The following is from an Ian Frazier essay called "Bags in Trees: A Retrospective," which appeared in the January 12, 2004, issue of The New Yorker.
Or another time, this one in my loft in lower Manhattan: Tim and I were sitting around drinking Jack Daniel's and beer, and we took my twenty-gauge shotgun down and started fooling with it. Tim asked if I had any ammo for it, and I said I did, and I went and got it. He asked how you loaded it, and I chambered a shell. It happened that my girlfriend (now wife) had moved out a few weeks earlier. Not long before she left, she had persuaded me, at the cost of much labor and hauling by ropes up the elevator shaft, to add a heavy oak bookshelf to our few loft furnishings. I had never figured out where to put the bookshelf, and it still stood in the middle of the floor at one end of the loft, about forty feet from where Tim and I were sitting. The bookshelf had a back of particle board. Hefting the gun, I looked at the shelf for a while, and listened to determine if my neighbors upstairs and down were home; the floor and ceiling in that loft were thin enough so that I could usually hear my neighbors moving around. Nobody home, I decided. I stood, aimed at the bookshelf, and fired. The sound of a shotgun in a brick-walled, enclosed space like that is indescribably loud. There was also the skittery sound of the bird-shot pellets going across the floor on the other side of the big hole they blew in the particle board. I don't think Tim or I had ever laughed that hard.
Blue gunsmoke filled the room. I gave the gun to Tim, and he aimed and pulled the trigger. We laughed even harder at this explosion, because now we knew better what to expect. I took the gun and fired again. A thick fog of gunsmoke hung everywhere. Just then the buzzer rang. It was Bill and two friends. They came in, saw the gunsmoke, saw the empty bottle and beer cans on the floor, saw the spent shells, and heard us babbling. They began to back out the door. Amazingly, though, we were able to persuade them that taking a shot would be really fun, and eventually all three of them (one a pacifist woman nurse) did.