“Do you smell gas?” 

“What does this button do?"

“Duck? Where’s a duck?”

“Is this thing loaded?”

There are certain questions that ought not to be asked, because the answers are invariably ones that you don’t want to hear. It’s as if the very asking of the question is perilous, pregnant with the power to trigger disaster.

If you ask a dim-witted companion if he smells gas, he’s bound to light a match to investigate.

The button that you feel compelled to press before getting an answer to your query will surely delete an entire day of computer work.

“Duck!” is a warning. The time you spend scanning the horizon for a glimpse of flying fowl would be put to better use ducking your head.

And yes, the gun is loaded, as it always is when someone wonders if, perhaps, it isn’t.

Michael Biesiada’s gun was likewise loaded – at 5:30 in the morning on October 23, 2010, when he decided to check his Remington 700 at the Cedar Creek Hunting Club in Trinity County. His hunting partner, Chad Hall, was in an adjacent bathroom at the time, minding his business.

“When Biesiada touched the handle of the bolt, the rifle discharged and the bullet traveled through the wall.”

That’s how the incident is described in a lawsuit filed two years later in Jefferson County District Court.

“Chad was sitting on the commode when the bullet … exploded through the wall.”

Hall caught the bullet in his bare right thigh and was rushed to the hospital, where he underwent multiple surgeries.

Is Hall suing Michael Biesiada, the buddy who blasted him? No, he’s suing Remington Arms, the makers of the rifle, which he and his accidental assailant insist misfired.

It couldn’t possibly have been Biesiada’s fault. All he did was hold a loaded gun that went off while pointed in the direction of a friend in the next room. He didn’t know it was loaded.

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