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Dangerous Dan shoulda stayed in bed.

Dan Griggs' day might have gone a lot better if he had selected a more accommodating place to pull a robbery. He chose to start a night of crime right across the street from the Lake Station, Ind., Police Department headquarters building. As amused dispatchers watched through their windows, Dan smashed into a lottery machine and stole about $50, then robbed the adjacent convenience store.

Dispatchers called for units to respond, but they were coming from a distance, and Dangerous Dan was sure to get away. Well, not quite. The dispatchers watched as Dan did his "angry dance" when he got back to his car and learned he'd locked his keys inside. Burning up precious seconds, Danny boy strode back into the store, grabbed a broom, and commenced pounding on his car window with it. He finally broke through, as the wailing sirens grew louder.


The chase might have gone longer if there hadn't been so many cops so close, and the streets weren't slick with new fallen snow. No doubt sorta overly excited anyway. Dan lost control and ran into a police car head-on. We'd say Dan might learn something from this incident, but we suspect he's the kinda guy who has a permanent dark cloud over his head anyway.

Too-Good Camo

When you sell high-end camouflage clothing to your hunting clients, be sure to remind them that it will in fact hide them--even if they want to be seen. You can also use this story to sell them something bright and attention-getting.

Ben Lipscomb, a city attorney and self-proclaimed experienced outdoorsman, was absolutely tickled with his new camouflage duck-hunting outfit. Later, he admitted it was perhaps too effective. He was hunting in the flooded, thickly wooded swampland of Bayou Meto in Arkansas with a couple of his buddies, and having a good day. Ben had bagged a brace of nice ducks when he saw a flock about 200 yards away. He immediately stepped out of the boat into hip-deep water, whistled up his retriever, waved bye-bye to his pals and set off.

A short time later he had four more ducks in the sack and started back toward the boat--he thought. It wasn't long before he realized he was going in circles and the boat and his buddies were nowhere to be seen or heard.

A full-scale search was launched, complete with helicopters flying grid patterns overhead. That's when Ben found out just how good his camouflage outfit was. He waved, danced and did the Bayou Boogaloo, but it seemed the searchers looked right at him and didn't see him. As the swamp darkened and dusk came on. Ben sipped scummy water and dined on raw duck breast. His dog was doing fine but Ben was getting worried.

When he heard a lone helicopter coming back his way for a final sweep, that little light bulb came on over Ben's head. He quickly stripped down to his bright-white boxer shorts, tied 'em to the muzzle of his shotgun and started waving his flag like a baton twirler in a parade. It worked and just in the nick of time.

"It was a real humbling experience." Ben later told reporters. To his credit, he shamefully admitted he had violated some simple rules of backcountry survival and hoped others would learn from his mistakes. This doesn't mean white boxer shorts ain't goofy-lookin', by the way. They are. It only means you ought to carry something more easily seen than a Mossy Oak bandanna!

The Kitty Did It

When three dudes driving down from the mountains above Boulder, Colo., saw what appeared to be an injured kitty cat in the road, their observation skills might have been a little, ummm ... influenced.

Jason Laird, 21, and his pals thought it was a bobcat or lynx, and Jason said "It looked up as if to say, 'Help me'." They loaded Kitty into their Jeep, later saying they noticed he sorta filled it up, and drove on, thinking of finding a veterinarian--or something. They didn't get far before spotting Deputy Jeff Canton's patrol vehicle, so they waved him over and explained the situation.

Canton opened the back of the Jeep, took one quick look at the reviving kitty cat--and slammed the hatch closed. After a quick call to the Department of Wildlife, a crew was dispatched to take custody of the injured 65-pound mountain lion cub. Officials said it was probably the biggest cougar ever rescued by civilians in the state. Kitty was properly secured and transported, and then Deputy Canton turned to another concern: the very distinctive odor of burned marijuana.

Jason offered the speculation that perhaps Kitty had peed in the Jeep and couldn't that odor be, like, ya know, like cougar urine? Duh!

