But last week, every time I took my battered police flashlight into a shop, the clerks would back away like they were about to be robbed.
Fair enough, I guess. This battered old flashlight speaks volumes about melon-thumping.
I bought my Kel-Lite more than 30 years ago.
I had been most impressed with the wiry Waco Police Department Lieutenant who, despite his small size, taught Waco cops “street defense”.
“He is little but he is mean; do NOT turn your back on him,” advised one the larger students, who the Lieutenant had just thumped.
I was enthralled as the Lieutenant demonstrated how quickly he could go from “using my flashlight to read your driver’s license” to “using my flashlight to smash your head like a melon.”
After the Lieutenant demonstrated how to “Kung-Fu-Flashlight” a street punk who thought he was Bruce Lee, I just knew that I had to have one ASAP.
Waco cops used the fat, black metal Kel-Lites packed with five, D-cell batteries. Sadly, I had to get the girly one loaded with skinnier C-cell batteries so I could wrap my small hand around it.
Even so, it was an awesome club, not to mention that also worked as a flashlight.
The fact that my Kel-Lite has lasted 30-plus years is testament to both the fact that it was brilliantly made from aviation aluminum, and that I have never had to actually use it for melon-thumping.
I did, however, come close on two occasions.
When we lived in our first New Zealand house, the “problem kids” down the street had a huge party when their parents were away. This became my problem about 2 a.m. when some of the drunken 18-year-olds began banging on my car and puking in my driveway.
Now, drunken teen-aged boys are never a lot of fun to be around. Even less so when they are being prodded on by drunken teen-age girls.
So, when I shined my Kel-Lite and advised them to mosey on home, I was holding it exactly as the Police Lieutenant had demonstrated all those years ago; resting the “thumpy” part on my shoulder while holding the “flashy part” in my hand, so I could instantly switch from “lighty” to “thumpy”, should the need arise.
Thankfully, the obnoxious drunks decided to back away and call me names, rather than advance and get thumped.
It was the Moosedawg who came closest to getting his big, fat head melon-thumped.
Late one dark night, I caught him dead to rights, digging up the Missus’ beloved garden for about the 10,000th time.
You see, the Missus insisted on using blood-and-bone fertilizer. And the big ol’ Moosedawg, smelling the blood, believed it was his canine duty to dig and dig and dig until he could find, and consume, whatever was buried in the garden.
I cannot tell you how much the Missus hated my now-departed Moosedawg, and his non-stop digging and barking and shedding and pooping.
So that night, when I spotlighted him halfway in the enormous hole he’d dug, I could feel how much pain the Missus was about to rain down on me.
I snapped and swung my Kel-Lite with every intention of knocking the Moosedawg into the middle of next week.
But, for a 100-pound dog, he could flat move when his life was at risk. I got nothing but air with my swing.
It was probably a good thing because, despite the incredible engineering behind my Kel-Lite, the Moosedawg’s hard head probably would have broken it into a million pieces.
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