Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Things I never told anyone....

Growing up, I always enjoyed throwing things at cars. This has passed, but as I think back to things I threw...and at such a young age...I wonder what was wrong with me.
I was probably no older than 8 when my cousin and I would go buy those snaps fireworks. You know what I'm talking about--the little paper things with some sort of mini-explosive inside--that would snap when you threw them on the ground, at friends, or bit them. My cousin lived on a semi-major highway with a lot of tree cover. This led to us throwing large hand-fuls of "snaps" at cars that drove by.
I don't know if it was the thrill of the "hit"...or the thrill of the car stopping and subsequent "chase." But this led to a life of throwing all sorts of things at cars/houses/people/dogs. Eggs were always popular. I'm sure that the employees of Smith's food king weren't very suspicious when a group of teenage boys would come up to the register at 12:30 AM with 8 dozen eggs. Snowballs were good, but had the chance of breaking a window...so we generally stayed away. Water balloons were usually the weapon of choice. The satisfying "thud" when a direct hit was made with a water balloon cannot be explained in words.
Now this wasn't just random violence. This was bordering on scientific and calculated. Each "excursion" was meticulously planned.
You had to take into account the speed and direction of the car. A car going faster and down a hill would take much longer to stop, and thus give more time to "get away."
The type of the car was very important. Generally a mini-van or suburban meant "open season" as the driver was usually a Mom, and there probably wouldn't be a "chase." (although you've never seen pure unadulterated anger as I have from a Mom whose mini-van was pelted with 6 eggs---she looked for us for about 2 hours) If a large truck was coming--this meant that a weapon was probably mounted in the rear window, and we were stupid---but not that stupid. We would probably stand down.
How good was your escape route? The only way you could get caught was if you didn't have your escape route and hiding spot planned in advance. A good soldier always prepares.
How good is your cover? Throwing from good cover gives you a head up from the very beginning. If the driver doesn't know where the onslaught is coming from, it will be impossible for them to catch you.
Dark clothes? Success rate? Quality water balloons? This link shows basically what we used. What 15 year old boy wouldn't see "grenade water balloon" and not think to pelt cars with them?

As we got older, we got sloppy, and much less careful. We started to throw things at oncoming traffic while we were driving in our car. Basically we had a "spotter" to ensure that the oncoming car was not a cop. We then had the "throwers" in the back of a small Toyota truck. 3 or 4 would suffice. The "driver" was always Bob. It was his truck.
My "history of violence" culminated one night in what I think was the perfect storm.
It was late one weekend night, and we decided to go "water ballooning" again. We jumped in Bob's truck, and headed out. I was the spotter. We had particularly good throwers in the back. One was headed to college the next year as a baseball pitcher. He had a great arm.
We headed out, and right off the bat we hit the jackpot. It was a mass transit bus. Now all the rules are thrown out the window for a bus. Nobody will chase you...they have a schedule to keep...perfect.
I banged on the rear window to prepare the troops for the coming massacre. We were moving at a clip of about 45 mph. The oncoming bus was at a similar speed. As our paths crossed, I looked back at Jason (pitcher) and with his lower lip curled in a fit of rage, throw the balloon with all his might. In the next instant, an explosion of glass filled the air. Yes--the water balloon had broken one of the main front bus windows. (not the driver's side) In a bold move I'd like to call "unbelievable fear", our driver took the next turn at 45 mph obviously attempting an old fashinoed "getaway." As the truck leaned to the side on 2 wheels, I felt my life flash before my eyes. After a second, all the rubber was back on the ground, and we had pulled over to ditch the "evidence" in case the police were called. We took a VERY LONG way home, and gathered our thoughts. We took another car to the "scene of the crime" and found glass all over the road...but no bus. I guess they really like to keep their schedule.
None of us were proud for what we did. In fact, I don't know if we ever went out to throw things again after that. In the current days of cell phones and police technology, I think we may have gone to jail.
So...the next time I hear the familiar "thud" on the side of my car...Hell yes I'm stopping. Probably skidding to a stop. I'll give the little hoodlums chase, but probably won't catch one. I'll just aim to scare them...because life will have come full circle. And I know exactly how they feel.

Authors note:: Names and details have been changed as I'm not sure what the statute of limitations is for this act. In fact, if questioned directly, this post will be declared "historical fiction" with no more truth than the Davinci code.


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The cops are looking for these guys too...

11 comments:

muskrat said...

i used to do that type of stuff, too, but i never broke anyone's windshield! you're a straight up hoodlem!

i think snowballs is the safest best.

The Nemesing One said...

I remember that day just like it was yesterday. Driving with my mom, I must have been 8, down the road, under the overpass. The sound of the thud, thud as the eggs hit the windshield, my mom screaming in terror and over-reacting, the screeching tires, the crashing metal, the broken glass as we rolled over and over, the world spinning, ever darker, and that screaming wouldn't stop, not realizing at the time it was my own voice crying out. It sometimes wakes me up in the middle of the night, even now, after all this time.

The Hypocritical One said...

Muskrat--I think it's hard-wired into most boy's brains to be destructive or have some sort of pyro tendencies.

Nem One--I'll tell you what...I'll chip in for a new motorized wheel-chair so that you can start going through the drive-in liquor store by yourself.

boisebyufans said...

After reading your posts for the past month this story doesn't surprise me at all, but six months ago I wouldn't have believed it at all, the saint I thought you were is quickly fading. Was your wife bribed to take you??

PD

Major Undeclared said...

For your information, Dan Brown makes the statement at the beginning of the Da Vinci Code that everything is based on fact. He wouldn't make that claim if it wasn't true! right?....right?...

MeatWad said...

You are quite the scamp. One time I overturned some dust bins at a county fair. What was worse, I snagged my breeches while making a rather hasty exit. I was all in bunches for a week…if ever my mum found out?

JD at I Do Things said...

I don't know why, but that first sentence totally cracked me up. I enjoyed reading the story and it made me feel nostalgic, even tho I was never really into hitting cars as a youth.


JD at I Do Things

Meg said...

These days they have meds for kids like that. But really, I do want to steal your ideas for a math teacher I know!!

Dan da Man said...

I remember a time some years ago i was on the bus and some kids in a tuck threw i water ballon and broke the front window on the bus ........ hey wait a second

ablondeblogger said...

I am so glad I'm not the only one who did stupid stuff like this as a kid! We did egg throwing too....my best friend and I on our way to school (middle school).

There was one of those huge Grayhound buses that would go by us each morning, so a few days in a row, we brought eggs and threw it at the side of the bus (I have no idea why either).

But we had no escape route. We just kept walking down the street. So one day, the driver actually stopped the bus, got out and yelled at us.

My friend thought it was hilarious but I was almost in tears, lol.

The Hypocritical One said...

Boise--The "saint" in me controls my brain for 95% of the time. Unfortunately for my wife, I didn't show the 5% until it was too late for her.

Major--Dan Brown speaks truth. I also completely believe both episodes of "National treasue" and also the Hulk 1.

Meatwad--Once you explain what a dust bin is, I'll giggle a little.

JD--I won't even get started on my pyro problem.

Meg--meds?? I don't think my mom knew where I was 90% of the day.

Dan Dan Dan...unfortunately, that wasn't me. We were in a truck, not a tuck.

Blondie--Who carries eggs on the way to school? This is disconcerting.

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