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Thursday, July 30, 2009

HOM: MisFired: Jerry

Since Bill Mauldin reminded me . . . I picked up a little Daisy BB-firing CO2 pistol at one of the gun shows, a repeater that was operated by a sliding lever under the barrel. Fill the reservoir with BBs, slap a CO2 cylinder into the butt, point it down (gravity feed) and push the sliding lever forward, and it was ready to fire. It was quiet, accurate & fun and we'd play with it here in the store in the evenings after we'd closed. One Friday Jerry borrowed it because he was having problems with birds ruining the strawberries in his garden and he planned on thinning the avian population a bit. When he came in to work the following Monday his left index finger was swaddled up like a babe in an ice-cold manger, and when I asked him what happened he told me to mind my own business. Which I didn't. I quietly pestered him all day and he finally told me the story, first making me promise to not laugh. He'd taken a couple of off-hand shots at the pesky birds and missed so he tried the two-handed grip that cops used at the time, called the Weaver Stance after the man that developed it. He missed again, several times. Next he tried holding the little plastic fore-end under the barrel with one hand, and missed again. And again. And again. Finally, he got a really firm hold with his right hand on the grip and his left clasping the fore-end and then put his left index finger over the end of the barrel for a little extra stability. Yeah, OOPS!. The BB broke the bone and came out through his finger nail. I kept my promise and a straight face through the whole recital, but after I thought about it a bit I asked him if he'd hit the bird with that last shot. When he said "No, I FLINCHED!" I lost it. I ended up sitting on the floor with tears of laughter running down my cheeks and being pelted with the books he was throwing at me. I broke my promise, but oh my yes, I did think it was funnier than he did! TBC (Me) (Blacktail Books)