Previously I talked about my skill with cards and how I would see someone doing something and then decide to become proficient in that skill. Another day another skill and weirdly another one of those spaghetti westerns to blame. This time I believe it was the film “Revenge in El Paso” staring yet again Mario Girotti (Terence Hill).
The scene showed him entering a saloon where the only thing on sale was trouble. He dispatched 3 desperado’s in quick succession, while whirling his gun around. Cool I thought, got to learn that. I bought a cheap cowboy style gun and started. I practiced so much that the skin actually came off my third finger at one point forcing me to quit for a week or so. But in about 3 months I had it off perfect, even with a few flourishes of my own. Typical me once mastered I stopped and moved on to something else.
Now on Fridays, me and my friends John and Martin would frequent a certain bar in Blackpool where I lived at the time, I think it was the Claremont which was underneath the hotel. It was always dead but was nice and warm, had a jukebox and cheap drinks.
However one one Friday we went there and the placed was packed with a “Country and Western” evening with everybody dressed up as cowboys and cowgirls. Martin a heavy metal fan just wanted to leave but I managed to persuade him to stay. Anyway time for drinks and as I and Martin approached the bar there was this guy doing a fast draw routine, twirling the gun around once and then putting it back into the holster, at least that was what he was trying to do.
So I asked him – “Can I borrow you gun for a moment?”. Gun in hand – I then began to tell him the story – “Three guys, one in front, another on the landing above me and one waiting to shoot me in the back – what am I to do?”. Quick as a flash I twirled the gun around three times starting at waist height, to end with fanning the trigger to take out the guy in front, then three more twirls down and then upwards leaving to gun pointing directly above me, bang number two. Then about 6 twirls forward and 6 back leaving the gun placed on my shoulder pointing backwards, bang, number 3. I then span the pistol forward and then reversed my grip handing the gun back to the cowboy. Contrast the reactions. Martin – open mouthed just complete disbelief on his face and the cowboy – I think I made his year, just absolute delight.
I am reminded of the scene with the film critic in Woody Allen’s “Annie Hall”, Woody turns to camera and says “Boy If only life was like this”. But you know right there and then in that bar it was.