Monday, May 16, 2011

An archery story somebody sent me

Around age 10 my dad got me one of those little bad-ass 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 tire 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. Let’s 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 S--T! 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 WTF 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 S--t.

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 sweetgum tree out by the gate going into the pasture.
Notice I said "was". That son-of-a-b--ch 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: ECHO BRAVO CHARLIE YOU'RE BRINGIN' EM IN TOO CLOSE!! CEASE FIRE. DAMN IT CEASE FIRE!!!!!

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 185 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.

Ok, archery, or EOD Trainee or something...

11 comments:

Sean D Sorrentino said...

Damn, that's hilarious. Facebooked.

Anonymous said...

That story is worthy of lawdog
Dennis the librarian shusher

Bob said...

OMG is that funny!

Anonymous said...

OH MY GAWD!!!!
That was funny! You are going into my favs right now!
STeve

Borepatch said...

No offense, Firehand, but I won't be showing this to my 14 year old archer. He doesn't need any encouragement ...

;-)

Firehand said...

Hell, if I had enough space and could still loose an arrow well enough...

fboness said...

"teach them skills they can use later on in life."

That assumes they live.

Keith said...

One of my grandfathers died with metal still embedded from the time he swapped glass marbles for a copper thing a miner's son had at school.

Other grandfather went to help a coal miner who'd come asking help after an accident, only to see the effects of using teeth to crimp the same sort of copper tube onto a fuse to go fishing with...

My mother had a classmate at school without a hand after playing with the same sort of little copper tube.

My father used to go and get the same copper tubes and some stuff in wax candle like paper wrapped sticks from a neighbour who had a quarry, and played with them.

I lost most of my hearing playing with nitrogen halides, and other contemporaries burned holes in bedroom carpets with mixtures of concentrated nitric and sulphuric acids, set fire to dust carts, burned out ancient woodlands in South Wales...

all well beyond the statutes of limitations - Or I wouldn't be writing them.

Today's kids must be the first to go without those formative experiences.

Are we abusing them by denying them the chance?

Siddhartha said...

Nowadays you would be arrested for terrorism by jack booted thugs....

PISSED said...

Ahh yes the good old days of blowing shit up!

Now that is a funny tale..thanks for sharing.

Anonymous said...

Send him to the Navy for Sea-hawk trooper duty. He could take out the bunkers surounding Al-quida compounds with a sherperd on his back. One man Marine Killing Machine...