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A Lesson in Assault Rifles, Part 2 

(backstage at a wrestling match, South Broadway Athletic Club)

Through another doorway -- let's call it a stage entrance -- draped over with a plastic curtain, one of the costumed men returned from the ring looking like a punchy superhero or Punchinello in a serious mood. Upon getting the gist of the young man's soliloquy, he immediately contradicted him, resolutely declaring the Russian-made AK-47 the most superior weapon ever manufactured.

Not much argument from anyone, once Panama and Nicaragua and a few other blurry, war-torn locales were invoked in that knowing way that implied this new arrival had seen the weapon's effectiveness up-close and not just on television. In fact, he had seen, as a demonstration, an AK-47 that had been dipped in a barrel of mud and refuse, smacked against concrete, trampled and left buried in the dirt for just under a decade -- and it still shot true. No fuckin' shit? Yes fuckin' shit! The hammer was still accurate and the calibrators were still in order and the Hooligan-brand bullets were as clean as if they'd just been taken out of their airtight, velvet-lined box. The only thing that came even close to the AK-47 was the 2.7 caliber super-automatic Something-Or-Other, but we didn't get into that because just then a muffled wail of boos arose from somewhere beyond the plastic curtain.

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