Of course, the first month I went around our place sticking arrows in
anything that could get stuck by an arrow.
Did you know that a 1955, 40 horse Farmall tractor will take 6 rounds
before it goes down? Tough sucker 'eh.
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 T-shirt doused in
chainsaw gas tied around the end and was sending flaming arrows all over
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 3ft. hole and you had yourself a well.
Anyway, one summer afternoon, I was shooting flaming arrows into a large
rotten oak stump in our backyard. I look 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 it would probably
just spray out in a disappointing manner...lets face it... to a 10 yr.
old mouth-breather like myself, "Ether" really doesn't "sound"
flammable. So, I went back into the house and got a 1 pound can of
pyrodex (black powder for muzzle loader rifles) to add to the
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 everywhere. No
biggie...1lb pyrodex and 16oz "Ether" should make a loud pop, kinda like
a firecracker you know? You know what? Screw 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 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 SH!T! 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. Sh!t.
When the shock wave hit it knocked me off my feet. I don't 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 millisecond 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
Notice I said "WAS". That sucker got up and ran off.
So here I am, on the ground blown completely out of my shoes with my
Thundercats T-shirt shredded, my dad is on the other side of the carport
having what I can only assume is a Vietnam flashback "ECHO BRAVO CHARLIE
YOUR BRINGIN' EM IN TOO CLOSE!! CEASE FIRE DAM!T 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 2000ft 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 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, 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
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
One thing is for sure... I never had to mow around that stump again..
Mom had been complaining about that thing for years and dad never did
anything about it. I stepped up to the plate and handled business.
Dad sold his muzzleloaders a week or so later. And I still have some
sort of bone growth abnormality either from the blast or the beating.
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. Something they won't learn in school.