III Percent Patriots: Rightful liberty is unobstructed action according to our will within limits drawn around us by the equal rights of others. ~ Thomas Jefferson

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May 24, 2013

Life defining moments involving fire

How many of us have been touched by the pyro bug in our youth????

I know I was and still get a touch of it now days.

Below is a story, don't know if true or not, but it could be. 

How many of you fit into this story?  Read below to see if you can picture yourself doing this.

I bet many of us do. 

Here is one of my many adventures with that dancing, entrancing, fascinating thing called flame.

I was about 10 years old and Mom was complaining about rats in the chicken house.
The chicken house was about 15x20 on blocks.  Nothing fancy.
So I go out and look around and there are all these rats holes around and just under the edge of the chicken house.
My idea is.......

I get a gallon of gas and start pouring down each hole I can find.
So the gallon of gas is gone and I go in search of a ignition source.
By the time I get back the vapors have had plenty of time to permeate the entire rat colony.
I pour me a little trail away from one of the hole.  It didn't take me many times to learn that trick.
And viola problem solved...or one and another or two created.
I relocated the hen house over a few feet and it had a lean to it.  Hens stopped laying for a couple of days and Dad tore my ass up.
But man was it cool....:)

Oklahoma Kid's first Bow and Arrow set. Don’t know who wrote this but he has a way with words that makes

one visualize being right there beside him.

Life as a child growing up in Oklahoma ...

Around age 10 my dad got me one of those little badass compound bow beginner kits. Of course, the first month I went around our land sticking arrows in anything that could get stuck by an arrow. Did you know that a 1955 40 horse Farm all tractor tire will take 6 rounds before it goes down? Tough “sumbich”.

That got boring, so being the 10 yr. old Dukes of Hazard 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 the place.

One summer afternoon, I was shooting flaming arrows into a large rotten oak stump in our backyard. I looked over under the carport and see a shiny brand new can of starting fluid (Ether).

A light bulb went off in my head.

I grabbed the can and set it on the stump. I thought that 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). 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 on me. No biggie, a 1 lb. pyrodex and 16 oz can of 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, so I got a second can of Pyrodex and dumped it too. Now we're cookin'.

I stepped back about 15 ft 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 SHOOT! 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.

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 fricking 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 1 ft 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 worm or two.

The daylight turned purple. Let me repeat this... THE COTTON PICKING DAYLIGHT TURNED PURPLE.

There was a big sweet gum tree out by the gate going into the pasture. 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 YOU'RE BRINGIN' EM IN TOO CLOSE!! CEASE FIRE. DAMN IT 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 2000 ft. over our backyard.

There is a Honda 185 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 the idea. I remember at one point my mom had to give me CPR. and Dad screaming "Bring him back to life so I can kill him again".

Thanks Mom.

One thing is for sure... I never had to mow around that stump again. Mom had been bitching about that thing for years and dad never did anything about it. I stepped up to the plate and handled business.

Dad sold his muzzle loader a week or so later. I still have some sort of bone growth abnormality, either from the blast or the beating, or both.

I guess what I'm trying to say is, get your kids into archery.

It's good discipline and will teach them skills they can use later on in life.


  1. AnonymousMay 24, 2013

    I do know that if you duct tape a highway flare to a can of ether and drop it in a post hole, the neighbor will drive 2 miles to find out what the hell is going on.

    Never had any black powder to play with. Good thing.


  2. AnonymousMay 24, 2013

    Reminds me of a story my step-dad told me about one of his experiments as a kid. Empty C02 cartridge and black powder. He thought he would make a miniature model rocket. He put fins on the cartridge filled it with black powder, got some fuse cord and stuffed it in the opening. He lit the cord and then went behind a tree to wait for the launch. Next thing he heard was a ear splinting bang and then a loud thunk. He looks around the tree and finds the cartridge buried in the tree trunk level with his head.


  3. Had to laugh when I read this. When I was kid one of my three buddies "found" a can of black powder. We decide to play with it a bit, but how and what? We should have wondered why. We find a piece of 3" cast iron drain pipe, hammer it into the ground, pour an inch or so of black powder in to the pipe, fill an empty veggie can with sand and drop it into the pipe on top of the powder. Okay, now we need an ignition source...hmmmm...one of my "friends" hand me cigarette and lighter and they walk away to a safe zone. I light the smoke, puff it hot and slide it in the pipe butt first and run for cover behind big rock. I wait...and wait... and finally peep over the rock just in time for the explosion. Moments later I discover I'm on all fours with a copious amount of blood dripping from my forehead. I look for my "friends" and see them just as they disappear over a rise a hundred yards away...effers...I finally make it home just as my dad arrives from work. Dad didn't handle being scared very well, so he went to anger. He got frustrated watching my mom try to gently pull pieces of cast iron out of my forehead with me howling and trying to pull away. He pushes her aside, puts me in a headlock and begins probing my wounds with tweezers while telling me to man-up. He got most of the pieces, though one would work its way out every once in a while. Luckily none of the fragments penetrated my forehead. My dad said it was because my head was dense.