Well, the Handgun Experiment was a flop. Through the Yellow Pages I found a handgun shop in a town just northwest of Washington (Rockville, Virginia) and took the Metro and then a bus out to the shop. When I got to Gordon's Guns (I didn't make that up), nestled in a little strip mall beside a sandwich shop and a hairdresser, I found out the firing range is closed until May 15th for renovations. Just my luck. I did look around the store and had a look at the merchandise and the prices. For $275 USD I could have bought a Colt 38 special; or for $600 I could have pocketed a brand-new Gloch 7.46mm, that is only .8 inches thick - "perfect for concealment or comfort". Up on the wall, they were advertising a fully automatic assault rifle with a 40 round clip for a cool $1000 - perfect for duck hunting. I could rant about these sort of things being readily available, or I could just be my smug Canadian self and be thankful we live in a place where this sort of thing is harder (but not impossible) to get.
As I walked back to the Metro station, I passed by a Volkswagen dealership and saw a nice Jetta convertable. I hadn't paused more than 10 seconds when a salesman had strode up to me, introduced himself and asked me if I wanted to take it for a test drive. I don't know whether he was overly keen or whether he just wanted to get out of the dealership for a while. Not once did he ask me if I:
a) had any money
b) had a driver's licence
c) lived around there
It makes me wonder why prison escapees have a hard time finding getaway vehicles. They just need to time their breakouts to correspond with the local dealership's end of quarter.
I stoppped by the Discovery Channel Store, which was filled with delectible scientifc knick-knacks. The consumer side and the scientific geek side of me each took a hand and began rubbing them together at shelves full of fastinating trinkets - astronomy, geographical information, magic tricks, experiments, musical instruments from all over the world, books, flight and nautical books and information. I spent about two hours (and thankfully only twelve dollars) there.
After all these adventures, I met up with Jennifer (fresh from her conference) and re-did some of the monuments I saw yesterday. We finished up with a light (by American standards) dinner and headed back to the room. Last night we made the mistake of eating all we were given, and ended up lying on the hotel beds that night, clutching our stomachs in a semi-fetal position, moaning. And believe me, they were moans of agony, not passion.