Security Guard Stories pt. 1

I don’t know why comedians works so hard to pull new material out of their butts.  As near as a I can tell, the funniest stuff in the universe is already being played out every day by collections of moderately-to-severely disturbed/bitter/hateful/annoying/sociopathic troves of pure comedy genius roaming the face of the planet completely unaware of their super powers.  You know how Bruce Willis doesn’t know he’s dead in The Sixth Sense?  It’s exactly like that except for hilariousness.

Over the years I’ve worked as a security guard in one or two places, and every time it’s been freaking awesome.  Seriously, if I could get a security job that paid my mortgage I’d drop this whole career thing I’ve been slowly peicing together in a HEARTBEAT, get a small, portable tape recorder, switch it to on and fall asleep near wherever the 65-year-old former marines-turned-security-guards were most likely to be able to ogle hot 19-year-old girls in booty shorts without getting caught.  Well, that’s not true.  Most of them don’t care if they get caught, because I don’t think they view hot girls as anything more that mobile, fleshy support systems for suspending boobs at slightly below eye level.  Here is an actual exchange I witnessed less than four days ago at the cultural institution at which I work.

Girl With Big Boobs who was More Than Likely Over 18 But We’re Not Really Sure:  Hi.  Can you tell us where the…are you staring at my chest?

Vinnie:  Yes. (I know, right?!?!  Balls like f-king mortar rounds.)

Girl:  Eeeew. 

Vinne:  What?

Girl: You’re disgusting!   (stalks off) 

Vinnie:  (Turning to me)  Dude, what a f-king c-t.  I f-king hate the class of people who come here.  And get that f-king kid off the table before he kills himself.  Don’t these little pricks realize how much paperwork I have to do to explain to management that they learned a valuable lesson about gravity?  S-t.   

Maybe that’s just funny to me, but I’m sitting here alone in my bathrobe laughing my ass off at this very moment thinking about that!  And if you hadn’t put it together, that entire profanity-laced tirade was within about, oh, 2 feet of a pile of kids.    But what’s really awesome, is that little exchange right there lets you in on just about the entire mentality of the security guards around which I seem to constantly find myself.

Now among the collection of retired police and military gentlemen who work at a particular establishment at which I volunteer now and again, there is one person who rises so far above the rest of the cream it would be almost impossible to begin to describe how awesome he is…but for the fact that his subtleties and sophistications also happen to right down the pipe of  degredations for which I have staked my literary career.  Me describing Nick makes me feel like Joe Frazier knowing he’s going to be stepping into the ring with Ali for the first time in 1971.  One way or another we are going to answer some questions about the breadth and scope of my vocabulary RIGHT NOW.

First off, you have to understand that to describe Nick physically is to describe virtually every other aspect of his existence.  Nick is probably about 70, and he looks like a man who spent every single one of his 25ooo or so days locked in a dark, damp, concrete walled solitary confinement cell deep in the ground  paranoically oiling his shackle chaffes and lighting his own farts. 

 He is roughly shaped like a dangling dry-aged ham with two stubby short legs protruding from a pair of trousers which have a waistband the size of a beachball and legs with no taper straight through to the ground, resulting in pant legs so large one is wholly unable to detect the movement of his legs inside.  The resulting illusion of non-leg-induced locomotion not only allows him to sneak up on and scare children who are misbehaving because his pant legs appear to remain still, but on further introspection one could easily be left to conclude that he propels himself by means of  a single, broad foot which hydroplanes on a layer of slime rather than a traditional bipedal modality. 

Nick has few vices any more owing to the fact that his liver and kidneys are barely able to process the constant decay of a body ravaged by time, Wild Turkey, Vietnam, a hateful marriage, and the two Hungry Man XXL frozen turkey entrees he takes in during every lunch break.  The ridiculous amount of salt he consumes in these two meals is probably the only thing keeping him alive other that the rejuvenating properties of staring at 17-year-old girls,because his astronomically high blood pressure allows him to successfully pump blood past his semi-herniated abdomen to his toes.  Normally a systolic pressure of 750 would immediately rupture every arterial wall in the human body like a condom being inflated by a fire hydrant, but Nick’s arterial walls are so hard from a combination of cholesteral and three tours of Vietnam that his blood is basically flowing like sausage through a meat extruder.   

