Posted by Ed Gooding (VA) on May 13=2C 2009 at 15:59:59

I didn’t write this. Don’t know who did. Wish I had.

Around age ten my Dad got me one of those little bad ass longbow 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 six arrows before it goes down? Tough SOB.

That got boring=2C so being the ten-year-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. Keep in mind

this was 99.999% humidity swampland so there really wasn’t any fire danger.

I’ll put it this way: a set of post hole diggers and a three-foot hole and you

had yourself a well.

One summer afternoon=2C I was shooting flaming arrows into a large rotten oak

stump in our backyard. I looked over under the carport and saw 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

disappointing manner. Let’s face it: to a ten-year-old old mouth-breather like

myself ether really doesn’t “sound” flammable. So I went back into

the house and got a one-pound can of Dad’s muzzleloader Pyrodex.

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…one pound of Pyrodex and sixteen

ounces of ether should make a loud pop kinda like a firecracker you know? You

know what? Heck with 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 fifteen feet and lit the two- stroke

arrow. I drew the nock to my cheek and let fly. As I released I heard a swish

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 CRAP! He just got home from work. So help

me God it took ten 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 Hell.

When the shock wave hit it knocked me off my feet. I don’t know if it was t=


actual compression wave that threw me back or just reflex jerk back from 235

MF’n 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 one foot 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 DAMN


There was a big sweet gum tree out by the gate going into the pasture. Notice I

said “was”. That mother got up and ran off. So here I amon the

ground blown completely out of my shoes with my Thundercats T- shirt

shredded=2C 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


His hat has blown off and is thirty feet 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 two hundred feet over our backyard. There=


a Honda 185s three-wheeler parked on the other side of the yard and the fen=


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=2C 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 0000ing 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 loaders 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 I’m trying to say is get your kids into archery. Its good

discipline and will teach them skills they can use later on in life.

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