One afternoon when I was a child I was sitting in the sun just outside our garage while my uncle riffled though my family’s shit, looking for god knows what. He dropped a box, and shotgun shells rolled everywhere, I caught a few and started playing with one. I had seen my dad take the shell and fill it with beads, when clamp it, but he never really explained how it fired–despite being an avid award winning hunter and skeet shooter. My uncle looked over just as I started slamming the primer into the cement, he started screaming at me and took it from my hand. He took a flat-head and pried the top open, spilled out the shot, stuck the primer in a vice and hit it with a hammer–my uncle’s only science lesson. When I was older he taught me how to clean, load and fire a hand-cannon of a revolver. It was a lot of fun, but I’ll always remember the time I almost blew my face off.