Friday, March 25, 2011

Growing Up In Texas

This week I am going to do something I have tried not to do in the five years I have been writing this blog, I am going to post a story that I got by email and have no idea who to give the credit to. I hope you enjoy it because it really hit home to me. My brother, buddies and I all have similar stories. Just the mention of fertilizer, diesel and blackpowder still to this day makes me dizzy. Yes you can kill all the fish in a stock pond with an explosion. I can't hear very well anymore because of the swing set canon episode. I know a couple of guys that have permanent darker tans because of burning gun powder. People have learned valuable lessons like the fact that .45 bullets will go all the way through a house wall, fires do get out of control and the Texas wind is faster at spreading flames than a military flame thrower. Propane gas will freeze bullfrogs instantly and if you drop them they will shatter into little pieces, it is not to good on fingers either.A little red wagon will reach race car speeds going down a tall hill with two people in it. Foxes, raccoons, possums, nutrias, skunks, squirrels, cactus rats, field mice, coyotes, snakes, snapping turtles and most other wild things will bite when you grab hold of them. Some animals like feral cats, bobcats, hawks and owls even have claws and talons that can mess you up really well. It is not very hard to get both your thumbs caught in a #4 double spring coyote trap but nearly impossible to get loose by yourself. Numerous windows, light bulbs, pump floats, flower boxes and other items would have to be replaced if anyone mentioned names. places or times. Therefore all names, places and times have been left out and not one of these things ever really happened, just in case some of the guilty and/or some of the victims are still alive.

The following is the email just as I received it, except for some of the bad words I changed and that is all I know about it. I hope you enjoy the story. Wild Ed

Around age 10 my dad got me one of those little bada$$ compound bow beginner kits. Of course, the first month I went around our land sticking arrows in anything that could get stuck by an arrow. Did you know that a 1955 40 horse Farmall tractor will take 6 rounds before it goes down? Tough sumbich.

That got boring, so being the 10 yr. old Dukes of Hazard fan that I was, I quickly advanced to taking strips of cut up T-shirt doused in chainsaw gas tied around the end and was sending flaming arrows all over the place. One summer afternoon, I was shooting flaming arrows into a large rotten oak stump in our backyard. I looked over under the carport and see a shiny brand new can of starting fluid (Ether). The light bulb went off in my head. I grabbed the can and set it on the stump. I thought that it would probably just spray out in a disappointing manner. Lets face it, to a 10 yr. old mouth-breather like myself, (Ether), really doesn't "sound" flammable. So, I went back into the house and got a 1 pound can of Pyrodex (black powder for muzzle loader rifles).

At this point, I set the can of ether on the stump and opened up the can of black powder. My intentions were to sprinkle a little bit around the (Ether) can but it all sorta dumped out on me. No biggie, a 1 lb. Pyrodex and 16 oz. (Ether) should make a loud pop, kinda like a firecracker you know? You know what? Screw that I'm going back in the house for the other can.

Yes, I got a second can of Pyrodex and dumped it too. Now we're cookin'.

I stepped back about 15 ft. and lit the 2 stroke arrow. I drew the nock to my cheek and took aim. As I released I heard a clunk as the arrow launched from my bow. In a slow motion time frame, I turned to see my dad getting out of the truck.. OH [censored]! He just got home from work. So help me God it took 10 minutes for that arrow to go from my bow to the can. My dad was walking towards me in slow motion with a [censored] look in his eyes. I turned back towards my target just in time to see the arrow pierce the starting fluid can right at the bottom. Right through the main pile of Pyrodex and into the can. Oh [censored].

When the shock wave hit it knocked me off my feet. I don't know if it was the actual compression wave that threw me back or just reflex jerk back from 235 fricking decibels of sound. I caught a half a millisecond glimpse of the violence during the initial explosion and I will tell you there was dust, grass, and bugs all hovering 1 ft. above the ground as far as I could see. It was like a little low to the ground layer of dust fog full of grasshoppers, spiders, and a worm or two.

The daylight turned purple. Let me repeat this... THE FRICKING DAYLIGHT TURNED PURPLE.

There was a big sweet gum tree out by the gate going into the pasture. Notice I said "was". That son-of-a-[censored] got up and ran off.

So here I am, on the ground blown completely out of my shoes with my thundercats T-Shirt shredded, my dad is on the other side of the carport having what I can only assume is a Vietnam flashback:


His hat has blown off and is 30 ft. behind him in the driveway. All windows on the north side of the house are blown out and there is a slow rolling mushroom cloud about 2000 ft. over our backyard. There is a Honda 185s 3 wheeler parked on the other side of the yard and the fenders are drooped down and are now touching the tires.

I wish I knew what I said to my dad at this moment. I don't know - I know I said something. I couldn't hear. I couldn't hear inside my own head. I don't think he heard me either... not that it would really matter. I don't remember much from this point on. I said something, felt a sharp pain, and then woke up later. I felt a sharp pain, blacked out, woke later....repeat this process for an hour or so and you get the idea. I remember at one point my mom had to give me CPR. and Dad screaming "Bring him back to life so I can kill him again". Thanks Mom.

One thing is for sure... I never had to mow around that stump again, Mom had been bitching about that thing for years and dad never did anything about it. I stepped up to the plate and handled business.

Dad sold his muzzle loader a week or so later. I still have some sort of bone growth abnormality, either from the blast or the beating, or both.

I guess what I'm trying to say is, get your kids into archery. It's good discipline and will teach them skills they can use later on in life.

Author Unknown


Anonymous said...

Sound like something you and Mike might cook up , since your dad was not in Vietnam I know it was not the two of you!
Yes you can achieve race car speed in a little red wagon!

Uncle Bob