Someone on a googlegroup I belong to posted this a few days ago. Thought I'd share
Around age 10 my dad got me one of those little badass 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 40horse
Farmall tractor will take 6 rounds before it goes down? Tough sumbich.
That got boring, so being the 10 yr. old Dukes of Hazzard fan that I was, I
quickly advanced to taking strips of cut up Tshirt doused in chainsaw gas
tied around the end and was sending flaming arrows all over the place. Keep
in mind this was 99.999% humidity swampland so there really wasnt any fire
danger.. Ill put it this way- a set of post hole diggers and a 3ft. hole and
you had yourself a well.
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. I grabbed the
can and set it on the stump. I thought that it would probably just spray out
in a dissapointing manner... lets face it to a 10 yr. old mouth-breather
like myself, ether really doesnt "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. No biggie... 1 lb pyrodex and 16
oz ether should make a loud pop, kinda like a firecracker you know?
You know what? Screw that. Im 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 15ft 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 SHIT 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. Shit.
When the shock wave hit it knocked me off my feet. I dont know if it was the
actual compression wave that threw me back or just reflex jerk back from 235
decibels of sound. I caught a half a milisecond glimpse of the violence
during the initial explosion and I will tell you there was dust, grass, and
bugs all hovering 1ft 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 crawfish or two. The daylight turned purple. Let me repeat this... THE
DAYLIGHT TURNED PURPLE.
There was a big sweetgum tree out by the gate going into the pasture. Notice
i said "was". That mother got up and ran off. So here I am, on the ground
blown completely out of my shoes with my thundercats Tshirt shredded, my dad
is on the other side of the carport having what i can only assume is a Viet
Nam flashback, 'ECHO BRAVO CHARLIE, YOUR BRINGIN' EM IN TOO CLOSE!! CEASE
FIRE DAMIT 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 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 dont know- I know I said something. I
couldnt hear. I couldnt hear inside my own head. I dont think he heard me
either.... not that it would really matter. I dont 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 so dad could beat me some more. Bring him back to life so dad 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 muzzloaders
a week or so later. And I still have some sort of bone growth abnormality,
either from the blast or the beating. Or both. I guess what im trying to say
is, get your kids into archery. Its good discipline and will teach them
skills they can use later on in life.