’Tis the season to shoot your eye out.
Local boy Ralphie Parker, 9, received his most wanted Christmas present earlier this week—a BB gun. It’s an official Red Ryder, carbine action, 200-shot range model air rifle to be exact.
In his pure excitement, Ralphie dashed out to his backyard and when he fired his first shot from the gifted BB gun, a pellet ricocheted and grazed his right cheek, knocking off his glasses, which may have prevented a more serious injury.
Ralphie was warned numerous times by his parents and other adults that owning a BB gun was a bid idea.
“You’ll put your eye out” was the phrase that echoed through his mind as he scrambled to find his glasses.
As he accidentally stepped on his spectacles, Ralphie knew he would be in big trouble with his parents, so he quickly concocted a story to tell them: an icicle had fallen from the garage and hit his eye.
The Parkers fell for the story—until guilt-ridden Ralphie confessed all later that day.
According to a new study in the journal Pediatrics, the number and rate of eye injuries from BB guns and other “non powder firearms” are on the rise amongst kids and teenagers. The authors of the study—a team of pediatric injury researchers in Ohio—attribute the ocular offenses to a dismal uptake of protective eyewear. Previous research estimates that, among kids with eye injuries from non powder firearms, more than 98 percent were not wearing eye protection at the time of their injuries. Ralphie sure was lucky he wore his glasses!
Historically, this little fella has been known to get himself into sticky situations even before the BB gun incident.
Just days prior to receiving his early Christmas present at the beginning of this week, he was front and center of a crowd of schoolchildren who watched as a classmate assumed a “triple dog dared” to put his tongue on a frozen flagpole. The student’s tongue stuck to the pole, and Ralphie quickly departed the scene instead of helping with the situation because “the bell rang,” leaving his buddy crying for help. When the teacher inquired of Ralphie directly where the missing student was, he denied any knowledge of his whereabouts. The fire and police departments responded to the school and freed the child unharmed.
[Editor’s note: The Chronicle would like to thank Joshua Wilcher for helping with the photo that accompanies this story. Joshua, the son of Michelle Lane of Oak Park and Jeremy Wilcher of Canoochee, attends Swainsboro Primary School. He did not, in fact, nearly shoot his eye out. This piece is drawn from the Christmas movie, A Christmas Story, which TBS will stream on Christmas Eve and play over the course of two hours on repeat throughout Christmas Day.]