I was shot in the workplace the other day by someone who didn’t know how to properly use a gun. This really happened.

Granted, it was a Nerf gun shooting a foam-bodied projectile with a plastic tip — but it still hurt like hell. My “friend” (ha!) at work picked up the Nerf gun, which was lying on top of a small storage cabinet between my desk and my neighbor’s, and started to play with it while waiting for me to finish an email before heading out together for a coffee break. I was focused on my desktop monitor and suddenly SMACK!!! the Nerf projectile struck me in the side of my neck. It had been “accidentally” (ha!) fired about 18 inches away from my head. My “friend” (ha!) shrieked in dismay once the weapon discharged, and I let loose with a series of expletives that would surely land me a part in the next Martin Scorsese movie.

The perpetrator (new name for my “friend”) apologized profusely and then offered the following excuses:

  • “I was just playing around with it.”
  • “I didn’t know it was loaded.”
  • “I didn’t know how to operate it properly.”
  • “I never fired a Nerf gun before.”
  • “It shouldn’t have been out in the open.”
  • “You were sitting too close to it when it went off.”
OK, that last one I made up but the perp rattled off all the rest of them. The shooter attempted to absolve herself of any personal responsibility for the situation, so blaming the victim was sure to be next in her series of disingenuous statements if we hadn’t already made it to the coffee shop by then. There was a quick reference to how she’d “Dick Cheney’d” me, alluding to the former Vice President’s hunting accident some years back where he blasted a companion with a load of buckshot. If you recall, the victim in that shooting later apologized to Cheney, saying he was sorry “for all that Vice President Cheney and his family [had] to go through”. Well, I’m not planning to apologize to my assailant, that’s for sure.

Plus, the only thing my family had to endure were spasms of laughter when I told them I’d been shot with a Nerf.