13 February 2007

On the danger of adornments

This CNN article describes what may seem to uninitiated a typical hunting mishap:

A snorkeler who was shot in the face after he was apparently mistaken for a swimming rodent was in good condition after surgery, a hospital said Saturday.

William Roderick, 60, of Reedsport, has been charged with assault, being a felon in possession of a firearm, and possession of methamphetamine and marijuana. He was being held in the county jail.
Roderick told deputies he thought Cheesman was a nutria swimming in the Smith River near Reedsport, about 90 miles southwest of Eugene, and shot him with a .22-caliber rifle, police said.
Of course, the police will throw the book at poor Mr Roderick now. This is a typical example of frontier justice that does not go into deep analyses of the case. Even the relatively simple case like this one. The article has a picture of the nutria, the offending animal mentioned in the quote above:

Look at the picture and try to ignore the similarity between the animal and a floating male hairpiece of a cheap variety:

Isn't it obvious that both Mr. Roderick and Mr. Cheesman fell prey to a mistake that was only natural in the circumstances? Meth or no meth (of course, Mr. Roderick, being of a sensitive and feeling heart has to resort to drugs to be able to eke his existence by hunting these adorable rodents).

If Mr. Cheesman were sensible enough to leave his toupee on the beach, the whole unfortunate accident could have been avoided. And Mr. Roderick could have continued hunting the fluffy rodents, unfettered by the police, by wailing relatives of the wounded men and by misconceptions of the public re various chemical and organic compounds...