Friday, July 31, 2009

It Was An Accident! Honest!

I have a brother (we'll call him Waldo) who's 13 months younger than I am.  Because of our closeness in age and because my older sister thought we were total pests and refused to have anything to do with us, we used to hang out together a lot.  And it was usually my brother who came up with the good ideas for things to do.

When he was in about sixth grade  Waldo got a paper route.  He'd go out every day to deliver the daily news to the neighborhood... almost like the old fashioned town crier.  I was in awe of the great wealth he amassed from this gainful employment.  As a man of wealth, Waldo got to buy all sorts of swell stuff.  

Now, being children of the 50's, our heros had always been cowboys.  After playing "Cowboys and Indians" with pearl handled cap guns and suction cup bows & arrows for so many years, Waldo was finally able to buy a real live bow and arrow set!  

I still remember the day he brought it home.  We marveled at the sleek bow, which had to be carefully bent with a powerful arm to attach the string.  And the arrows! Wonderful pointy ends, the shaft fletched with real feathers.  So cool!

Not wanting to miss out on a moment of fun, Waldo ran outside to set things up.  The neighbor kids were also excited.  So much so, that one offered to hold the target for him.  

That would be the paper target.  

That he held between his two grubby little hands.

And he stood steady on as my brother notched the arrow onto the string.

And pulled back.

Whish!  Away the arrow flew!  How graceful!  How dramatic!  It arched upward into the air, sailing, sailing, until it found it's target!  

Lucky for the neighbor kid, Waldo had not yet perfected his aim.  He missed the bulls-eye.

No, it's not what you're thinking!  GEEZ!  How crazy do you think we are?  

Waldo only managed to wing him in the hand.  Seven stitches later, we had all learned our lesson.  

Or, so we thought!

In the attempt to avoid further accidents (and lawsuits) my parents started taking the entire family to a nearby indoor archery range.  It was really cool.  The targets were on conveyor belts so that when you were done shooting, you could simply push a button and the target would come to you so you could retrieve your arrows from the bulls-eye... or surrounding area.

One day, as we were enjoying the range, I was poised in the lane next to my older, more refined sister.  (She actually condescended to join us on this family outing and got dressed up for the occasion.  She was wearing a skirt, sweater and hosiery to impress the young men at the range... I'm sure she was looking really hot.)  This time it was I who notched the arrow, drew the string back to my ear and aimed at the target.  

As they say, always keep your eye on the target.

Just as I was about to let go of the arrow, someone said something to me and I got kinda distracted.  My fingers slipped and the arrow went flying.

No worries, though... it was headed in the right direction.... almost.

It only went slightly off course, making contact with a steel beam strategically placed between the lanes.  (Shit!  Who put that there?)  

Was it my fault the sucker ricocheted off the post, causing it to come flying back in the opposite direction and hit my refined, well dressed older sibling in the leg.  I mean big deal!  

You'd think I'd done it on purpose, the way she went on, screaming and yelling at me and shit!  I mean, it hardly even bled or anything... it didn't even stick in her leg for more than a fraction of a second!  And she didn't need any stitches like the neighbor kid did.  What a whiner! I think she just hated me and wanted to get me into trouble because it ran her nylons.

Anyway, neither Waldo nor I ever made it as Olympic archers.  Our interest in archery began to wane soon after that incident.  But it's not like the experience was all for nought.  I simply added this to my store of cautionary tales to share with the kidlets at school.  They all think I'm very wise... if somewhat accident prone.


KC said...

My husband and his brothers made a weekend sport of throwing darts in the backyard. At their sisters. They have the scars to prove it. Love the blog.

Nanodance said...

This post makes me want to go out and shoot someone in the leg with an arrow because the way you told the story it would be very, very funny.

Anonymous said...

Wow. I'm glad I live several states away from you...I hope that's enough.
Ahem. Well. Good post! If a bit scarifying.


CatLadyLarew said...

KC: I remember lawn darts... they actually had to outlaw them after too many sisters were skewered at family picnics.

Nanodance: I heard your sister was in town... maybe she'd volunteer to help you out with that.

Scott: Yeah, I think you probably live far enough away to venture out of your house. Besides, I've been banned for life from archery, so I think you're safe. You don't have any sisters, do you?

Madame DeFarge said...

If you'd put an apple on someone's head, you'd have been acclaimed as a national hero. It's just so unfair.

Nanny Goats In Panties said...

Oh My God! You had me on teh edge of my seat, I was just waiting fro someone to git killed.

And "our heros had always been cowboys." I hear Willie Nelson's voice in that line. :)

Also? Now that I finally realized I've spelled Rachael Ray's name wrong all this time (and so did everyone else, for that matter who tweeted about the contest), I laugh (and cringe) every time I see the badge. I guess I shouldn't feel so bad because NOBODY TOLD ME! Anyway, THANK YOU for throwing it up on your sidebar - misspellings or not!

Nanny Goats In Panties said...

also? teh = the
and.... fro = for

Anonymous said...

And here I was growing up, always target practicing with GUNS while you were causing all the injuries with a darn arrow!

IndigoWrath said...

Kids over here aren't allowed anything that could hurt either themselves or anyone else. Everything has to be soft, light, round ended, or a combination of the three. Schools no longer teach javelin or shot put, and parents have to sign a waiver to say they don't hold the school responsible if the poor little loves get a graze doing something hazardous like long jump, soccer, hockey, or *gasp* running.

CatLadyLarew said...

MME DeFarge: I shall go forth and put apples on the heads of everyone near me the next time I try my hand at archery. Thanks for the tip!

NGIP: No children were hurt in the writing of this blog... they were already maimed before I started.
(And I think it would be a lot easier for everyone if Rachel Ray just changed her name to the obviously correct spelling.) BTW...I love Willie Nelson.

Dana: What can I say... my parents wouldn't let us play with real guns, so we had to try to shoot our eyes out some other way.

Indy: Send 'em over to me! I could show 'em a thing or two! I'd love to be able to make the parents at our school sign waivers for everything. Then we could let them play with knives, guns, bows & arrows... how cool would that be? One of my evil plans to make a giant sling shot for the playground... putting surgical tubing on the soccer goals. I figured we could heave pumpkins or apples from one goal to the other. Or let kids run around on the field to use for target practice. (And yes, I'm going to hell.)

jb said...

Thanks for becoming a followers and i love your blog very funny. I never threw darts but i know someone who has scares from them darts.


Prodigal Son 35 said...

be safe. take care.

CatLadyLarew said...

jb: Thanks for stopping by! I only tried the lawn darts a few times... but never with my siblings. (I may be accident prone, but I'm not stupid!)

Prodigal Son: Not to worry... I have managed to mature at least a little bit in the last 40 years!

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