Oh, and about those three tours of Vietnam.  Nick was drafted into Vietnam when he was barely 18, and he appears to have had a somewhat different impression of the whole scenario than most of the PTS affected veterans who returned as shattered, broken, battle-hardened shells of once great men.  Nick, well, I’ll let him tell it.

Nick:  I did three tours in Vietnam

Me:  Holy S-T dude, that’s terrible.

Nick:  What, are you kidding me? Vietnam is the greatest place on earth.  Let me tell you something sonny, killing {racist epiteth} is the single greatest sport mankind can engage in.  After my first tour ended, I went back to the states and they made me an MP.  After a year of that S-T I got bored because I was teaching stupid spoiled rich kids about things I’d already done for real, so I reenlisted to get the hell back in the action.  I had a great time until I got shot in the leg.   

Me:  Holy S-T dude, that’s terrible.

Nick:  What, are you kidding me?  I didn’t even know there was a problem until I pulled off my boot and poured out a puddle of blood.  I thought the squishing was some {racist epithet} I stomped on. My buddy wasn’t so lucky.  He had a riccochet catch him right in the middle of his forehead going straight up.  Peeled the skin straight back and popped the top of his skull clean off like a tin of spam .  Nastiest thing I’ve ever seen.  His brain was just sitting there like he took off a hat, and the top of his skull was flappin’ like a flag in the wind.  I thought for sure he was dead.

Me:  Holy S-T dude, that’s terrible.

Nick:  Naw, the doctors just flipped that baby back over and sewed it closed again.  Had him back home in no time and once they fixed my leg up I got right back to killin’   

Me:  Holy S-T dude…

Nick:  You know what the best part about Vietnam was?  Open season and no bag limit.   God I miss it.

Me:  Holy S-T…

Yeah.  Pretty much.  Apparently Nick loved Vietnam so much that when the war ended, they literally had to kick him out.  Literally had to KICK HIM OUT OF VIETNAM.  I guess he hung out on the army’s tab by volunteering for virtually every cleanup duty he could possibly find until the military looked at his service record and told him he had to get the hell out because they thought he was crazy for wanting to stay in a war zone that long.  Let me rephrase that.  Nick loved Vietnam so much it made an organization dedicated to killing people uncomfortable about how much he liked killing people.  I didn’t think that was possible.      

So now Nick works around kids.

Now despite being forced to wear a uniform every day at work, every security guard is allowed a few small bobbles and trinkets to personalize their own work experience.  For the ladies it’s often large earrings or a necklace.  For Nick, it’s weapons.  Plural.  Nick doesn’t carry guns to work, but you can be absolutely assured that he’s got a knife or two on him because, hey, you never know when you might have to shank someone on a sunny afternoon.  He actually pulled that thing out once and threatened some teenagers (Nick hates teenagers more than MPs.)  because they were harassing a squirrel.  Oh wait, I forgot to tell you.  There is one thing Nick loves more than Vietnam.  Well, maybe not that much, but almost as much.  That would be, somehow cosmically ironically, animals.  Loves em.  Nick would throw himself out a plate glass window to catch a baby slug that blew off the roof, and I’m pretty sure a squirrel in the park occupies a somewhat highter level of affection.  But as soon as the chimpanzee loses its hair and starts walking upright…Pure.  Unadulterated.  Hatred.

So where was I?  Oh yeah, Nick was going to shank some teenagers.  So these 14-year-olds are out throwing rocks at a squirrel or some s-t, and Nick sees this FROM THE FOURTH FLOOR WINDOW, abandons his post, and immediately gets on the elevator.  I could not help but be reminded of the time a friend of mine had a boyfriend who shoved her into a wall and she called home crying.  As soon as she told her dad, the phone just hit the floor.  Her mom picked it up and said, “What the hell did you just tell him?!?  Your father’s putting his pants on!”  Yeah.  So Nick goes straight down the elevator, out the front door, whips out the knife, and says as calm as could be (I’m told)

“If you throw one more rock at that squirrel and I’m gonna slit your tummy open and wrap myself in your guts like a meat toga.  You understand me, s-t head?”

