Monday, April 18, 2011

Day 43

"I hate to have to tell my wife I shot my boy."

That was a line uttered last night on Swamp People, the show about alligator-hunting that I described earlier.  Junior, the speaker, had taken over control of the rifle.  In the process of trying to kill an alligator, he had missed the kill spot.  Bits of the bullet had ricocheted off the alligator's skull and lodged in the face and arm of his son, Willie.  When they got home, Junior's wife cauterized a needle and pushed the lead bullet remain out from under the skin beneath Willie's eye.  Then they got a Bowie knife and cut at the flesh around the skin on Willie's arm.  At that point, however, Willie had had enough.  He decided he'd rather leave the bits of bullet in his arm than have someone saw at them with a knife.  It seemed like a reasonable decision.

Also watched an episode of This American Life called "John Smith."  It featured seven different men named John Smith.  They were unrelated, spread about the country, and ranged from 11 months old to 79 years old.  The idea was to examine a life in all its phases (childhood, early adulthood, etc).  It sounds maybe a bit gimmicky but in fact it was one of the most moving hours of television I've ever seen.  I don't know why but it totally wrecked me.  The nine-year old John Smith, at one point, shows the camera a halloween costume he's made, of the Empire State Building.  He's cut out all this cardboard and painted windows on it and then affixed it around him, so he looks like a giant walking building.  It was about the best thing I've ever seen.

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