Saturday, April 5, 2008

Ready! Aim! Fire!

At work today we got to talking about stupid things we did as kids. I shared this story. People were surprised I survived my childhood. Enjoy!

When I was 9 I found a shotgun shell in my parents bedroom. I had seen them before because my dad would take me hunting every once in a while (he was more of a fisherman than a hunter). As I looked at this shell I was amazed how such a little thing could inflict so much damage. So I, being the inquisitive child that I was (I was the kind of kid that took stuff apart to see how it worked) decided to figure out how a shotgun shell worked.

As my examination began I realized that the metal end had a little divot in the middle and that some sort of part in the gun must hit that spot and make the bullet come out the other side. I was too young and stupid to realize it was gunshot and gunpowder inside. I began to wonder how hard I would have to hit that spot to make it shoot. I knew I didn't want to shoot my foot off or shoot anything in the house, so I took my experiment outside. Also realizing that it might do damage to my hand if I hit it while holding it I tried to figure out a way to strike the metal divot without actually touching it.. Then I had a eureka moment. I could shoot it with my BB gun.

All I needed to do was lay the shell on a tree stump, lay down close to the stump and aim at the metal part of the shell. If I was a good enough shot, I would hit the small divot and make the bullet some out the other side... So it began. I did just that and was lining up my shot when all of a sudden, by 4 yr old sister, Leslie, walked out of the house behind me. Again, another eureka moment. How was I going to know where the bullet went if I wasn't watching it. (I was staring intently at my target.) I needed someone to be beside the shell on the stump to watch it shoot out. "Hey Leslie, come here I've got a good idea" ...

And so began my explanation of what I was up to. Without hesitation and trusting her big brother she got on the ground approximately 3 feet to the side of the shell. There I am laying behind it like a sniper ready to hit the metal end with a BB..." are you ready? One, two, three...."


The shell absolutely exploded. I had done it, I had hit the metal part. Leslie looked at me confused.. "where did the bullet part go?" Neither of us had any idea (again we didn't know it was full of gunshot. not a solid bullet). I was so amazed and excited that I had hit it I immediately ran inside and did, what I later realized, the dumbest thing in this whole story. I told my Mom. "Hey Mom guess what I just did?"

She looked at me in shock, not saying a word. After a minute she very calmly said "I heard something and thought you had wrecked your bike into the side of the van." Then she began to get angry and said "You could have killed your sister" then she started to cry. The end of that conversation was my least favorite phrase I ever heard as a kid "we'll have a talk with your dad when he gets home."

There's more to this story, but it involves a belt, a lot of crying and screaming, and one kid who learned a lesson. That lesson… If you're going to do something cool, don't invite your little sister.

THE END…totally true story

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