R.A. Lafferty Devotional Page

Space Chantey

Pyotr is a gambling character on a Las Vegas style planet called "Roulettenworld"

There was Pyotr Igrokovitch with the hole in his head. Pyotr was the most persistent suicide of them all. Following heavy losses in his youth he had shot himself through the head. It had not killed him, but the shot had carried away great portions of the caution and discretion lobes of his brain. The passage through his head had remained open, with pinkish flaps of flesh covering the holes fore and aft. Now, whenever Pyotr suffered heavy losses, he jerked out his pistol and shot himself through the head. It was all for a joke; he always shot himself through the same passage; and the "brains" which he appeared to spew out the back opening with the shot were in reality only phlegm that had gathered in his head. But it was rather a weird thing when seen by one for the first time, and Pyotr very often killed spectators standing behind him.

death is nothing particularly frightening in a Lafferty story, and usually taken with good humor (even by the victim). The more colorful the death the better...