“Go ahead Vern, she’s not gonna shoot you,” I joked with Vern Baker as a security guard held a gun in his face. I think somewhere, deep down, I was almost hoping she would pull the trigger.
We were working at Savannah River Plant, Vern Baker and I. He had already scared me to death the night before when he told me he believed in reincarnation and that we were best friends in a previous life. So I jumped at the chance to see if he could come back as a something different.
When you work at the Pop Plant (where the U.S. Government makes plutonium), the security is tight, really tight. It is like wearing-a-size-32-Fruit-of-The-Loom-brief tight, when you really are a size-36 tight. And if you have tried something silly like that, then you know just how tight that Fruit of the Loom elastic can get.
We were working in a building that was more secure than the cafeteria where we ate lunch every day. The security is set up so that the closer you get to the radioactive stuff, the tighter the security gets. Each day we would pass through about three levels of security to get from where we parked our rental car to the building where Vern was teaching a computer class (I was just watching Vern teach).
On Friday at lunch, we walked back out of the secure areas, through the guarded gates to the lunch room. As I remember it, we had a delightful lunch – I think cheese burgers, and onion rings with a Diet Dr Pepper. It was a sunny spring day and we were casually walking back to work when we reached the last gate. Vern was walking ahead of me and as he approached the gate, the security guard, who happened to be a petite blonde, wearing sun glasses and that blue and gray uniform you have seen up close on state troopers when you get speeding tickets, said “Halt.”
I stopped, being fearful of things like the U.S. Government, guards, guns and bullets. But Vern, who must have been fearless because he had that reincarnation thing going, just kept walking.
“Halt,” the guard yelled this time and quickly drew what I think was a Glock 9mm piston and put the end that shoots right on the little fleshy part of skin right between Vern’s blue eyes, which were quite wide open now. It was hard to tell exactly what type of gun it was because she drew it so quickly, a la Wyatt Erp style.
“What's wrong officer?” I quickly asked, semi amused at the situation we were in.
“Sir, you badges are out of date,” the guard politely said, still holding the gun with both hands right in Vern’s eyes. “You can’t come in here with those badges.”
“We have been in there all week with these badges,” Vern smarted off, starting to feel a little more sure of himself after noticing that he hadn’t peed in his pants yet, and moved just a little closer toward the gate.
“Sir,” the 5-foot, 2-inch guard said firmly, but politely, “if you move one more inch I will blow your head off.”
Needless to say, Vern didn’t move again, and he didn’t get shot, and I didn’t get to see first-hand how reincarnation works. He came to what little sense he had and backed off. We went back to the front gate and got new badges with better dates.
Remember, you are only as good as the last person who touches your data base (see my 02-24-2011 blog for reference).
Causes John Haslam Supports
I support the Constitution of the United States of America.
I support St. Jude's Hospital.
I believe in GOD.