m not doing this for money; I’ve got plenty of money.” Really, Mr. Capital One Defendant? Not that we had even asked about his money. He just felt the need to volunteer that tidbit for some reason.
I don’t begrudge the dude for having a financial hiccup or two if that’s the case. Lord knows I’ve had my share. But please don’t condescend from your almighty perch and talk to me like I’m stupid. Don’t come at my friends and me like we’re beggars looking to hang on your coattails. And don’t expect us to be impressed with or intimidated by your tight black shirt, your melodramatic combat boots, your plastic badge of nothingness clipped on your belt, and your super-fancy super-shiny super-slippery designer grips on your gun in your snap/flap/strap holster. I think this meeting is over. I guess we won’t be teaching there. 🙁