Here is a story of my youth. Hope It continues to make you laugh.
Stupidity is a resource that will never run out. It is an all-powerful force that can strike at any moment and turn a great situation into one of dire proportions. The element of stupidity is the greatest equalizers on the planet. Many people have planned for almost every possible outcome but have been entirely undone by one or, more often, several stupid decisions. I am no exception.
Explosives kick ass. As a kid, I can remember imagining that I was in the movie scene with all the big explosions. When I played War with the other kids, I always was always the tough Sergent who had an endless amount of grenades and I had the tuck and roll maneuver down pat. As I grew up, my enthrallment with explosives grew and I began to experiment and learn how these explosives worked. With adult supervision, I played with gasoline with my dad. We built rockets. On holidays, we'd buy fireworks and I'd get to light them off. I was taught to hold explosives with the utmost respect and to always practice safety before showmanship.
But sometimes circumstances change things.
It was summer. I was in my back yard with a couple of my friends, drinking beer in front of my shed. We were there with the sole-purpose to drink and to fire off the potato gun that I had built. It was a gorgeous day. The sun was out in full force, occasionally reigned in by puffy clouds that slowly drifted through the sky. The trees almost sounded like waves crashing against the beach as a slow breeze blew through the leaves. The beer was ice cold, moisture beading on the glass bottle the second it left the cooler. I took my beer and head it against my forehead in an attempt to cool down, but decided that drinking it would work better. I closed my eyes, leaned back and let the remaining brew flow into my stomach.
I heard a car pull into the driveway.
I lowered my now empty bottle and squinted to see who it was that just pulled in. As my eyes focused and adjusted to the light, I realized who it was. It was "Booge".
"Booge" AKA "Booger" was quite the character. 5 ft 6, 110 pounds and a whole lotta fucked up teeth, Booge was definitely not the most popular person on the face of the earth. He had the reputation of someone that could not be trusted near your 14 year old daughter, and that if you left your plate unattended for too long, you would come back to it empty, while he licked his fingers with satisfaction. A raccoon in man form, he was a mischievous bandit and would rustle through your garbage at night. But, he was one of my neighbors and I had to entertain him.
The sentiment was not shared by all.
He approached the picnic table with a broad smile on his face. The kind of expression that tells you that they don't have a lot of socializing in their life. However, it was a beautiful summers day and I was not about to let anyone not enjoy it. Not yet at least. I told him to pull up a lawn chair and to grab a beer out of the cooler. I didn't realize he had already helped himself to one. Irritation began to build.
Conversation which had been strong before his arrival, lulled in his presence. Awkward, small talk was all that was uttered and everyone exchanged glances, perturbed by Booge's obnoxious banter. An hour had passed before a true topic of conversation appeared.
"Hey Luke," Booge inquired, "What kind of lawn mower is that?" He gestured towards my riding lawnmower.
"I dunno. A customized 1996 John Deere shitbox?" Hilarity ensued.
The lawnmower in question was my moms riding lawnmower that I had taken it upon myself to upgrade. The seat had been replaced with a leather pilot's seat from an old van. The body had been painted blood red, with the front end depicting a dragons face, breathing flame out and along the sides of the mower. The entire mower had been raised, the tires replaced with 4-wheeler off-road tires. I looked at her like she was my child. She was my finest creation.
"Whatever it is, you've done a good job fixing her up," Booge continued, "Mind if I take her out for a spin?"
An idea suddenly popped into my head. I turned to Booge and said, "Go for it."
Booge gleefully ran to the Mower and started her up. The engine roared to life, shooting out a cloud of smoke. Booge put the mower into gear and started to drive around my back yard, the blades disengaged. He pulled away and started to rip around the lawn. His eyes turned to the wide open track that was my lawn. My eyes turned to my potato gun.
Fittingly, the song, "The Final Countdown" began to play on the radio.
My friends immediately realized what I had done. I had raised the stakes and given us a moving target. Knowing that time was short, we moved as a team to accomplish our common goal. With the speed and precision of a Nascar pit crew, we had gotten out, loaded and primed the potato gun to fire in a matter of seconds. I let my friends take the first pot shots. The first volley thumped out and flew at Booge, but it went wide. The gun was hidden for a second to see if the sound of the gun firing would alert Booge. No response.
With the same procedure, we reloaded the gun twice more. The second shot rang out and missed Booge's head by a couple feet. The third shot clipped the front tire of the mower, causing Booge to think he hit something. He quickly glanced about but didn't see anything. Oblivious, he continued to motor around.
I took the gun from my friend and I looked into the bag of potatoes. There, sitting at the top of the pile was the single largest potato I had ever seen. My eyes glazed over as I glimpsed between it and Booger's head. Ramming the potato into the tube, I flipped it over and opened the chamber. I sprayed half the canister of hairspray into it, lidded it and shook the gun. With Booge driving parallel to us, his eyes looking away, I placed my thumb on the trigger. I held it against my hip, estimated the shot and pulled the trigger.
The gun ejected the potato with such force that the recoil sent me flying back on my ass. A 3 foot flame erupted out of the end of the gun, causing a wave of heat to wash over me. As I hit the ground, I managed to sit up and look to my target. My jaw dropped with abject horror of what I had just done. I remember the next few seconds in slow motion.
The potato had hit Booge. Not in the arm or in his torso, but a clean and direct head shot. With the force of a hammer hitting and egg, the potato smashed into his forehead, snapping his head back and literally lifting him off the lawnmower. Gracefully, he arced back, flipping like a dolphin at an aquarium show, his eyes rolling freely in his head. With a sickening thwack he hit the ground. Time sped up with the same speed that the sound took to reach my ears. I uttered the one word that conveyed my situation perfectly.
Scrambling to my feet, I ran over to what I thought was Booger's corpse. I stood over him, staring down at his potato covered face. My friends quickly joined me in a semi circle around Booge. The wind stopped. My friends and I exchanged panic looks. Clearing his throat, Rob's voice broke the silence startling us.
"We gotta call 911."
"We can't man! The cops will think we killed him!"
I knew what was coming next.
"Luke was the one that fired the kill shot!"
"All of our fingerprints are on the gun!"
"We're all in this together."
We all took a step back from each other. I became suddenly dizzy as I came to terms with the situation. My afternoon had turned from a care-free summers day, to a murder scene with witnesses. I looked at each of them, hoping it wasn't true. We met eyes and squinted at each other, waiting for one of us to make the first move. It was here my sense of self-preservation kicked in. I then realized that I would not be taken down. Paranoia struck. There was a lot of ground around here. Enough to bury one body and three more. If I had to. I eyed a shovel near the cooler. I mentioned to them that we should calm down and have a beer to figure this out. I'm sure the others had similar thoughts of "fixing" the situation.
Suddenly, Booger coughed and started to breathe. The four of us shrieked and jumped into each others arms. The murderous thoughts that had so quickly entered my mind left with the same gusto. We let go of each other and ran to Booger's side. His eyes opened and looked around. I breathed a huge sigh of relief. We picked him up and helped him to the picnic table and made sure he was ok. As I handed him a beer, he finally spoke.
"Man," He slowly began, "I haven't had my head banged like that since I fucked your sister last night, Luke."
I turned away from him and walked towards the shed.
I started to load the potato gun for a 5th and Final time.