Have just returned from Las Vegas and doused myself with potassium permanganate to ward off incipient cultural infection. Anyway, here are some notes on what I learned.

A Mr. W. Heavey of Virginia reported that he had a nearly empty 8-ounce toothpaste tube confiscated from him at Dulles International in Washington en route to the show. The TSA undoubtedly zeroed in on Mr. Heavey because of his furtive and shifty demeanor, and when he pointed out to the TSA functionary that it would be pretty tough to blow a hole in a plane with 2 ounces of toothpaste, she replied with the full fury of a low-level flunky with the regs on her side:


Unfortunately, she did not have him beaten as well.

At one of the shoots that take place the day before the show opens, we were given range bags (durned nice ones, too). I looked inside mine to see if anyone had left a wad of money and noticed a little tag that said “Made in Vietnam.” By sheer chance I was standing next to a friend who had been a career soldier until he got the hell shot out of himself in Southeast Asia, and I pointed the tag out to him.

“Why did we even bother?” he said, and walked off to shoot.

SHOT Show: Fear and Looking in Las VegasI don’t know what our photographer was able to come up with, but there was a distinct shortage of booth babes at this show. I looked seriously, and was able to find maybe three or four. Do they hide until after I passed by? We will have to wait until everyone gets back to find out.

The major fashion statement at this show was the tactical pack. If you didn’t have an Army-pattern camo, or coyote, or black, ballistic nylon pack with lots of pockets and straps and MOLLE loops, you were plainly not with it. A tactical pack marked you as high-speed and low drag, of which I am neither, so maybe it was OK.

More to come.