I visited Cookie’s Drive-In over the weekend. It’s a hamburger stand here in Sacramento known for its milkshakes and its unconventional hamburgers (e.g. ostrich and buffalo). The burger and fries I had were fine—up to Cookie’s high standards. They reminded me of what has become an urban legend here—that Bill Clinton visited this drive-in in the 1990s. Ordered his food, then came up short on cash. I don’t know if it’s true. I tried and failed to verify the story when I first came here years ago. Now, I just like the story and don’t want anyone to ruin the story for me.
I thought about doing another Burger Scoot review and then–taking a luscious drag from my Coffee Toffee milkshake–thought why not just enjoy the shake, Jocko! These are the kind of shakes that require boba straws: the big ones that can suck up chunks—like the boba in Thai iced tea. BAM! I just sucked up a big chunk of toffee.Sucking up this milkshake reminds me of firearms and how the two incongruous things are inexorably attached to one another in my mind.
Recently, I was invited by my childhood friend, who I haven’t seen for years, to go discharge some firearms and drink milkshakes. I wanted to see my old friend that I haven’t spoken to face to face since the late 1970’s and catch over a milkshake. The gun part I wasn’t that crazy about, but that was the thing he really wanted to do. Mike is an interesting guy though we couldn’t be more different: He is a follower of Alex Jones; I am a Democratic Socialist. He thinks Donald Trump is a “great man” who will most likely be assassinated because we don’t deserve such a great man to lead our country”; I think Trump is a proto-fascist, but also believe that the Democratic Party is loaded with Neo-liberals that refuse to address the problems of working-class people. In a nutshell: I’m with Bernie. He loves guns and (I think) does not believe in gun control; I think guns and their users should be controlled the way drivers and their vehicles are.
Mike is an interesting guy though we couldn’t be more different: He is a follower of Alex Jones; I am a Democratic Socialist. He thinks Donald Trump is a “great man” who will most likely be assassinated because “we don’t deserve such a great man to lead our country”; I think Trump is a proto-fascist, but also believe that the Democratic Party is loaded with Neo-liberals that refuse to address the problems of working-class people. In a nutshell: he’s with Trump, I’m with Bernie. He loves guns and (I think) does not believe in gun control; I think guns and their users should be controlled the way drivers and their vehicles are.
When the day came, he picked me up and we drove to the gun range. The first thing I noticed walking inside the gun range building was there were no areas where I imagined we would have our milkshakes—just racks and racks of guns, ammo, sites, holsters, binoculars, and other things needed to start a war. The next thing I noted is that all of the employees wore sidearms. WTF! Mike brought in with him the long black case and placed it on one of the glass counters in front of an attractive young female wearing a sidearm. (Sexy!) Mike opened the case and in it were three pistols and a rifle, like he was Jason Bourne. Mike paid for both of us and I was instructed to watch a gun safety video on account I was not a member or that I didn’t have a license—I forgot. I watched the video, then we proceeded to the range. Still no milkshakes in sight.
Just a side note for those who think I’m just a socialist pussy: I have fired weapons before. Back in the mid-1970s, I fired a few rounds from a .38 caliber revolver into a felled tree when my dad, brother and I were camping with a family friend. At around the same time, for two seasons my father, brother and I hunted pheasant with Remington 12 gauge, pump-action shotguns. Besides shooting at pheasants we shot at clay pigeons. Finally, during this macho phase, I went duck hunting with a friend. Both my pheasant hunting days and the nightmare of that single duck hunting outing are fleshed out in another blog.
In the range area, we were given earmuffs. (Actually, I had to look up the name of the sound-suppressing doohickies. I was shocked something related to shuutin’ guuns would have such a powder puff name!) Mike stopped at a station along the range and opened the case. He pointed out each firearm to me: a .22 caliber rifle, a .22 caliber pistol, a 9 mm pistol, and a .45 caliber pistol.
We started with the rifle, moved to the .22 pistol, then to the 9 mm, and finally to the .45. The rifle and the 22 pistol were easy to use. So was the 9 mm. My aim was poor, but at least I hit the targets—most of the time. I don’t quite understand what is the point in firing a .45: it’s load, it has a horrendous recoil, and, ultimately, my shots were way off.
Two things bugged me while Mike was discharging his .45: why would someone create a firearm like that and why were the targets shaped like a human? The two answers are eerily harmonious. The .45 was designed to put a man down. So are the other caliber guns, but the .45 will keep the man down. The targets are shaped like a human so the operators of the firearms can aim for the head or heart center—putting your target down–for good. Fun times at the gun range!
Finally, we are done and in the McDonald’s drive-thru line and all I can think of is milkshakes. Mike keeps telling me he would love to do this again. (I found out later he has asked others if they would come along. I guess he hasn’t had any takers.) Mike stops with the gun date offer and goes on about The U.S. Constitution and the Second Amendment. It’s at this time I notice his left thumb is actually a big toe. “Jesus,” I jump back like it’s contagious. He tells me how he lost it. It’s not uncommon for carpenters to lose digits in their line of work. I keep thinking that he shot it off, but that’s just me. I get my milkshake and begin nursing on it while Mike goes on about how great Alex Jones is. I want to tell him how nuts the Info Wars host is (noticed I didn’t link his site.).
The milkshake could be better—it could be a Coffee Toffee from Cookie’s, but it’s a mother’s teet to me among the guns and flying thumbs, and talk of “people being disappeared” and “Trump is great.” Mike’s alright, just a little too “foil hat” for my taste. Mmm, taste. I just received another toffee chunk blast. I won’t be going back to the gun range anytime soon, but Cookie’s, now that’s a different matter.
By the way, Cookie’s Drive-in is located at 5640 H St, Sacramento, near California State University, Sacramento. The phone number is 916.457.8353. I couldn’t tell you where the gun range is.