Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Regrets, I've Had a Few

How I ended up in the emergency room tonight. By Daniel Johnson, 5th Grade.

So yeah, to tell this story right means I'm going to have to embarrass myself a little. Don't judge.

I suppose this really all started about a year ago when I began looking for the perfect medallion. I was thinking, maybe a shark tooth (I like whatever Zozzy has, I think that's a shark tooth, or a urn with his relative's ashes.) Last week, I was on a hip hop blog and saw someone with a bullet at the end of their chain. "Nicely done," I thought. "How can I get one?"

So I felt pretty resourceful when I got the idea to drive up to Joe's Army Navy and see if they had any spent bullets for sale. They did. Problem was, I needed to get a hole through the bullet to affix it to my chain. At this point, high on pride in my own resourcefulness, I made a rather dubious choice to involve Ben.

A note about my friend Ben. Ben is a renaissance man. Handy. A master of many applications. BUT. Somewhat of a dreamer. Somewhat dangerous. The joke is, Ben will fix the radiator on your car but your windshield wipers will never work again. Ben will replace the heads on your tape machine, but it might blow a fuse if you actually plug it in. That kind of thing.

So I show up to Ben's last night with my bullet, and he hands me a beer as he invites me into his workshop where there is a rather robust drill. The kind of drill you mine for diamonds with. "That's funny," he says, "Are you sure this bullet has been fired? It looks unused." I told him that I specifically asked for a spent shell casing and that, in any case, I can't imagine they'd be selling live amo, especially since I explained it was going to be used for jewelry. He seemed satisfied and grabbed the bullet from me, placing it in his vice.

You might have already guessed what happens next. Ben's drill punctures the bullet, which goes off straight into the fleshy part of my thigh removing a hole of fat out of it about the size of an egg. It happened so fast that Ben and I just sat there for a good minute, stunned from the noise (louder than you'd think), and staring at my new battle wound in disbelief.

The blood was... intense. The pain... also intense. Being insurance-less, I opted to skip the ambulance treatment and with a little TLC from Ben's wife made a half-ass tourniquet with about three towels and sealed the whole thing with a garbage bag to keep from bleeding on Ben's upholstery when he taxied me to the emergency room. We laughed a little on the way to the hospital, or rather Ben did and I tried to go alone with it, but my heart wasn't in the jokes. I was pissed for getting myself tagged, pissed for involving Ben at all, pissed at Ben's face. And honestly, it wasn't even his fault. But I blame him anyway. Him and the negative forcefield of catastrophe that surrounds him and gets innocent bystanders like me shot.

I'll be laid up for a few days from my non-job if anybody wants to bring me ice cream or hurl Molatov cocktails through my window.

I'm going to bed.

1 comment:

Daniel said...

So, I disabled comments on this blog because, obviously, it was an April Fool's Joke.

I have to post this totally deranged email I got from my friend Rodrigo. Rod is... so whacky. I have usually have to demand that he give me feedback on something, but when I do, I get THIS:

also, nice try on wingstroke, watson.

there were some give-aways-- "ben" seems like a caricature of Koltak's
mad-scientist brother. yet that one isn't the largest gimme; you'd
have to hang with you and koltak to know that; others might not be so

then there's the physical probability of the bullet in the vice going
off and hitting your thigh. it reads a bit much like a plot element.
of course it happens; otherwise the story dies. it's physically
unlikely: there's a small predictable range of directions that the
bullet (or any object in a vice) would fly in under pressure (such as
an explosion, force applied via drill, etc). that's physics. path of
least resistance. having just had a conversation (with "ben") about
the explosive potential of live ammunition, we would think you stood
behind "ben" or some other relatively safe spot. were you seductively
reclining on the woodshop table, thighs near the vice/bullet bomb? we
expect the protagonist to be a bit ridiculous, but not senseless.
again, this isn't the biggest giveaway. certainly odder, more
unlikely things happen in real life.

last year's april fool's prank (claire becomes child actress) was
brilliant in that it tapped into everyone's desire for claire to
succeed. what kind of monster would make a joke out of the success
of their only child? with that premise, you had the reader's
sympathy, and their trust. who's gonna say that claire wouldn't be
capable of that? that's the hook--sympathy, followed by trust.
after that, believability hardly matters. you're vying for sympathy
at the end with the lack-of-insurance stuff, but it's a bit late after
having started with building a fashion accessory. the sad truth is,
there is no sympathy if you or i blew a leg off. we still have
another one. the world is colder than it is full of fools.