freaky gun story in santa feAs a hor­ror writer, I still have to shake my head at the way real­ity con­sis­tently trumps fic­ton when it comes to lunacy, audac­ity, and sheer whacked-​out nut­ti­ness. Fic­tion writ­ers, after all, can only stretch read­ers’ sus­pen­sion of dis­be­lief so far. As Mark Twain pointed out, “…fic­tion is obliged to stick to pos­si­bil­i­ties. Truth isn’t.”

Case in point: here in Santa Fe last week a local woman and her boyfriend got into an argu­ment about space aliens.

(Okay, we’ve all done that, right? I tell you, extrater­res­tri­als exist and roam among us. And, omigod, you’re one of them!)

The argu­ment became so heated that the woman left the house, came back, went into the bed­room and changed into lin­gerie (some­thing slinky and seduc­tive, one hopes). She then pulled out a gun.

Okay, so far, so good. What’s a lit­tle gun­play in the heat of amore, right, and what writer hasn’t writ­ten a scene where a riled-​up lover grabs for the handy lit­tle Glock on the night­stand in the heat of passion?

Except that this woman pulled the gun out of her vagina.

That’s right, out of…you know…out of there.

For­get about the pain involved in such a game of anatom­i­cal hide-​and-​seek or about burn­ing ques­tions like whether the gun was pointed in or out. Imag­ine a hap­less writer try­ing to incor­po­rate such over-​the-​top weird­ness into a story in any way that wouldn’t leave the reader either hurl­ing the book across the room in dis­gust or rolling on the floor laughing.

But it’s true, you say. It happened.

Indeed, and yet to the writer, such sur­real goings-​on are almost use­less, except per­haps as a tall tale told to the pro­tag­o­nist by some good ol’ boy in one of those creepy small towns that often turn up in hor­ror sto­ries and where few ever leave in one piece. “Ah tell ya, son, stay away from Molly over there. Yep, I know she’s hot, but that girl’s not just full of grit, she’s got cold steel in her, too. Let me tell you about the time her and me argued over them space aliens…”

Stun­ningly (or per­haps depress­ingly), the woman in Santa Fe isn’t even unique. A woman in Ada, Okla­homa, who was hauled into the police sta­tion and strip-​searched, proved to have a five-​cylinder gun hid­den in her vagina and, in close prox­im­ity, two bag­gies full of meth.

In a final excess of irony, both sto­ries were orig­i­nally reported in – where else? – “The Smok­ing Gun.”

When life gets this crazy, what’s a writer to do: maybe go back to the com­puter and write an op-​ed piece on some­thing seri­ous and weighty, like what really con­sti­tutes con­cealed carry and does cal­i­bre really matter?

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