My Right Foot/Sat June 18/12:45 am: With no sense of urgency, Officer Bailey reports: "At approximately 23:57 hours, Officer R. Howard and I were dispatched to Northwest Hospital in reference to a man who had been shot in the foot.

"Officer Howard arrived at the hospital and first began speaking to the witness [a friend of the victim]. The witness stated that someone else had shot his friend. He then changed his story and indicated that the victim had shot himself in the foot. He then didn't want to discuss the matter any more. I approached the victim [who was in a hospital room and wore a black T-shirt, blue jeans, and white tennis shoes], and asked what had happened. He first stated that he and a friend were walking [around Aurora Avenue] when a vehicle approached them. The people in the vehicle thought he was a gang member and so shot him. I observed that there was a tear running down his pants. This was the same leg on which his foot was shot. I told the victim that his friend had just indicted that he shot himself in the foot. The victim then admitted to shooting himself in the foot.

"He said he was trying to place a .45 Colt Combat Commander in his pants pocket when it went off and shot him in the foot. He said he purchased the gun a month ago for $50 from an individual he barely knows... Officer Howard recovered the firearm and logged it into evidence."

What is fascinating about the self-victim is his deep sense of embarrassment. To protect and preserve his pride, he not only risks arrest for filing a false report ("a gangster shot me") but goes as far as to involve his friend in the deception. The friend, however, is not the friend of all friends; he quickly surrenders the embarrassing truth to the cops.

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The embarrassment is so heavy because it has two sources: one, the embarrassment of being the embodiment of a saying (such as, he painted himself into a corner, he put his foot in his mouth, he took a long walk off a short pier, and so on). Meaning, the self-victim suffers from the embarrassment of being a man who literally "shot himself in the foot." Two, firing a powerful weapon (a Combat Commander, no less) in one's pants pocket is tantamount to coming in one's pants. It is the sign of premature ejaculation. What the officers see in the face of the self-victim (his limp expression) is what a woman sees in the face of a man who discharged his entire load in the panic of unzipping and positioning to penetrate.

Lastly, how I wish Officer Bailey meant the other tear when he wrote, "I observed that there was a tear running down his pants." I'd pay anything in the world just to see a pair of crying pants. ■