The Bullet Is Mightier Than The Pen
I heard a story on Saturday about that day we had snow last week. This takes place in another city and on the Eastern seaboard. I have a friend who works in a part of his city where there is a prevalence of art and craft and those kitschy shops that attract the stylish urbanites. On the day it began snowing heavily, his co-workers had departed for the day, and he was left alone in the building where he works at restoring antique furniture.
An interesting heirloom had arrived in the shop: a slant top desk, authentic and intriguing, and he looked forward to beginning work on it. Usually when pieces come in, they have been emptied out, he said, but sometimes there are residual things that have not been removed. In examining the chest, which had many pigeonholes and drawers, he noticed the desk still had some pens and pencils inside it. One particular pen that was gold colored caught his eye, and he proceeded to examine it more closely. He said it seemed oddly heavy in his hand. Inspecting it, he noticed a lever on the pen, and he pushed it, causing a .22 caliber bullet to shoot out and graze his finger. Earlier in his storytelling, he had told me that he expected certain occupational injuries from working around tools in a woodshop. I don't think he ever anticipated a bullet wound.
At first he was startled: freaked out and didn't know what had happened. The pen had detonated a .22 caliber bullet, and the noise was very loud. With his ears ringing, he realized what had happened, and since he was alone and isolated, he went to retrieve the company first aid kit and wrapped his finger in gauze, applied ice and held his hand above his heart.
The bullet landed in the scrape wood pile. Luckily he hadn't been looking into the pen's point, like the nimcompoop in a horror movie who picks the blobby thing up on a stick and is poking at it, or who says to his friends, "What's making that noise in the basement?"
He decided against going to the emergency room which he felt was more of a trauma than getting shot. I wondered what he would have said to the ambulance driver or hospital authorities. "A pen shot me?" "James Bond shot me?"