Sunday, July 16, 2006

You'd think we would have known better...

     When my brother and I were teenagers, our mother had a horrid boyfriend named Dan, who got put in jail for drunk driving.  He needed to store a few large items, and my mother agreed to let him keep a Datsun 240Z (which my brother later totaled to everyone’s surprise since I was the troublemaker), and a large tow able RV on her property.  One day, while my mother was at work, my brother and I were hanging out with a couple of our friends, Mike and Roger.  We were mighty curious about what exactly was in the RV, and couldn’t pass up the chance to disrespect Dan by invading his property while he was locked up and couldn’t do anything about it.  Besides, we really wanted to find some dirt on him that would make mom finally and forever kick him to the curb.  The RV was unlocked, and inside we were disappointed to find nothing of interest – just some moldy carpeting, empty beer bottles and sticky porno magazines.  That is, until Roger spied a plastic margarine tub filled with gunpowder.  Wouldn’t it be neat to light it and watch it explode, we thought?  
We took it out of the RV into the pasture the RV was parked on, and went about figuring out just how to make it explode without hurting any of us.  We didn’t have any long matches or incense sticks to light and plant inside the tub with the gunpowder, but my mom had an extensive collection of oil lamps, so I suggested cutting a piece of an oil lamp wick.  They agreed it was a good idea, so I ran inside, cut some wick, and ran back out to the field.  They were deciding who should light it at this point, and agreed that whoever lit it would need to be able to run like the dickens away from it.  That automatically disqualified me, since the others were all taller and faster than myself.  Of the three, Mike was the tallest by about 4 inches, so he agreed that he should be the one to do the lighting.  We planted the wick inside the tub, and my brother, Roger, and I jogged a good distance away since we weren’t sure how large the explosion would be.  “Ready!” we yelled, and watched as Mike bent over to light it.  Nothing happened.  
“The matches are blowing out before it’s lit!” Mike yelled to us.  
“I’ll bring you a lighter!” Roger yelled back, and proceeded to run a lighter over to Mike, and then run back to us.  We watched as Mike bent over and the tub and suddenly “BOOM!” the gunpowder exploded and Mike was enveloped in a huge cloud of smoke.  “MIKE!” we screamed, and ran toward him with many “Oh my god’s” as he stumbled out of the cloud of smoke.  
When we reached him he was shaking his head and rubbing his face, which had just minutes ago been sporting his prized goatee, and was now sporting a pathetic, shriveled 5’o clock shadow.  His eyelashes were gone, burnt to a crisp, as were most of his eyebrows.  We ascertained that he was okay, but boy oh boy did he smell awful from all that burnt hair.  We went inside, where he shaved off what was left of his goatee, and tried to concoct a suitable excuse for my mother about what had happened to his eyelashes and eyebrows.  All ideas seemed more ridiculous than the truth, so when she asked what happened to the hair on his face, we simply told her the truth.  She lectured us for going into Dan’s RV without his permission, and then said “I guess that will teach you not to play with gunpowder!”