THAT’S SO AWSOME I’M NOT EVEN SURE WHAT THAT MEANS!!!  Oh, and the kids pretty much pissed themselves and then pissed off.  I figured you probably put part that together.

So Nick comes back upstairs, more than likely to a look of pure, unadulterated giddy glee on my face, and the first thing he says to me after almost killing someone is, “Did you see that ass on that girl in the black spandex?  Jesus christ, sonny, it looks like two bear cubs fighting over a pot of honey.” 

I actually fell to the ground laughing.  Nick got a slightly bemused smile on his face, happy his advanced level of dirty-old-manness could be used to educate the younger generation, and says “I’d eat that out even if she had gas so bad my chin came up brown.”  Then he went to lunch.  That was his afternoon.  And probably every afternoon of his life.  1.  Almost shanked a child  2.  Ate  lunch.  

But of course, when Nick is not on duty, he doesn’t have to worry about stabbing someone.  Nick will just shoot you, because I damn well guarentee he’s packing at least two guns at all times.  Now here’s the great thing about Nick.  I know people who have a conceal/carry permit, and by-and-large these people do it because they want something bigger than their penis strapped to their waist.  No really, sorry guys, that’s what’s going on.  I have several friends who carry guns around, and if you bother to ask why a person living in a meduim-sized, perfectly safe city would do such a thing when they are going to pick up their kids from a private school, you invariably get the following line of logic:

Me:  Dude, seriously?  Why the hell do you need to carry a gun around.

Tex-ass:  Because I can.

Me:  What!?!  Dude, you’re crazy.  Do you really think something’s going to happen to you this close to the country club?

Tex-ass:  Honestly, no.  I just like the way it feels to have a gun on me. 

OK, stop right there.  That S-T is F-KED UP…  You’re telling me you carry a gun around because you LIKE THE WAY IT FEELS?!?  Well you know what?  I like vaginas, but you don’t see me walking around with one on my finger like a f-king lippy, shrivelled mood ring because “I just like the way it feels,” on my skin, now do you?  That’s because guns and vaginas have basically the same policy as far as I’m concerned:  Fun in the safety of a carefully controlled environment, but extremely dangerous when waved around in public. 

But there is one gigantic difference in the way Nick sees a gun and the way most of the rest of the universe sees a gun.  See, if you ask most of the above people about ever having to use a gun, they will openly admit they will pull that thing out and use it as a deterrant if the situation arises.  A deterrant.  That’s the difference between Nick and some.  Nick doesn’t need a gun to feel special or powerful.  Nick is already special and powerful.  That’s because Nick hates everyone else so much his hatred has blurred into a vast freeway of callous background noise which makes him impervious to other people’s humanity.  That in-and-of-itself is a super power, because Nick has all the experience of purely, totally hating everyone else, but without any of the emotional side-effects of unstable mood swings.  In other words, Nick walks the earth in such a state of pure, transcendental hatred, but is able to experience his hatred from a place of pure objective calmness.  He sits under the Bodhi tree of hatred, finger touching the ground, informing all the hippies and teenagers of the world that from this spot he will not be moved.   Nick is enlightened.  Nick is Gautham Siddhartha.  Nick is the hate Buddha.    

 But anyway,  here is the next part of the conversation I ususally have with my conceal/carry friends:

Me:  So what do you plan on doing with that thing if a situation arises?

Tex-ass:  What, like if I had to use it?  Well, if the situation excalated I’d step back, draw down, and drop a bead center of mass. 

Me:  Uh huh…

Tex-ass:  Then I’d tell them to step back, put their hands behind their head with fingers interlocked, get down on both knees, and slowly back away until I could leave the situation. 

Me:  Yeah, I saw that episode of cops…

Tex-ass:  And if they refused to respond to my orders and came after me, I’d drop two shots center of mass.

Me:  (laughing) Dude, why not just shoot them in the head?

Tex-ass:  Nope.  Center of mass.  If you aim for their head or try to shoot the weapon out of their hand, a lawyer might be able to convince a jury you weren’t acting in self defense.  Two shots center of mass is police procedure. 

Me:  Jesus Christ, that was a joke.  Right.  Now I get it.  Yeah.  Sure.

