Lubricia Cosmoline is back, and she’s on a quest for our next giveaway gun!
My quest for The One Rifle To Rule Them All had, so far, been as much of a bust as the contents of my tactical bikini. In fact, all I knew about the One Rifle could fit on the inside of my MOLLE bikini bottoms, in 10-point type:
The One Rifle had everything a long-range shooter could want. Hunters could use it to bag any game they desired. The very sight of it would set home invaders to terror and madness. And it was guarded by the Lounge Lizards, an ancient order of reptiles dedicated to smooth jazz, pickup lines, and fruity tropical drinks. I knew that the Lounge Lizards needed two things to survive: warmth, and a place to live that existed out of time.
There weren’t many places in the world left that would fit that bill. I’d been to Florida, and although I had found an enclave of Lounge Lizards, they had chosen to give me a gallon of heavily spiked Mai Tais in lieu of the One Rifle to Rule Them All.
Perhaps my luck would be better here, at the outskirts of Las Vegas Big Bone Lick, Kentucky. I had been here many times for the Shooting, Hunting, and Outdoor Trade Show, but never had I ventured off the Strip. I had, however, heard the rumors that adventurous travelers regularly trekked to the wild outposts of Henderson and Pahrump to experience delights more…daring…than the sanitized tourist mecca of the Strip.
One particular hint, which I had found scrawled about hip-height in a shooting range’s men’s room, claimed that there was a very strange casino, hidden well off the beaten track, that was unique among all gaming establishments. It seemed impossible…but that was precisely what I was looking for.
As I got further from the Strip, the casinos got smaller, the buffets cheaper, and the neon shabbier. My suspicions that I was on the right track grew when a bitchin’ Camaro convertible roared past me, speakers blaring “The Hustle.” Quickening my pace, I chased the Lounge Lizardmobile down an unmarked side road and into a derelict parking lot. A lone arc-sodium streetlight illuminated the façade of a small adobe building. A building marked “Casino.” And it had windows.
If you’re not a gambling woman like me, you might not know that the purpose of a casino is to separate the gamblers from their money in as efficient manner as possible. To keep the rubes from leaving, casinos never have windows or clocks to let people know that their bedtime has come and gone. But not this one. As I saw a long, scaly tail disappear inside this strange establishment’s dented front door, I knew that I was in the right place…but what about the One Rifle?
As I strode through the strange casino, tactical 5.11-inch heels clomping on the threadbare carpeting, the Lounge Lizards began singing me the song of their people.
“Hey bayyyybeee! Are you from Tennessee? Because you’re the only Ten I See!” came a reptilian buzzing from just over my left shoulder.
“Hey bayyyybeee! Are you tired? Because you’ve been running through my walnut-sized lizard brain all night!” chimed another.
“Hey bayyyybeee! What’s your sign?” echoed from behind an empty, pinging row of slot machines. I was completely surrounded.
In one smooth, practiced motion I cleared the pistols from my shoulder holsters, removed the revolvers from my hip holsters, and jettisoned my short-barreled shotgun from my Secret Scabbard. Firing both pistols into the air like a 5.11-clad Yosemite Sam with really, really great boobs, I called out:
“No I’m not, yes I am, and my sign is THIS WAY TO THE ONE RIFLE TO RULE THEM ALL!”
One by one, the Lounge Lizards emerged from their hiding spots, saurian heads bobbing and gold chains swinging. “Sorry about that,” hissed one. “The One Rifle to Rule Them All isn’t here. We sent it on to another outpost for safekeeping—it’s just not safe to have such a hot, swinging, disco-lounge rifle so close to the investigative journalists of the SHOT Show.”
The top of my MOLLE bikini briefly sagged in DDDDisappointment, but immediately perked back up as one of the Lizards waved me over to the bar.
“Hey bayyyybee. Let us buy you a drink,” he hissed, “and we’ll tell you what we remember of the One Rifle.”
Cautiously, I sidled up to the bar, observing carefully as the Lounge Lizard prepared my drink: rum, pineapple juice, more rum, maraschino cherries, and rum. I surreptitiously checked the concoction for the presence of Rohypnol using a test strip. When it came back positive, I cheerfully imbibed.
“Can you at least (hic) tell me what the One Rifle looks like?” I queried.
“Hey bayyybeee,” nodded the bar lizard. “This casino is a temple created in the One Rifle’s image. Just look around you.”
Finally, the Roofie started to kick in. As all the Lounge Lizards around me suddenly became far more attractive and the music switched to an upbeat disco track, I looked around. Neon orange and crisp chartreuse battled with florid pinks, and martini glasses filled of their own accord with steaming, glowing cocktails.
I may not have laid eyes on the One Rifle to Rule Them All…but I had another clue.