Wednesday, February 4, 2009

The BB Story

Marinka’s post a couple of weeks ago, on mammograms, made me remember this – so blame her.

I have a BB in my left breast, courtesy of a car load of teenaged boys who shot me one evening when I was out jogging.

It was about eight o’clock on a September evening, and I’d been running for a while, so my pulse was up. I was heading up a hill near my house when a pale green sedan pulled to the curb. There was a catcall and what felt like the snap of a rubber band hit the side of my breast. Then maniacal laughter and the screech of tires as I stood there under the streetlight, watching my shirt change colors.

My first thought was that they’d thrown a cigarette at me and it was burning my tee shirt away. Since I wasn’t wearing a bra, this meant I’d get to run home essentially topless. But then I touched the dark spot and my fingers came away wet and I realized it was blood. I turned around and headed home.

When I got there, my husband wanted to take me to the ER, but I refused to go. I had this weird, rape-type reaction going on. I felt I’d brought it on myself by a) running after dark and b) not wearing a bra.

“You can’t tell anyone,” I kept insisting. “No one can know.”

Finally, hubby agreed to let me talk to the doctor the next morning, when I took our daughter in for her scheduled allergy shot.

The doctor was frustrated with my inability to identify my attackers.

“If this has been a foot higher,” he said, “you would have lost your eye. Six inches, it would have hit your carotid and you would have bled to death before you reach help.”

He also said it couldn’t be removed – a BB is so small, and breast tissue is so soft – “We could destroy the whole breast and still not get it out.”

Fast-forward to Monday morning, at work with Stan and Tom and a new character we’ll call Tim.

Stan, of course, was nowhere to be found while this discussion was underway. The Tim and Tom show, however, was in full swing.

“Got a BB in your booby?” said Tom.

“They can’t treat you like that,” said Tim. “You’re my bosom buddy!”

“I think you’ve gained a full cup size.” Tom again, squinting at my chest.

I’m starting to realize why my first thought was that no one could know.

It was a long time ago, though, and I don’t think about it very often, except when the weather changes and my breast aches a little.

Or when I get a mammogram and forget to say anything, and they call afterwards, asking, “Were you wearing a…necklace…today?”

Yeah, right. It matches my shell casing earrings.


  1. Jesus Wept Jeanne! that is absolutely awful. Those boys should have been found and punished!!! I am really angry. You must have felt terrible - emotionally - and I am truly sorry.

  2. What a horrible experience! Thank goodness you weren't hurt worse. You must have been so outraged.

  3. there is something medically irresponsible going on here, why was there/is there no concern that this BB could migrate????

  4. That's awful.

    I'm glad you can see the humor in it (not that it is actually "funny"), but it's still horrible.

  5. What a dreafully intimidating thing to have happened. But WHY didn't you report it to the police at the time -- a green car isn't that difficult to spot, and perhaps they also attacked (for attack it was) someone else in the same way...I agree that perhaps you should get a second opinion on the medical side.

  6. There are just so many sad parts of this story.

  7. That is really terrible, I'm so sorry that this happened. WTF is wrong with people, anyway?

  8. A drive-by breast augmentation? There's a new one on me...All kidding aside, glad you're OK!

  9. That's terrible! Bunch of hooligans!

    You don't sound worried, and I wouldn't be. My dad is full of buckshot (he was shot by a hunter). Like a bb, it was too small to remove it all, though it is weird to see or feel the little lumps in his arm!

  10. I do not know whether to laugh or grab my own...but you got me laughing with the earring ending...

  11. Great story. A similar thing happened to me once in college, except it was a real bullet and it went through the windshield of the car I was in, missing my head by about three inches. I had exactly the same reaction.

  12. I agree with E.. you give us a glimpse of your great attitude with the earring ending (a new design! Shellcase "pearls"--the ultimate recycling!!) BUT this was a horrid thing for that group of dangerous young minds to do.

    My dog growing up (an Akita) once got hit with a shotgun..we found buck shot in her hind quarters.

    I swear, if my son grows up and even JOKES about a BB gun, I will lock him in a closet.

  13. Oh, you got me with that punch line! Well done:)

  14. Of course I have my similar story. Walking home after my night class at Ball State I stopped at a busy street waiting to cross. A car flies by, and Ifeel tremendous pain in my neck. I thought I had been hit with a bottle but no. I was hit with a raw egg! Thrown from a speeding car it left all the little crack marks all over my neck plus the slimey innards all over my t shirt! Not my most pleasant college memory.

  15. This one got to me. You know how to tug on a heartstring, girl.

    Hey....hey...wait a minute.

    How do we know for sure this really ............

    never mind

  16. What an awful story. On a totally uncomparable level, I had two high schcool boys plant a pencil (point side up) into the bottom of my chemistry lab chair. I return, sat, shrieked, and realized that the tip of the pencil was now missing and lodged into my left butt-cheek.

    For years, the taunt was "Get the lead out of your ass Lyndsay"

  17. I'm not sure who's the bigger ass hole? The shooter or Tim-n-Tom with their "cute" comments.

  18. What a terrible experience. I can understand the feeling of not wanting anyone to know, it is an extreme violation. You are very lucky to be alive. I bet you do have some associated aches especially when the weather changes:(

  19. Truly horrible. I'd still be mad thinking about it. I am mad thinking about it. I guarantee you that you were one of many victims.

    (And the mammogram part did make me giggle.)


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