Case Study #1 — Tale Of The Toe

Our hero clearly took his TV time very seriously. I made his acquaintance in a busy urban ER amidst the gore, filth and tragedy that define the place. He was clearly not the product of a sensible diet and ample aerobic exercise. This fateful day he had fumbled his TV remote and it skittered underneath his Barcalounger.

Groping about blindly he found not his remote control but rather something else unexpected. Amidst the petrified pork rinds, rodent nests and sundry rancid detritus, his mitts closed around the familiar grip of his old .22 pistol. The little light came on above his head, albeit dimly. “So that’s where I left it,” he probably thought.

Hefting the dust-encrusted heater, he turned it over in his hands. He had placed the gun in the spot some months back for “protection” and forgotten it was there. Now he couldn’t for the life of him recall if he’d left it loaded or not.

Were we to find an unfamiliar firearm, those of us clutching this sacred tome would undoubtedly point it in a safe direction, cycle the action with our trigger finger well clear and thusly verify whether or not the gun was prickly. Not so, our hero. This man adopted his best tactical two-handed sitting hold, centered the front sight on his right great toenail as it was propped upon his coffee table — and squeezed the trigger.

The bullet perfectly center-punched his nail, transited his distal phalanx and proceeded to blow out his television across the room. As I tidied up the carnage, we discussed basic gun safety and the lamentably lofty price of new plasma screen televisions. Perhaps in the aftermath, he’ll take up reading.