Under 30

I can't complain but sometimes I still do

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

A question about shot-in-the-face etiquette

For this week's Under 30 column, I'm contemplating a piece on shot-in-the-face etiquette. Namely, how long do you wait before telling people about the time you shot your friend in the face?

The press is upset because the vice-prez didn't say anything about his weekend hunting adventure until a full day after it happened. Conservative lap dogs, on the other hand, think a mountain is being made out of molehill because "people get shot, OK? Suck it up."

So how long does one wait? I have never shot somebody in the face, nor have I ever been shot in the face, so I don't know. But I'd like to know ahead of time should anything happen. I'd hate to be gauche.


Anonymous kbl said...

You don't ever make an announcement, you shoot the landowner before she has a chance to tattle to the press. Obviously.

Bush-Quail '08, baby.

12:34 PM  
Anonymous Nick P. said...

When I was in fourth grade, I spent a weekday afternoon hanging out at my friend Pete's house, shooting stuffed animals in the basement with bb guns. It was a good time, but I made the mistake of going upstairs to go the bathroom by myself. When I hit the top of the stairs on my way back, I looked down to see my friends Pete and Jamie pointing their guns at me. "Come on, guys, point those things away from me," I pleaded. Jamie obliged, but Pete fired off a round, hitting me in the nuts with a bb. Truth be told, it didn't hurt that bad. He was pretty far away when he shot, and the gun hadn't been pumped up all the way, so the impact was fairly weak. I laughed it off and we continued shooting the plastic eyes off the stuffed animals. But the next morning, when I got to school, the hallways were abuzz with people talking about how Pete shot me in the nuts with a bb gun. Older kids and people I barely knew were asking me if I was okay, if I was mad at Pete, and so on. The rather ordinary tomfoolery from the night before had turned into a full-blown scandal. Fifteen minutes into the first period, Pete, Jamie and I were called into the principal's office. I had never been called to the principal's office before - it was for bad kids who got into trouble - so I was nervous. But word of the incident had gotten to the administration, so the principal made Pete and Jamie apologize to me, which was awkward and embarrassing. Then he made us call our parents at work and tell them what had happened. My conversation went something like this:

Me: Hi, Mom. Last night, Pete and Jamie and I were screwing around and Pete ended up shooting me in the groin with his bb gun. I wasn't hurt or anything, but Mr. Mulholland wanted me to call and tell you.
My Mom: Okay. Is that it?
Me: Yep.
My Mom: Okay, I'll see you after work then.
Me: Bye.

I was sent back into class, where people looked at me and whispered things to each other. Thanks to the poorly thought-out conflict resolution by the administration and a gossipy student body, I was now "the kid who got shot in the nuts with a bb gun." So while I cannot in good conscience side with the conservatives who are trying to bury the Cheney story, I understand what they mean when they say it's been blown out of proportion.

2:02 PM  
Anonymous Cheddar said...

Steve, I promise when I shoot you in the face, I will tell everyone immediately so they can join me in laughter.

2:19 PM  
Anonymous m said...

they make me sick. it's amazing how many screw ups this administration has made. well actually, i'm not amazed... what is sickening is the seemingly apologetic gee whiz well next time we won't let 10,000 people die or won't torture them or well it was just a itty bitty pellet and we hung out like we were in my living room.

now the guy had a heart attack and cheney didn't have some necessary permit and he didn't follow hunting rules. oh and he ran this oil company and haliburton and whatever and they won every contract in their war on a country with no army ... so really is that a war? it's like...a imperialistic take over... well at least they got cellphones now

2:30 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The dude he shot is 78 and now has bird-shot lodged in his heart. He had a heart attack. The White House has decided that the best way to deal with Vice President Dick Cheney's shooting accident is to joke about it.

If the dude dies from this would it be just a tragic accident or involuntary manslaughter?

2:52 PM  
Anonymous kbl said...

It would be karma and involuntary manslaughter. (Well, if the local DA in Texas decides to bring it to a grand jury & then the grand jury decides to indict (if TX uses the grand jury system--I'm too lazy to check).)

3:07 PM  
Blogger Steve Hyden said...

Nick, that story is gold. Unless you object, I'm using it. Giving you credit, of course.

3:39 PM  
Blogger Bethany K. Warner said...

Just an FYI...there's some historical context about VPs shooting people here: http://blogs.washingtonpost.com/achenblog/2006/02/white_house_slo.html

4:05 PM  
Anonymous Nick P. said...

Hyden: You can use that story if you like. As an epilogue to the story, you may be interested in knowing that I did not suffer any heart failures following the shooting.

11:22 AM  
Anonymous breanna said...

you know, following history, cheney will actually be the second vice president to have shot someone.

aaron burr shot and killed alexander hamilton in a duel a loooooong time ago... before we even invented the republican party.

technically, i think it would probably end up being an involuntary manslaughter charge should this guy die. and cheney, if convicted, will go to prison. but once bush leaves, isn't there always the chance of giving cheney a presidential pardon anwyay?

5:25 PM  
Anonymous Sharon said...

I don't think it is manslaughter if it is purely an accident. But I am not going to accidently kill somebody to test that theory out.

8:58 PM  

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