Testing the Leftover Weapons from WWI

P39E27C06by Ken Babbs

O Lamb of God who takest away the sins of the world, grant us thy peace, under the bullets flying like motherfuckers on full auto going off so loud you can’t hear the screaming, “Die, Dillinger, die . . . eat lead, Ho Chi Min . . . take that, General Giap . . .” up and down the line, spraying the canal, the dike, arcing into the sky and gone, until the magazines are empty and we drop the tommy guns and grin like kids at Christmas. We’re testing the leftover weapons stored in the arsenals since the first world war. They gave us .45 caliber thompson sub machine guns with the 500 round cylinder magazines you blow off all at once you can’t hold the gun steady it recoils up and to the left no matter how hard you try to shoot straight and we’re supposed to carry these in the choppers? Shades of G men and 1920s gangsters and the St. Valentine’s massacre. What will they come up with next?

Excerpted from Who Shot the Water Buffalo.



WSTWB  has a marvelous antic spirit that is both  hilarious and terrifying.  It is one of the finest novels to come out of that catatrophe, perceptive, insightful brave and funny all at once. A blending of everything a good novel on that subject requires. by a first rate novelist.
— Robert Stone


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