Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Tales of young BillyBob...

I'm going to attempt to tell you a story. Please don't judge me by this. I was ten or eleven years old at the time and while I was a smart kid I had very little sense and absolutely no fear. I have gotten smarter and wiser and have a little more sense... and a healthy respect of firearms and ammunition.

When I was young (see above) and I lived in Baytown, Texas I had a friend named Jimmy that rode my bus. We lived about a mile away from each other. Jimmy's mom was a single parent, so after school Jimmy was home alone for a few hours.

I used to get off of the bus at his stop and we would hang out for a while. Bear in mind that this was in the days before video games and computers. One day, as we were doing what we normally did, looking for something to do, we ran across a box of .22 rounds. You can probably already tell this is going to get ugly...

We decided to find something fun to do with that box of bullets.

We eventually found our way out to the garage where we discovered a long forgotten croquet set. I don't really remember if it was Jimmy or me who decided it would be a good idea to throw the heavy wooden croquet balls at the bullets, but one of us did.

We went out to the screened in porch (with a concrete floor). There were two sets of steps out of the porch, one on the east wall that lead into the house and one on the south wall that was a garage entrance.

We scattered the .22 shells out on the floor and divided up the wooden balls. I got on the steps going to the garage and Jimmy was on the other set. We threw several balls with minimal results, mostly just damaged bullets. One or two went off.

When I ran out of wooden balls, I called a timeout to collect some up, I even offered to toss a few to Jimmy. He had one ball left. When my foot hit the concrete floor, Jimmy threw his last ball. Hit must have hit that .22 shell perfectly.

I remember hearing the round go off. I remember a nasty pain in my left foot. And I remember trying to get to Jimmy before he could make it through the door and into the house. He was just a little faster...

I didn't want to look down. I could tell I was bleeding and I knew my ass was grass if my stepdad found out.

I walked the mile home, leaving a trail of blood all the way there. I snuck into the garage and began to assess the damage. I removed my shoe and sock, wrung out the blood and wiped away as much blood as I could from the entry wound. I couldn't see the bullet, but I knew it was still there. I could feel it just beyond what I could see. I dug around in the tool box and found a small set of needle nose pliers. On the first try I was able to grab the bullet and pull it out.

I cleaned up as good as I could, given the limited resources in the garage. then went in the house. I was able to avoid my mother and sister and get to the bathroom. A little hydrogen peroxide, alcohol and 3 or 4 bandaids later I was as good as new.

To this day, I have never told my mother this story. From that day on, I have treated ammunition with the greatest of respect. It was a lesson I only had to learn once and I realized then that it could have been much worse.

I did get even with Jimmy, but that is another story. Although, the getting even didn't bring near the satisfaction that I thought it would, because I knew that even though he threw the last croquet ball it was my fault that I was injured. As I look back, I think that it was that very day that I began to have some sense...