When I was a young boy my favorite toy was a BB gun. It was shaped like an old fashioned Winchester lever action rifle. When I had it in my hands I suddenly became all the heroes of the western movies that I watched. I was John Wayne riding to the rescue, fighting off train robbers along the empty train tracks that ran next to our yard. Occasionally I would shoot BB’s for target practice, but most of the time I just pretended to be a cowboy with it.

One day I walked into the house carrying my gun in my hand. I was imitating a John Wayne movie where he swung the rifle by its lever and shot it with one hand. As I did so, however, I heard a pop. I hadn’t totally cleaned the BBs out of the gun when I was shooting it the day before. I watched in horror as the BB parted the hair of my dad who was snoozing on the couch.

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