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x-ray02.gif (16,580 bytes) This is a scan of someone's brother's bitewing x-ray.

See the light spot, the almost perfectly round blob at the left edge?

When the dentist first examined the x-ray he thought the circle resulted from sort of flaw in the film or the equipment, so he didn't say anything to anyone's brother.  But later, when he looked at other x-rays he realized there was something odd.  So he called someone's brother and said, "Remember those x-rays we just took?  We've discovered a, well . . . an anomaly, and we'd like you to come back."

"Yipes," said someone's brother, and back he went.

It was only then it dawned on someone's brother what the anomaly was.  In 1999 --a full three years earlier -- he had been out bird hunting with a friend nicknamed Dodo (for reasons that will become obvious in the next few words) who happened to fire his shotgun at a bird at the same moment someone's brother was walking up the back side of a small hill a hundred yards away.  Some of the lead pellets -- No. 6 birdshot, to be more specific -- struck that selfsame brother and dropped him.

And as it turns out, one of them penetrated his lower lip, happy to remain there unnoticed till an x-ray taken in February of 2002 revealed it.

Someone's brother's surgery to remove the piece of shot took place a few weeks ago, and he's doing fine: no scar (the pellet was removed from inside the lip), no additional speech impediments, no noticeable additional loss of brain function.

Unless you count the numbness, which is expected to last another six months.  He says that shaving is weird and also that whenever he drinks something the numbness has the effect of being a "built-in dribble glass."


x-ray_trophy.jpg (15,235 bytes)

How many of your brothers have been shot in the face with a shotgun?

And of all those who have, what percentage have gone to the trouble of presenting to the shooter a trophy to memorialize the event?

The round thing mounted at the bottom right is, of course, the actual pellet.


This is the same someone's brother who ten years earlier was walking up the back side of a raised green on a golf course in western Missouri when a member of the foursome happened to blade his approach shot from the opposite direction.

For those of you who don't know, to blade a shot is to strike the horizontal equator of the ball not with the face of the iron but with only the bottom edge, the blade, which is rarely desirable and never intended.  It is a major mishit, and it often produces extreme results.  When the face of the club hits the equator of the ball the force is spread out over a large circular area as the ball compresses and rolls up the clubface.  But when only the leading edge strikes the ball, that same degree of force is spread out over a smaller, linear area and the ball does not roll up the face and start spinning backwards.  The physics of a bladed shot are such that the ball is launched (1) low, (2) in a random direction, and (3) extremely fast.

As you have probably guessed by now, that screaming line drive struck someone's brother in the face -- just above the right eye, to be more specific -- and dropped him.

I have suggested that he be much more careful in the future when walking up the back sides of hills.


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