Atheists, drive by bb gun shootings, donuts, and a balloon

That summarizes my most interesting night at the Secular Student Alliance annual conference. I should clarify this adventure happened after the end of the final official event of the night, which was socializing at Buffalo Wild Wings. Which also means I and everyone else over the age of 21 were a bit inebriated during these shenanigans, which explains a lot of the situation.
I was going to write up what happened, but my friend Ryan, the protagonist of this adventure, has already done so in a hilarious fashion:

[…]A group of us were walking back to the dorms where we were holed up for the weekend, when someone with a couple of ranks in Knowledge:Local pointed out that there was an Insomnia Cookies a few blocks away.

“Oooo… Insomnia! We have to get some!” said Jen (who is not to be confused with Jenny), because she always gets nostalgic after a few drinks.

So we walk down the street, and as we approached the UDF o’er on the corner of Walk and Don’t Walk, this blue beater sedan slows down — CRACK — then speeds off.

I grab the side of my left leg.

“Uph. I’ve been shot.” I said. “Pretty sure it was just a BB gun though.”

Jen looks back and smiles, thinking that I was recounting one of my wild stories to someone else, unaware that one was happening right then, and that she was a character in it. [Jen Note: I so didn’t hear you say anything about a BB gun! That’s why I thought you were just joking around after tripping or something! D: ]

It felt like being cracked with a giant rubber band, like in high school we tied rubber bands to other rubber bands repeated the process again and again then tied knots in the end until we had some 30 foot rubber band to crack jokers with. The shot didn’t hurt that bad, and that terrified me. I learned that the more horrific the injury, the less it hurts. A shoulder dislocation feels several orders better than a Charlie horse.

[…]Anywho, since my friends had no real intention of stopping, I hobbled on for another two blocks or to Insomnia Cookies, but it was closed, just like how it’s not supposed to be. We were all pretty depressed. Then whoever had Knowledge:Local pointed out there was this stomp-ass donut shop a few blocks away. I look at my leg and don’t see a giant blood stain, so I hobble along.

We get to the donut shop. I buy peanut-coated donut for $0.95. It was totally clutch. I ask if they have a bathroom, they send me to one in the back of the kitchen. I drop trou to get the lay of the land.

Sho’nuff, there was a hole in my leg, right where the hole in my pants was. It seemed bigger than a BB; in fact, it looked to be the right size as a .22, and that’s bad. There was bleeding from the surface, but it was a slow creep, like a scraped knee, or a road rash. There was blood on my underpants, but interestingly enough, the only holes were the ones placed there by the manufacturer intended for my legs. Since the shot went through my pants, but not my underpants, it became clear to me that it had to be a BB, because they don’t sell any bulletproof shit at K-Mart.

You really need to read the rest of it. It involves ambulances, the Saddest Photo Ever taken by Hemant, me being generally worthless after four drinks, and Jessica Ahlquist’s adorable idea.

I have to give it to Ryan for staying cool during the whole situation. I would have been crying instantly and liveblogging the whole thing. Instead I was tipsily tweeting cryptic messages that nearly gave Lyz Liddell of the SSA staff an ulcer, asking people to be Meat Shields for the Important Bloggers, and whining about how I really wanted Insomnia Cookies. I am apparently a horrible friend when drunk.


  1. Grant Gordon says

    Sounds like quite the adventure.What does it mean for something to be “totally clutch”? Is that a colloquialism in the states?

  2. says

    Just imagine how much it would have hurt if you hadn’t be inebriated. I do love the numbing effect of alcohol.

  3. Pepijn says

    Wait, what? Somebody randomly *shot* him?!I’m kind of amazed at the totally blasé reactions to this. Is this a normal occurrence in America? Should I expect to be shot at whenever I go out if I ever visit there again?

  4. says

    It depends where you are.  In my particular garden spot of Upstate NY, an 11-year-old being randomly shot might merit an inch of column space on the second page of the newspaper.  Any older, and it will be buried under the celebrity “news” section.Edit: I’m referring to actual firearms as well, not just BB guns ( which can be just as bad as a .22, depending on the gun and conditions )

  5. warner says

    Pellet guns, which are sub .22 caliber, can be quite high speed as they can be either pumped multiple times or use a CO2 cartridge as a source. In my experience, which I don’t want to repeat, a BB gun won’t penetrate skin as they only pump once.

  6. Renoir says

    I remember when I was at college they would send out those Campus Security Announcement emails whenever a student was mugged or assaulted, and it seemed like every year one guy would be shot with a bb gun.  It was always around the same time of year, we figured it must have been some kind of stupid fraternity pledge thing.I’ve never personally been shot with a bb gun (or otherwise), and I don’t personally know anyone who’s been shot with a bb gun (or otherwise), so I wouldn’t say it’s a normal occurrence, but it’s not unheard of. People are being blasé because a bb gun generally isn’t life threatening, plus it can help reduce the shock of being randomly assaulted by being sarcastic and dismissive about it.

