The following story never happened. Don't do this! Bad!
Miramar Marine Base
Miramar Navy base in San Diego was where the Top Gun programs used to be.
A few months ago the U.S. Navy handed Miramar over to the U.S. Marines and yours truly was on site for a party the night before sponsored by Microsnot. (I'm not sure I can legally use their real name without permission)
A whole hanger was made available along with twenty Marine Officers and eight F18 fighters. The officers were paid to drink free drinks and talk to us civilians.
There were a couple cute female Marines, but I was too nervous to approach them.
About an hour after determining the correct bartender for us, (the one that knew what a Vodka Gimlet should be) Ned stepped forward to interrogate the Marines. His first choice, a Lieutenant, a gun expert.
"Any nuclear weapons on this base?"
Gun guy, "I cannot confirm nor deny their existence. Next question."
"Those are real cool uniforms, have an extra?"
Needless to say, the Marines were less then impressed with Ned and I. But we were sure impressed with their arsenal. They had this BASG (Big Ass Gun) on display. A gattling gun, which is normally stored in the front of an F14 or F18 nose. These guns were cool because they hold 500 round clips of 22mm bullets, which they had samples of on display. They bullets are about six inches long and one inch wide. But don't worry, if you were hit with one, the large amount of explosives in the bullet would not kill you. That's because the bullet is fired at such a high velocity that it would pass right through you without detonating.
After taking pictures of ourselves in sexy poses in and around the planes, the party started to break up. So we walked past that gattling gun one more time. And we saw…it! The coolest little nick knack worth stealing on the base, a pilot's hat inside a box next to that BASG gun.
We knew we had to have it, but we would have to totally dig into the box and there were marines around with guns. So Ned turned to me and said,
"You know Tom, bullets are cool…."
And without another word we both picked up one of those six-inch bullets and shoved them into our pants pockets. We turned and did the nonchalant fast walk back to the train of buses carrying the guests back to San Diego.
But just before we got on the bus, we stopped and looked at each other.
"Yah know, that hat is really cool…."
We turned and walked back toward the box next to the BASG. But to our disappointment there were two marines standing next to it. Realizing that stealing munitions from a military base was a felony, we stopped to talk to the marines, just to determine if they had any idea.
"So, how is it drinking free drinks and socializing with a bunch of drunk civilians?"
The larger marine answered;
"You would not believe what some of these people ask, but shoot, I could get use to it, this PR stuff."
"Hmmm, got any girls on the base?"
"Shit yah! That blonde bartender?" Points back inside the hanger where crews of hired help were cleaning up. "She works in the officer bar, now she can make a vodka gimlet. And did you meet Lieutenant Daily? The pilot? Man, she's fly… fly up my ass any day, fuck."
They had no idea we were felons.
"Cool, cool, gosh, that's the last bus, huh Ned, well, nice talking to yah, take it easy."
They hadn't noticed the rockets in our pockets. We strolled on to the bus waving.
"Hey, think these would go off if we banged them against the ground?"
The crowd was fairly live on the bus ride back to San Diego. A woman in front of me stood up in her chair, smiled and bubbled; "Everybody sing!" She started singing a song I knew. I sang along with three or for other people. When that song was over I stood up and starting singing the Belgian football song.
It wasn't a hit.
"French sucks!" a guy yelled from the back of the bus.
Man, tough crowd. I sat down.
A few minutes later I was back into the swing, talking to everyone around me.
And then, out of the blue, a guy who was sitting kitty corner from me turned and faced me. "Shut up! You asshole!"
I stood up, squinting in my mean face. I Took the bullet out of my pocket, inverted it so that it was point at him and I started banging the gun powder end against the bus ceiling.
His face went pale white and his mouth dropped open.
The bus driver looked into his passenger mirror and screamed; "You! Get the fuck off my bus!" He pulled over quickly and let Ned and I out.
We only had to wait a few minutes before we could hail a cab. We went to Jim Croce's where we knew there was a Microsnot party. That's when we really got drunk.
The morning after I called the front desk at the hotel and asked for an 11:45 wake up call. Just enough time to shower and pack before checking out.
We took a cab to the airport. We barely spoke. We were on different flights.
I had planned to check the bag with the bullet through. When they found the bullet, I wouldn't be around. But somehow, I was late and the line was long. I had no cash for curbside check in. I was going to have to carry the bag on.
Maybe they won't notice. It is a really big bullet. Who would have a bullet that big? I bet, through an x-ray machine, it would look like a toy rocket.
I walk fast through the airport. I assume the nonchalant fast walk. I am on business. Business face……GO!
I get in the x-ray line and wait my turn. I put my bags on to the x-ray belt. I walk through the metal detector and queue up for my bag. BEEEEEPP!
I look over to see a woman waving her arms. I turn to her and say; "It's not real, it's just a souvenir."
She looks back at her machine and points to the tables where people have spread out their bags. "Tell it to The Lady."
I grab my bag. Lay it flat on one of the tables. Under the watchful eye of 'The Lady', I unzip the pouch with the bullet and pull it out.
Gasp. "That's a BIG One!" She starts waving her arms. "ACS! ACS!"
A man in a suit, radio in his ear, big gun under is jacket walks over. He is curious. I turn to him, ready to beg.
"Look, it was a gift. It's up to you. If you don't want to let me take it on the plane, that's OK. It's your call….."
He stepped forward and looked at it for a quick second. "Yeah, those are OK, go ahead."
In shock, but still wearing my business face, I put it back in the bag. I zip up. I pick up the bag and thank the man for not arresting me.
I walk on to the plane.
I spend all the money in my pockets on Bloody Mary's.