This Part Goes There…

In Catch 22, Yossarian calls Lt. Orr an "…evil-eyed, mechanically-aptituded, disaffiliated, son of a bitch." I qualify for all of that except the mechanically aptituded part, and my life would have been a lot easier if I had been.

People with mechanical aptitude can look at machines, such as guns, and see how they work on an intuitive level. Melvin Forbes, of New Ultra Light Arms, is the most mechanically aptituded person I know. Melvin says he can call up in his mind a three-dimensional schematic of the hellishly complicated Browning Superposed shotgun, and look at it from any angle. He can pick locks, or diddle with cars, or build almost anything.

Among gun writers, John Barsness and Jim Carmichel are so mechanically aptituded that they could have been successful as gunsmiths had they not objected to honest work. Jack O'Connor, by his own admission, had very little mechanical aptitude, and I think that for someone in this line of work, that is actually an advantage. By the time you are able to understand a piece of machinery, like a gun, you apprehend it in such simple terms that you can describe it to anyone, and they will understand.

Some of most incomprehensible gibberish I've ever listened to was spoken to by engineers at gun companies. They blast right off into outer space and leave you there on the launching pad, scratching your head and wondering if what you just listened to was English.