  7. Stevarious says

    I’ve been shot with a bb gun before.  While quite unpleasant, it is not really life threatening.Knowledge: Local is D&D 3.0 notation.  Knowledge (Local) is 3.5 and Pathfinder.  I am so ashamed to know this off the top of my head.

  8. says

    “Perennial de facto leader”, kudos ;)And here’s another ‘good reason’ to make sure there are women in any community – they remain sensible when people are shot while drunk

  9. Quatguy says

    Unbelievable.  You did not call the police?   How can somebody just drive up to random strangers and shoot them?  And you come accross like it is a common and funny occurrance?  The high level of gun violence in the US has apparently numbed you in regards to your apparent acceptance of threats to your personal safety.  I am not sure which is scarier, the threat of random shooting or your acceptence of it as a matter of fact.  Yikes.

  10. says

    At a Big Ten Campus at 2:30am? Er, yes. This doesn’t shock me at all. Much worse things happen. We later found out all of the ambulances that were passing us by (about 5) were going to a bar fight that ended in someone dying.

  11. Pepijn says

    Jesus Christ, that’s terrible. Both about someone dying at that bar fight, and about this being par for the course where you live.Have you considered whether you might be being *too* blasé about it? That this should not be normal, and the fact that almost everybody involved seems to take it as such might be a sign that your society has become so violent that you’re becoming desensitised to it? That in fact it *should* shock you?Not trying to criticise, just curious what your thoughts are.’Cause where I live this would definitely be very shocking. A drive-by shooting on a university campus?! It would be national news. It hardly matters that it was “just” a BB gun, BB guns still kill people.

  12. RdeG says

    I don’t know what they did to it in 4th ed., but it’s still Knowledge (Local) in Pathfinder, which is the One True Successor to 3.5th ed.

  13. says

    I’ve been giving this some thought, since I read some of the comments. And I am now appalled by my first reaction, which was “Oh well, it was only a bb-gun. No big deal.” It does seem to be a symptom of our American “Gun Culture” to think that if it doesn’t put a life threateningly big hole in you, it’s just “Boyish-High-Spirits” or something. (As an aside; I am personally all too aware of how deeply an over-pumped bb-gun can penetrate into one’s gluteus-maximus. Or, to quote ‘A Christmas Story’, “You’ll shoot your eye out, kid.”)

  14. Erik says

    (From my high school days, about 25 years ago) I was shot with a bb gun and it stung badly, but did not cause any bleeding. I was riding my bicycle at the time so the bigger danger was that I almost lost my balance from being startled. The shot came from a car full of teenagers (probably fellow students, but I didn’t recognize anyone) who just laughed and drove on. My mother called the police, but the attitude of the officer that showed up was pretty much, “meh, why are you bothering me?”.  So yes, it does seem to be no-giant-hole == boys-will-be-boys.

  15. Someone says

    Worry not, I may be able to remove your shame.  The 3.0 character sheets from Wizards of the Coast’s D&D archive show knowledge(local).  The d20 SRD v3.0 that I found at the open gaming foundation also uses knowledge(religion) for the Blackguard and Cleric character descriptions (I didn’t check any other uses though).  I don’t think I own a copy of the 3.0 books anymore so it’s possible it changed between printings or was inconsistent within the books.

  16. Moose says

    Jen,Speaking as both a (former) gun nut and a fellow American (currently residing in Oz) I must appologise for the behaviour of my “enabled” former fellow idiots.  All I can suggest is that if you managed to get a plate number for you to press charges against the vehicle’s owner.It’s called “Assault with a deadly weapon” and probably carries 3-5 years, even nowadays.   DOn’t shy away-NAIL THE BASTARDS!I cannot believe this is the norm today-but here in Oz we have roving bands of youth mugging people in Northbridge…We suck as a community, don’t we?Hope everything heals up properly, and you don’t become a total cynic as a result.

  17. says

    Likely the police would say “Did you see the license plate?” and when Jen & Co. said “No.” they would consider it unsolvable and the investigation would effectively end.

  18. Hans says

    I loved Eddie Izzard’s take: Guns don’t kill people, people kill people… but I think the gun helps.  Otherwise it is just a guy going “boom, rattatat” and you’d have to be pretty dodgy on the heart…

  19. Der Cat says

    ……I knew everything but the Path Finder. Is fourth addition is bad as every one says?

  20. Guest says

    Jen, you left out the best part of that post:”I’ve always maintained that when living properly, snippets of your life could serve as the basis for text-based adventure games for the VIC-20. This could be one of them.“YOU are in a small BATHROOM. It is 3 AM. YOU have been shot by the people in a BLUE CAR. YOU don’t know where they went. YOU have had four beers. There may be a BULLET lodged in your LEG. YOU should GOTO a HOSPITAL. YOUR PANTS and UNDERPANTS are pulled down. YOU are holding a CAMERA-PHONE and eating a DONUT. There is a DOOR facing WEST. COMMAND?”All I knew was that I wasn’t in any real danger, because I was among friends.”

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