Kids can sure do some stupid things, and I was certainly no exception. In fact, my friends and I narrowly escaped disaster, as well as serious injury, many times during our youth. I recently read an article about fireworks safetythat put me in mind of some very stupid stunts my friends and I pulled as kids. But our shenanigans weren’t confined to explosives. Whether we were pointing lighted bottle rockets at each other, or speeding down the middle of the road on a mini bike, we were always doing something that surely tempted fate in some way.
Fireworks were something we always looked forward to on New Years Eve. Most years, we managed to talk our parents into buying us a few bottle rockets, Roman candles, sparklers and firecrackers. One year we set the neighbor’s pasture on fire. Oops. Another time we decided to empty all the powder out of our firecrackers into an old skillet; then, we dropped in a lit match. Whoosh! I can still see the blinding flash; I think it is burned onto my retinas. We managed to survive both the pasture fire and the skillet explosion without a scratch. Who says miracles don’t really happen?
We frequently tempted the angel of death with a mini bike too. Once, my best friend and I were speeding down the middle of the road in to a blind curve. Suddenly, a huge farm tractor appeared. There was no where to go except the ditch, which we hit with break-neck speed. We walked away from that one too. The farmer on the tractor was angry, and told us too, as soon as his heart started beating again.
And, as if fireworks and mini bikes weren’t bad enough, we were sometimes allowed to carry around a loaded .22 rifle! We knew better than to point it at each other but we did manage to maim a few beer cans. And to think, we did it all without helmets, tetanus shots or antibacterial soap. Maybe I should get a T-shirt that reads: “I Survived My Childhood…Don’t Try This At Home!”