In the Spring of 1987 I was running, late to class, down a concrete open air walkway when I slipped and fell head first onto the cold hard floor. I had been chewing on one of those Bic pens and the plug on the bottom of the pen had been missing for some time. The pen was chewed into an open conical mangled shape. As my face hit the concrete the pen sliced into the back of my jaw and the tissue in line with my teeth at the back of my mouth. I got up shocked and in pain with only a little blood and in a panic ran into the administration offices where some sympathetic adults called my parents to pick me up and take me to the doctor to get it cleaned out and possibly some stiches.

Eventually I was sitting on the examination table while the doctor inspected the hole the end of the pen had made. He kind of whistled wowee in surprise. “You are very lucky today. If the pen had been just a few milimeters over it would have hit your carotid artery and you would have lost a lot of blood.” That was an understatement. I would have been spurting arterial blood out of my mouth at a school taught by Hungarian Benedictine Monks a few of which still practiced corporal punishment. In other words I was quite close to being the antichrist or a good candidate for a heavy metal rock video.