ARCHERY PRACTICE

Around age 10 my dad got me one of those little badass long 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 Farmall tractor will take 6 rounds before it goes down?  Tough SOB.
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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.  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 3 ft. hole and you had yourself a well.
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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).  The light bulb went off.  I grabbed the can set it on the stump.  I thought that it would probably just spray out
in a disappointing manner.  Let's 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 dad's muzzleloader Pyrodex.
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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.1 lb. Pyrodex and 16 oz. either should make a loud pop, kinda like a firecracker you know?  You know what? Heck
with that.  I'm going back in t he house for the other can.  Yes, I got a second can of Pyrodex and dumped it too.
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Now we're cookin.' I stepped back about 15 ft. and lit the 2 stroke arrow.  I drew the nock to my cheek and let fly.  As I released I heard a swish 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 CRAP 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. Hell. 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 decibel 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.
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> It was like a little low to the ground layer of dust fog full of grass hoppers, spiders, and a crawfish or two.  The daylight turned purple.  Let
me repeat this.  THE DAMN DAYLIGHT TURNED PURPLE.  There was a big Sweet Gum tree  out by the gate going into the pasture.  Notice I said "was". That mother got up and ran off.. So here I am, on the ground blown completely out of my shoes with my thunder cats 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 BRINGIN'EM IN TOO CLOSE! CEASE FIRE  CEASE FIRE!!!!!
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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 slow rolling
mushroom cloud about 2000 ft. 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 up later, repeat his process for an hour or so and you
> get the idea.  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 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 muzzleloaders a week or so later.  And 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.  Its good discipline and will teach them skills they can use later on in life.
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