Last week I was lamenting the dangers of being in the teaching profession what with the intruder drills, fire drills, paralyzing stench of body odor…you know. However, this week I have to say that I’m glad I’m a teacher instead of a farmer. From what I hear tell, farming can be much more dangerous.
Farm girl’s poor hubby has been the recent victim of two pretty terrible farming-related accidents, both involving his lower extremities. In the fall he was working on cutting down a tree in their back 40. There was a mishap with the chainsaw and he had a pretty bad wound to the knee area. Farm Girl was a little miffed that he had to have the accident in the full view of their daughter.
“I told him he was lucky he didn’t die. Because if he did, I told him ‘If you wouldda died, I would have killed you when I got up to heaven for dying in front of our baby.”
I thought there was some missing logic in that statement, but I’ve also been known to tell my own kids, “if you don’t stop crying, I’ll give you something to cry about.”
Yesterday he was the victim of another mishap. We were all in department meetings when a voice on the loudspeaker paged her, asking her to call home. Word spread like wildfire, like word is apt to do in a small town high school, even among the adults – Farm Girl’s husband has shot himself!
It wasn’t funny. It wasn’t funny at all…until we heard the story. It’s a little funny.
While hunting in the woods early yesterday morning, he spotted her: the perfect doe. Christmas dinner on four legs. He crouched down to hide himself, set up a good shot.
It was a worn pair of muck boots with little tread, an older rifle, shoddy safety, loose trigger. A perfect storm, a disaster waiting to happen. When you think about it, it would have been more amazing if it hadn’t happened.
In the moment after he knelt down, the boots slipped from underneath him, his arm jarred at an angle which pointed the gun directly at his foot. At the moment his butt hit the leaves, the safety popped off and his finger bumped the trigger. Bye bye baby toe.
Farm Girl was in the building this morning.
“How’s the hubby?” I ask her as she’s grabbing her lesson plans off the copy machine.
“He’s ok.” She tells me. “Kind of depressed. He feels stupid for shooting himself in the foot, literally.”
“Yeah.” I surpressed a giggle. It is kind of funny when you use an expression all the time and then it actually comes true. Except the expression “someone could lose an eye that way,” because The Doc has seen that happen, and that one’s definiely NOT funny. But, shooting yourself in the foot? You can live without a baby toe, so it’s ok to laugh a little.
“But that’s not the worst part,” she tells me. “There had to be an invesigation because there was a gunshot wound. They had to come out and look at the hole in the ground. And they questioned me and had to verify that I was at work when it happened.”
Holy crap, I think. You can become a suspect in an attempt to murder case because someone you’re married to shoots HIMSELF? America.
“Wow….” I begin.
“Yeah,” she goes on, “And the same investigator came out yesterday that was there when he got hurt with the chainsaw, so he was like, ‘Ma’am you’ve got to quit trying to kill your husband,’.”
This has the makings of a really bad lifetime movie or a John Grisham novel, I think.
“And…” she continued, “they have to attribute the gunshot to SOMETHING. They called it ‘fatigue,’ so he was cited with a first-degree misdemeanor.”
“Wait a minute,” I can’t believe this great country I live in. “It can’t be called an ‘accident’?” I ask.
“Not when a gun is fired,” she says.
“So he shoots off his toe AND gets charged with a crime?” I’m amazed. “You would think shooting off your own toe would be punishment enough.”
“Yeah.” She says.
“How are the kids taking it?” I ask, hoping none of them had to witness this particular debacle.
“Well, the middle told her dad, ‘I’m glad you’re okay, but I’m sad we can’t play this little piggie anymore. Wee Wee Wee got blown away.”
Oh sweetheart, Wee Wee Wee is not the only one blown away by this. Not by a long shot. (Pun intended)