"Mountain lions don't smoke marijuana," Canton replied, and after a quick search, popped Laird for possession. The cougar was presumed not to be responsible for the stash of weed, because, man, like, they got no pockets, like.

Do Not Staple

As the day went on, Paul Callahan was improving his technique as a bank robber, although his career was cut short at the end. First, Paul forgot that one of the first rules of bank robbery is to rob an actual bank. Boston police reported that Paul tried to hold up the Boston University copy shop, and was shocked when the clerk asked him, "Do you know you're in a copy store and all we can give you are copies?" He had thought it was a bank, and shuffled away empty-handed.

Recovering from his faux pas, Paul robbed a Fleet Bank branch just a couple of minutes later, but was frustrated when his "take" turned out to be less than $200. He immediately shifted to a Citizen's Bank branch, and this time scored a respectable $2,500.

Driving away from the scene, Paul's spirits were probably soaring--right up until the red dye pack hidden in the loot exploded, causing him to swerve and get a flat tire. Police picked him up at a gas station. Apparently, his spare was flat, too. So is his brain.

Smile! Go To Jail!

Stickup men have known for years that virtually all banks have surveillance cameras inside, but apparently the word is kinda slow getting out that many banks have 'em covering the outside of their buildings, too.

In recent months, at least two bank robberies have been foiled--one in Hampstead, N.C., and one in Versailles, Ill.--when suspects stopped outside to pull on their masks, thinking they couldn't be seen. In both cases, alert employees watching the monitors simply walked over and locked their bank's doors, then called police.

Truthful Crook

An elderly lady, obviously in poor health and having difficulty walking, shuffled into a bank in Pocatello, Idaho, and immediately got the attention and sympathy of the tellers. One minute later they weren't sure of their feelings. She was halting and polite in her speech, but she made it very clear to employees that she was there to rob the bank, she wanted all the money and she wanted it now.

Although she assured her victims that she "had a gun," she said it in a way that sorta implied she was referring to it in the past tense, like, she had once had a gun. Tellers said they believed that she believed in her holdup plan, but just didn't seem to have the forcefulness and energy to carry it out.

Finally, they offered her a seat and had a nice chat. She admitted she had indeed had a gun, but had recently been forced to pawn it to pay for groceries and rent. She was hoping they wouldn't catch the use of past tense, and might think she was armed, but she could hardly just outright lie about such a thing, could she? They called the police.

A spokesman for Pocatello PD declined to identify the lady or comment on her case, simply calling the incident "a sad deal."

Gotta Have One!

One of the biggest problems faced by out troops in Iraq is Sunni insurgents firing rifles and rocket-propelled grenades from the middle of crowds. Our guys, being Good Guys, are prevented from returning fire for fear of producing civilian casualties. But that situation could change soon.

In February, the Pentagon announced that the Marines and Army would be receiving a new non-lethal weapon for dispersing crowds. The device called ADS (Active Denial System) is a millimeter-wave gadget which uses microwave energy to cause a burning sensation all over the surface of the skin. In tests, even the most determined people would panic and run away when they got a taste of what being a burrito in a 7-Eleven microwave is like.

In its current form, ADS is big and bulky, and has to be mounted on heavy vehicles. But how long do you think it's going to be before a compact--and then a mini-compact version--is coming off the line? And you don't even have to get a good sight picture to use it!

We're waiting for the mini-size--then we'll never ride in a crowded elevator again!


Got a humorous tid-bit you'd like to share? Heard a good one from a friend or read a weird item? Share it with the rest of the shooting industry through "Back Blast." Send newspaper clippings, jot your story on the "Back Blast" form inserted in this magazine, or send your yarn in on a sheet of your company's letterhead. We'll send them by armed courier to Commander Gilmore. If he uses your submission, we'll send you a Shooting Industry "Back Blast & Other Hot Gases" T-shirt (Wow? Such a deal!). Please indicate your T-shirt size.
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Title Annotation:Back Blast & other hot gases
Author:Gilmore, Commander
Publication:Shooting Industry
Date:Jun 1, 2005
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