Friday, June 25, 2010

Bathroom Monologue: Eat My Gun, OR, “…or I will eat my gun.” –Popular wager in the mythical Wild West

The right side of his face burned pink from riding against the east since dawn. Bad James had to hit town today or be called a welch, and that was one of the names he could not abide. He tied off his horse, grabbed a bag and pushed through the bar’s swinging door.

Red waited for him at the nearest table, a quarter-full bottle of whiskey keeping him company. He leaned up to see inside Bad James’s holster.

“I don’t see your gun, James. Are you welching?”

James scowled.

“I keep honest.”

“Looks like you’re trying to keep your six-shooter.”

James dropped his bag with a clank and sat on the chair opposite Red. His palms rested on the edge of the table like he might flip it over.

“You cheated on that wager, pretending you were drunk so you could win.”

Red’s lips twitched into the closest thing to smiling these sorts of men did.

“Sure sounds like a welch.”

“I’m not trying to welch.” James scratched his scruff. “Just riled. I never lost a bottle shooting match before.”

“Wonder how many of your past opponents were drinking cider instead of beer.”

“Well I got some questions about the terms.”

Red tipped his hat and poured another whiskey. “Ain’t many terms about it.”

“So if I was to set down and eat the gun, could I take it apart first?”

“Sure. Want me to get you a knife and fork? Some catsup?”

James did not rise to the bait.

“Could I eat it slow? Say, a piece a day?”

“You want to eat the trigger today, swallow the barrel tomorrow? That’s fine. You’ve just got to eat that whole gun eventually or you welsh. It’d be downright disrespectful of you to live through so many gunfights and then die shitting one out.”

“Well then.”

Bad James leaned down. Red stiffened, looking around the side of the table for a threat.

James’s collected his bag. He set it on the table, tugged the strings and let it yawn open.

Red looked inside. It was half full with little metal pellets, smaller than rabbit crap.

“That don’t look like a gun,” said Red.

James reached in and picked up a single pellet. He held it for Red’s scrutiny.

“It’s the shooter, melted down to once daily vitamins. Should only take a hundred days to finish her off. Now as I recall, your terms gave you buying me a beer to wash it down. Would you like to pay for a hundred now, or should the keep set up a tab?”

John is away this weekend. If you're a #fridayflasher, please a leave a link to your story so he can read it later. All comments are welcome on this piece, except Wales-bashing.


  1. HA! With the amount of iron tablets I consume, perhaps I too am eating the equivalent of a gun or more... Very clever, but I'm afraid to me that still seems like welching. Just very sneaky welching!

  2. Oh, owch. Never make that wager!

  3. He makes good on the bet, and gets his daily dose of iron. And beer. Nice!

  4. Nice. I was thinking it would be a mess of cupcakes with iron filings as sprinkles, but the vitamin pills are even better.

  5. Ha! smart way to deal with a not so smart wager!

  6. Too funny. And yes, very clever. Who knew a gunfighter could think things through like that?

    Great story, John.

  7. The best way to eat a gun. :)

  8. I'd say he won in the end. Sure he eats his gun, but 100 beers is nothing to sneeze at! Good story!

  9. What Eric said. Way to turn a bad wager into free beer. He's still down one gun, though. :-P

  10. Tarantino would be wise to rip this off if he ever writes that western.

  11. Terrific... I love the cleverness of it and the Western vibe just adds to it.

  12. No matter what, there's always a catch. The alternative death line cracked me up, but i have a gross sense of humor.

  13. Very clever, but I'm sure it's the type of clever that would ensure you really ate a bullet instead, were this the wild west.

    This is a great piece of humor, something I consider to be the hardest thing to write.

  14. Not usually a big fan of westerns, but once you incorporate talk of 'once daily' vitamins you've brought in a modern twist and have my attention. James' solution to the gun eating dilema was inventive.

  15. Very clever - wasn't sure how this was going to turn out, I always enjoy how unpredictable your stories are!

  16. Very nice - he's incorporating more iron in his diet AND 100 days of free beers - sounds like he got the winning end of that bargain ;-)

  17. I love a good double cross on a double cross. That was great! ~jon

  18. This is frickin' brilliant. What a schemer (I'm so tired I can't spell...).


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