This made me laugh so hard I about had a stroke. Enjoy. (Hat tip to Knuckledraggin My Life Away.)
Never had an airsoft gun as a youth, I progressed from the lever-action Daisy at age 5 to the Crossman .22 at 6 to the Harrington and Richardson .22LR bolt-action for my 7th birthday. Still have them all. Which, the statute of limitations being probably over, I can relate a tale…
When I was about 9 a few of us kids in the township would get together and have BB Gun Wars, whereupon we wore our little Army helmets and our little GI Joe olive drab uniforms and some safety glasses we stole from our dad’s, and would role-play Iwo Jima or the Battle of the Bulge in the woods. Good times. Still have a few scars from those games. Anyway, the rule was to use a pump-up Crossman .177 and only pump it a few times so nobody would get hurt. Unless of course the target was a long way off and you were a sniper as yet unseen. Or when it was otherwise absolutely convenient.
Anyway, taking apart the Crossman one day to clean it and sort of see how it worked, the gasket that formed the seal on the air reservoir appeared to be made of something like leather. My bright idea was to soak that gasket in neatsfoot oil and leather conditioner for a couple of days, then re-assemble and see if the softer gasket allowed more than the standard 10 pumps worth of pressure.
So I’m sitting at my desk with all the cleaning kit spread out and, being indoors, I stuffed a Q-tip in the end of the barrel, pumped until I couldn’t move the lever any more (17 times if my memory is at all accurate), and pulled the trigger. Shot a Q-tip into the mirror on my dresser about 4 feet away and shattered the damned thing!
So naturally when Dad got home Mom had me explain to him, in detail, in my room, in front of all the evidence gathered, why I was in trouble and he needed to get his belt and teach me to be more considerate of my property in general and her house in particular and not shoot guns inside.
Whereupon Dad declined to believe my tale and wanted to know how I’d *really* broken the mirror.
So I pumped the Crossman until I couldn’t pump it any more, inserted a Q-tip down the barrel, and shot my bedroom window right next to the desk.
Gotta hand it to the old man, he held his shit together.
I still got an ass-whuppin’ for the mirror, but the window was on him (though I had to assist in the replacement of both). The Crossman was also taken away, it being considered too dangerous. My next birthday had a long red cardboard box under the tree, which I’d hoped was a new Crossman just for me.
Nope. Winchester ’94 in .30-30.
1 Corinthians 13:11. Didn’t touch any of my BB guns until I introduced my kids to them 30 years later.
I would have loved to see the look on your dads face when that window shattered.
Queue Dennis Hopper or (see below) Big Blue: “You don’t want to see that! You don’t know what it was like! I was *there*, man! I was *there*!”
The look, if one could call it that, was that sort of dumbfounded, gobsmacked stare a man gets when reality has just gone completely sideways and he sees something the rational part of his brain simply cannot process. Something that breaks the laws of physics as he knows it, something that cannot exist in the real world. Automotive examples would include an AMC Gremlin running a 7-sec quarter-mile, a ’69 Dodge Dart with a AAA sticker on the bumper exceeding 40mph, or his wife using the turn signal.
The shock, the horror, the immediate urge to void one’s bowels, that whole fight-or-flight primitive part of the brain is screaming “this ain’t right!” to the rational part that decides what to do, but in this modern age we ignore such.
The rational part, meanwhile, isn’t listening and is rapidly looking at the shattered window, the bent Q-tip on the floor, the BB gun, the window, the most beloved fruit-of-your-loins son who will one day carry the family name, that stupid know-it-all smirk on his smug face, back to the window, and cannot grasp that what it is viewing actually exists in the universe it has inhabited until this time.
At this point the rational mind will focus upon those things it can understand, namely the broken window and the smirk on the face of the know-it-all son. Typically this ends badly for the son.
Luckily, there was a fair amount of broken glass between us that could not be ignored, Dad having removed his shoes at the door. He was somewhat forced to acknowledge the main points that the window was broken, there was glass on the floor, I needed an ass-whupping to remove that smirk off my face, and he had indeed asked me to prove it.
He settled for what he termed a “love-tap,” which is similar to the dope-slap one might give a friend being obtuse. I called it a spanking. As was explained each time, this is a bit of pain and embarrassment you’ll remember to prevent a lot more pain and embarrassment later on if you continue these things.
The Old Man passed on in 1979. There’s not a day that goes by I don’t wish I could ask him a question or get his thoughts on a matter. If your Old Man is still alive, take him to Denny’s or the local deli or Subway and buy him a meal and ask what you did that took him by surprise. Kids don’t come with an owners manual, after all.
Great post. Dennys and a talk with your dad is always sound counsel. I think I’ll plan that for today.
And a q-tip? Really? That’s both brilliant and stupid.
Unfortunately our weapons were way lamer. We did play war though on our street. (Seriously, how could anyone not?)
Our bit of silliness came from the walkie-talkies that we would use to coordinate our 3-man armies over the neighborhood (ie, everyone did whatever the heck they wanted, but we could hear the other guys keying their mics, I suppose.)
One of the channels was the same frequency used for a popular brand of baby monitor. “Cole! Are you in position yet?” “indistinct gurgling noises.” “Alright on 3 – 3,2,1, attack!” “WAAAAAAH!”
Tales of the Cookie Monster!
Why? Because I say so.
An on-going serialized novella. Lesbian squirrel harness the power of Swedish disco to erase common sense. When drone strikes, trans-species raptors, and a racist bear all fail to stop them, two brilliant college dropouts in a Subaru are mankind’s last hope. We’re probably doomed.
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