Once in a long while blank-firing revolvers were rented to non-television or movie production companies, as in the case of a western-themed gala held at a posh country club. One particular event was scheduled to begin in the afternoon with a round of golf on the adjacent golf course. Later, guests would gather in one of the ballrooms for a formal dinner.
When the client came to pick up the blank-firing revolver, he underwent the usual battery of questions. We were certain he now understood the dangers of blank-firing cartridges, especially after watching our telephone book demonstration.
The organizer of the event and the gentleman who would be using the revolver were advised several times to maintain a distance of at least 20 feet from guests while shooting. He was reminded of how lethal blank cartridges can be lethal. The client explained that the skit he had planned did not call for any shooting indoors, so he would easily be able to keep his distance, since his shooting would all be from horseback and with the gun aimed skyward.
The client handed my father his Firearms Acquisition Certificate (forerunner to the PAL), because blank-firing guns were, legally, considered real firearms at that time. The man kept chatting away while he awaited the paperwork. His plan was to dress in cowboy garb and approach his friends game of golf on horseback, with his handgun a-blazing. He'd been fitted with a western-style holster and Dad copied his carry permit and F.A.C. before he left.
On the day of the gala, all went well with the planned skit on the golf course and afterward, the patrons moved indoors for their formal meal and festivities.
After the meal, our client, the shooter, took to the stage and throwing caution to the wind, fired a few rounds toward the ceiling. Unfortunately, none of the guests had hearing protection. No one took much notice of the bluish-white wisp of smoke that wafted up from the end of the barrel, toward the smoke detector!
Within moments, all of the ceiling-mounted sprinklers came alive and doused the finely dressed guests and the faux cowboy in a very unexpected cold shower!