October 19, 2004


I was lying on our living room couch this morning having just been made love to by my wife when a shotgun went off. This was not a metaphoric shotgun, not some shotgun reference to replace the uncorked vial of semen that tributed between us. That blast had long receded. This was a shotgun discharging. Twice.

I know shotguns. I actually know distressing amounts about all kinds of guns, but shotguns, by dint of previous repetition, might be said to be my specialilty, if, for purposes of media or salary, I had to declare one in the field of gunnery. When young I hung around my Dad’s business and factory as much as any other kid would. As a result, the fact that he was an arms dealer did not strike me as anything unusual. Of course, the soubriquet ‘arms dealer’ brings to mind Adnan Khashoggi and others of his international type, but my father was more of a regional supplier. Bought and sold weapons, mainly small arms, revolvers, pistols, shotguns and rifles. Manufactured some handgun parts in his own plant. Went to gun trade shows, which in the England of the late 1960s, were not like the same things that they have here in America nowadays.

His clients were mostly farmers and ‘sportsmen’ who shot grouse or fox or deer or any number of other (pitiful once dead) creatures. The shotgun made up a substantial part of his business and our family’s income. The shotgun to me is a mean burst of a weapon, as my brother is, and I am as familiar with one as I am the other.

That’s all just history and how I know what I know, and how I knew what I heard this morning. The upshot of the shot was that the man who shot the shot got shot. Kind of. The imbecilic butcher younger son of our local Nazi neighbors (father kicked off the police force for stealing from the Salvation Army, should give you insight into this particular gene pool), took a shotgun to his own pick-up truck in a passionate fit of if I can’t have her, no-one can brought on by the appearance of a very mild looking not to say slight and somewhat myopic repo man.

As a consequence of this shooting the imbecilic butcher received a wound by way of ricochet from his own bullet material or some other metal that popped off the front grill of the truck and struck him in and around the left eye.

The police were, of course, summoned. By the time they arrived we had cleaned ourselves up and removed one of the slip covers that now needs washing. Our neighbor was less fortunate in his ablutions and was lying on the pavement, his entire family around him, wailing. The repo man took the wounded truck. The ambulance took the wounded boy. We showered and went upstairs to work.