As you can plainly see, this friend of mine fantasizes about this a lot in much the same way the guy I passed when I was running yesterday was standing next to a bus stop practicing fake katas in a black leather trenchcoat on a public sidewalk because he thinks he is a martial arts expert.  He even did the Qui-Gon Jin thing when I ran past where he put his hands together like he was praying and stared peacefully through me.  Douchebag.  Listen, it’s easy to envision how a situation is going to go down when you aren’t EVER GOING TO REALISTICALLY HAVE TO BACK IT UP.  My years in boxing gyms taught me a very important lesson about visualizing a fight:  After about four seconds, all that s-t goes straight out the window and all those  skills you honed in the gym become nothing more than a means of trying to take slightly fewer punches than you dish out.  Everybody, and I mean everybody, gets hit in a fight.  Even in Anime.

But let’s contrast that deterrance-based, clinical approach to firearms self defence with the attitude our friend Nick has.  Nick views guns in a slightly more, how shall we say, literal way.  Nick doesn’t care about flash, or feeling good about himself.  Nick doesn’t care about deterring people.  Nick doesn’t care about protocol.  No, Nick is what we in the business call, “the real McCoy.”  He is a firearms ninja.  His gun is his sword, and when you find out he’s got one, it’s, well, too late.  Take a listen:

Nick:  Look at me boy.  Look at me now, and listen good because I’m only saying this once.  I do not leave the house without my guns, you hear me?

Me:  Wait, guns…plural?  

Nick:  Yeah skinny, I said gun..ZZZ.  You deaf?  All that time in Nam with shells exploding and even I hear better than your dumb ass.

Me:  Um.  Why do you need more than one gun?

Nick:  Jesus christ boy, how long did your mama make you suck curds from her tit?  Don’t you know s-t about anything?  You got to have at least two just in case one of ’em don’t work right.

Me:  I didn’t realize that was an issue.  Besides, wouldn’t just having a gun be deterrant enough?

Nick:  (sighing)  Oh my god, what the hell did your daddy teach you, son.  Sit down a minute and let me tell you something.  I see a lot of these dip-plug-havin, baggy-pants-wearing gang bangin’ idiot little kid s-ts walking around wavin’ a gun all over the place talking about how they’re gonna shoot the next person who rubs them the wrong way.  Those skin-wastes are gonna get themselves killed because they don’t have the first clue about real guns and killing people, and they don’t know their ass from page nine anyhow.  Now me?  When I shoot someone, he’s only going to know I’ve got a gun in the split second between when he hears the sound and the bullet smacks him in the belly. 

Me:  What, are you that fast?

Nick:  (rolling his eyes and looking at me like I don’t know what to do with my own penis)  No dummy, fast ain’t got nothing to do with it.  Listen, you can’t be waving a gun around in public like that, how the hell are you going to walk away after you kill a guy?  Listen, I keep one gun under my shirt right next to each pocket.  Then, if some guy starts giving me shit, I smile and nod, looking pleasant as daisy.  And as he’s flappin his mouth like a goddamned donkey, I slowly reach inside my pocket all calm and casual and BOOM.  All I got to do is tilt those little bad boys up and bang.  Game over and nobody even knows what happened until I’m long gone.  Nobody sees nothin’.  Least of all the poor monkey on the short end of that bullet.  When I decide to kill a man,  he ain’t gonna know about it from my face until it’s too late for him to do anything about it.  You got to be calm and in control.        

Me: Wow.  Listen,  Nick, I’m getting some coffee.  Can I get you a cup?

Nick:  Naw, I gave that s-t up a long time ago.  My weak ticker can’t take that much jittering.  Besides, I’ll probably piss myself with this weak baldder. 

Me:  Wait…you…no way…

F-King.  Money. 

So that’s Nick.  I’ll probably have many more stories to tell, and I plan on making this a regular thing.  I haven’t even started talking about when I worked for a few months at a museum in Cleveland, because that s-t is about a billion times better.


Ben Tomkins is a violinist, teacher, journalist and critically acclaimed composer currently living in Denver, Colorado. He hates stupidity and generally believes that the volume of one’s voice is inversely proportional to one’s knowledge of an issue. Reach Ben Tomkins at

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