Tuesday, August 16, 2005


Ornery III

I grew up with two brothers all of us close in age and about as far away from each other in personality. But we seemed to get into a ton of mischief even though we were so different. My older brother is a planner, and my younger brother is the engineer, I on the other hand was the personality. When in high school, it was said that where my older brother could talk his way into a better grade I could always talk my way out of a bad grade, the younger one was smarter then most of his teachers. We weren’t often in on something together, since we all three are Leos and the embodiment of that astrological sign, so there is a lot of tales of wrongdoing and weirdness that are only shared between two of us at a time. But growing up with a divorcee and 3 brothers all in the same house…well that was a caldron of excitement.

As a prepubescent group of boys who were a generation before home video game systems, we had to play with what ever we could find, and generally make up games to keep us occupied. For instance One time my older brother and I figured out the power of reflected sunlight.

How might you ask did we accomplish this? We climbed out on to the 2nd floor roof of our porch and held a 3’ circular mirror directing the ray of light into the eyes of oncoming traffic. It was kind of funny watching the cars swerve all over the road. Dangerous, yes, fun kid stuff? YES!

Then there was the weird stuff we would occasionally find in the bathroom trash. For about a week every month we would find a bunch of little white paper telescope tubes in the trashcan. We had no idea what they were but they were fun to play with, and with our Mom working 8-10 hours a day, as well as us being boys we didn’t have a clue what they were just that they were fun to play with. Yes it’s true we played with Mom’s discarded tampon applicators.

I know most people would find this gross and question Mom’s parenting but hey we were latch key kids before the term “latch key” was invented. Some people would say that we were neglected but I think since we all are college educated, not in jail, and all in relationships she did just fine. Besides as I have said before we WERE the worst kids ever.

Those tubes were also very useful. My younger brother taped one to the left side of his wrist rocket (high powered sling shot for those of you who don’t know) and made a unbelievably accurate sight for this weapon of neighborhood terror. When he first came out of the house with this contraption I was very skeptical, right up until he knocked 5 beer cans over with 5 shots.

We had been trying to achieve this kind of accuracy for over a year. Naturally the soon to be engineer was the one to figure this out. Well since I am the hunter of the family and have been since I was old enough to bird dog for my G-pa, I immediately wanted him to shoot a bird with it. I know mean and uncalled for but I was a kid just learning my “hunter’s etiquette” . So we go out in search of a bird, not too much longer a blue jay landed about 15 yards in front of us, I prompted him to shoot, he drew back and let loose a rock. At that moment the bird “jumped the string” which is what it is called when you are bow hunting and the game hears the string before the arrow gets to it, and he starts to try and fly away.

The rock smacked him right in the head! I was elated! I couldn’t believe that my younger brother had shot and killed a bird. I rushed over to it and stood looking down at this blue jay’s body, and it was then I noticed that Younger wasn’t next to me nor was he enjoying this incredible shot like I was. I looked back and he was still standing in the same spot, wrist rocket hanging loosely from his left hand.

“Is it dead”? he asked in a small voice.

I replied “hell yeah! That was the best shot I have ever seen!”

“I didn’t mean to kill it, I fired over his head, I tried to miss on purpose” he muttered, as the tears welled up in his eyes.

“Well, either way he is still dead” As I finally noticed his tears.

“I’m so sorry” he wailed.

I told him that it was ok and that we would do the right thing and give him a proper burial and that God would understand because there was no evil intent in his heart and that you were just trying to scare it.

We had a quick, yet meaningful funeral for the bird and the younger one didn’t shoot his wrist rocket ever again And the only time he ever picks up a weapon is at our family reunions where there is a trap range. AND!! He is so good at it last year he hit 44 out of 45 blue rocks for the family championship.

So ladies, please keep you applicators well disposed of and out of reach, for you know not the damage they can do, especially in the hands of unsupervised prepubescent boys who are too smart for their age.

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