Thursday, August 16, 2007

Properly Accessorized

I was sitting around last week looking at guns on the internet (something I've been known to do) when it occurred to me: I don't NEED anymore guns (except an elephant gun, which I don't have yet). What I NEED is gun accessories.

So last Monday I changed tactics.

Did you know that a tactical stock cheekpiece (with bullet holder loops and nifty, zippered accessory pouch) is only $39.95 at I didn't know that either, but I have so enjoyed learning.

I pretty much can't get away from anything marked "tactical". If they sold "tactical' soap on a rope I'd have 16 cases of it under my bed and more on the way. I figure that "tactical" means "special" and if its "special" chances are excellent that none of my hunting friends have it and, really, that’s the key to buying a good accessory: nobody else has one.

Over the years I've grown to understand that most people don't "get it." That’s ok with me. They think accessories should be "useful", or at least add some form of value to whatever you're accessorizing. I understand the confusion, but thats actually not true. In extreme cases not only does an accessory NOT add value, it may completely destroy the utility of the whole thing, but you'll be so excited about it you'll hardly notice. Of course, you can't do anything about that anyway - its too late! You're properly accessorized and now the finishes match but it'll only fit that one gun, they don't make weatherstripping like that anymore, tires don't come in 31.29 x 75 after 1993, BFGoodrich won't send you a price list for a replacement, Redfield went out of business, your Dad likes it, you lost the thread protector nut, nobody knows where the wrench to tighten it went, the drill bits are too small, or the instructions are in Russian.

That’s not really the point though - sometimes the added value comes from the simple act of making the purchase itself. I don't know what it was about that $39.95 in my wallet, but that particular $39.95 was making me absolutely miserable: I had to get rid of it and instead of just throwing it away; I turned it into a mil-spec nylon cheekpiece (complete with special little bullet holders and a sniper notebook) that I'll probably never use, don't need, and will likely end up putting in the attic.

17 years from now a future wife or child will find it, poke it with a stick to scare off nesting spiders, then throw it away when I'm not home. Later that afternoon I'll think to myself "I wonder whatever happened to that tactical stock cheekpiece" and I'll spend the next 17 years looking for it. I'll find the instruction booklet and warranty card. I'll know where the replacement zipper pulls are, and the optional waxed cotton lining. I'll have a copy of the receipt and date of purchase. Maybe even a UPC symbol. But the cheekpiece itself'll be long gone.

My last words in this life are likely to be a confused murmer from the floor of my special huntingstuff closet: "Tactical Cheekpiece?" I'll whisper, then I'll slip away.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

$39.95 = approx. 7 bushwackers