In Case You've Wondered

My blog is where my wandering thoughts are interspersed with stuff I made up. So, if while reading you find yourself confused about the context, don't feel alone. I get confused, too.

If you're here for the stories, I started another blog:

One other thing: sometimes I write words you refuse to use in front of children, or polite company, unless you have a flat tire, or hit your thumb with a hammer.

I don't use them to offend; I use them to embellish.

Friday, July 27, 2012

The Day I Didn't Run Over the Dog

When I was a kid, you could save some money and buy a handy slingshot called a 'Wrist Rocket'. Made of aluminum, surgical tubing and designed to lock on your wrist, it was a a powerful tool for character building.

We all had a 'Wrist Rocket'. We'd spend hours wandering the neighborhood testing our skill by shooting at cicadas in the trees. Over time, our skills developed and we became marksmen. Since we all had one, squabbles became almost non-existent. You just don't let it get to that point when you know escalation could lead to really bad things.

I was tooling around in the backyard one afternoon, when I had a brilliant idea: If I took a firecracker, placed it in the slingshot, lit it and launched it, would it be similar to a bottle rocket? I had to try.

It worked, although I just couldn't get the altitude I wanted. I was thinking of fashioning an apparatus with some weight to attach to the firecracker, when my brother walked out the side door. It was one of those golden moments when everything fell in place. I had a fresh firecracker loaded, the fuse was seconds away from being lit, and my mind went to another plane.


When he turned, I fine tuned my pull and launched the firecracker in his direction. It was perfect. The location of the explosion was 5 feet in front of him at eye level; just far enough to keep from putting an eye out.


Uh oh. I had the slingshot reloaded with more substantial ammunition in seconds. He had that look on his face like he wanted to whip my ass. Maybe so, but  I would get off at least one shot before he did.

We stood staring at each other for a few moments. Me ready and him fuming. He stomped away, jumped into the car and ran over the dog.

I heard the howling and ran to the front yard. There was the miniature dachshund in pain, me freaking out and my brother yelling at me: "LOOK WHAT YOU'VE DONE1"

Damn. I didn't mean to. Hey, wait a minute: "I didn't do anything, You ran over the dog."

I was trying to comfort the dog, when my mother ran to the front, asked a quick question and summarized the situation. Within seconds, she and my brother were off to the vet. I stood in the front yard feeling lower than whale shit and worrying about the dog.

They were back within an hour. The dog, which obviously was made of titanium - like most dachshunds - had a sprain and the vet told us to keep him quiet for a few days. He survived, and lived  for a long time after; constantly reminding me of that afternoon with his "Go to Hell" look.

Up to the day he died, my brother blamed me for what happened. Maybe it was my fault, but I didn't run over the dog.


  1. I found my old wrist rocket while rummaging through boxes in the basement a few months ago.
    I had to get new tubing for it, and I tried using it to keep the squirrels off the bird feeder.

    No, it's not like riding a bike. I am no longer a "sniper" with that thing.

    After I bought a new bird feeder, my wife made me put it away "before you hurt someone" but I still take it out and play with it when she's not around. Makes me feel 12 years old again.

    Sorry about your dog.

  2. The dog lived for years after the incident. He was more scared than injured.

    A the time, the guilt ate like acid. My prank was all in good fun, but a valuable lesson in how pranks do not always end in laughter. I haven't like pratical jokes since that day.

    I haven't tried a wrist rocket for years. I doubt I could hit the side of a building from 50 feet.

  3. I couldn't help it, but I had to laugh out loud when I read the words "jumped into the car and ran over the dog." It shouldn't have been funny, but the way you wrote it WAS funny. Thank goodness I didn't have to feel bad about laughing since the dog lived.

    My brother once threw out a firecracker to get the dogs to stop fighting and the cat waltz over and sat on the lit, sizzling explosive.

    He just said, "Sorry cat." One of those memories that will never go away.