Saturday, January 12, 2013
Shake Hands With Beef!
July 10, 2006
I’m trying to hit on the WVSR topics of the past week, so bear with me…Fireworks**
When I was about 10 we lived in Far West Texas in a town called Alpine. A trip to the fireworks stand there was always good for bottle rockets, a 500 pack of Black Cats, and a couple of Roman candles. Dad usually kept a $10 ceiling on the purchases because my Pops knew any more than that would most likely lead to trouble and/or injury. And he was right.
Red ant hills were my casualties of choice with my Black Cats. Those big honkin' red ants that would sting me unannounced when I stood out in left field waiting for a fly ball, or during another absent moment when those fuckers would climb up my shoe and sting me during the year…oh yes….they would get their due on the 4th of July. Blowing up an ant hill is great because every blast opens up another cavern of angry ants scampering around madly, just begging for it. The deeper you go, the more the satisfaction…or so I’ve heard that about such things.
The worst fireworks injury I ever sustained was in a “bottle rocket fight.” We had a bunch of BR’s and decided that we would station ourselves around the dry creek bed as if preparing for combat, and then let the rockets fly. In my day, bottle rockets were bigger and more powerful than the scaled back version they use today, and when my "friend" launched a beauty that caught me in the neck and left a burn hole about the size of a dime by my jugular...ouch. I got him back a couple of weeks later during a “rock fight” in the same creek bed and gave him a goose egg on his forehead, which prompted a communal, parental mandate that ended all creek bed related "fight" games of any sort. A good thing too because at the rate we were going, in a couple of weeks we would have had a “claw hammer fight”, and Little Timmy would have gone missing, and the police department would be forced to investigate why the buzzards that been circling the dry creek bed.
Fast forward 20 years later and I’m visiting my Mom during the holiday, but for the night of the 4th, I’m actually at a lake party with some old friends at a Texas lake. The local city in conjunction with the local fire department sponsored a fireworks display over the lake, and in a hilarious turn of events, the Fire Dept burned down all the vegetation on the tiny island they were using as the launch pad for their pyrotechnics display.
I was situated at a friend’s house on the lake that was no mere “house.” This expansive, swanky place was situated on the lake right next to the primary boat docks, boat ramp, and the dam, where many people had gathered to see the display. The multi-level deck had a long diving board that was about 8-10 feet over the water.
When the actual fireworks display went awry, in an unsolicited act of beer fueled extroverted stupidity, I grabbed a Roman candle from the ‘personal stash’ and Old Glory from her spot on the deck, and wrapped myself like Jim Craig after the “Miracle On Ice” hockey game, and marched to the end of the diving board.
Yes, with Old Glory as my cape, and a Roman Candle tucked between my legs at a 45 degree angle, I lit the candle, and saluted like an officer from the end of the diving board. This was indeed performance art at it’s highest.
The hicks loved it. My flaming patriotic erection was met with some “fuck yeahs” mingled with “woo-hoo’s.” When the candle got too close to my actual junk though, the show was over, but I knew I had done my patriotic due instilling a feeling of pride, and likely some disgust in the hearts of my fellow Americans.
I already gave my best fart stories in the forum back in mid-December, but I still have a few to share. I’m a giver like that.
My pops gave me the framework to work with to be a “showboat” (JK©) farter. He was a big man like myself (6’5”/275,) and had all the tools, but early on in his marriage, he had a moment that set the precedent for all of the gaseousness we would produce. Dad shared this story with me one night on a road trip where it was just he and I, and we were having some quality window-cracking, father/son fart bonding, and farts were the topic of conversation.
He told me that one night during the first year of their marriage, he and Mom laid down to sleep. He rolled over on his side so that he was facing the window with his back towards my Mom.
[Once again let me remind you that my Mom was raised on a farm in a family of 2nd generation German immigrants that were very disciplined, proper, and religious. At the time of this story, Mom was a budding “Southern Baptist Lady” that was very image conscious, and for the record, I don’t believe I have EVER heard her fart.]Anyway, Dad had rolled on his side, and as our fearless leader pointed out recently, such a change in position can often conjure up some wind. This was the case on this night, for as they were drifting off to sleep, my half awake Dad violated the night’s silence with a window rattling blast of epic proportions. In the reflection in the window, Dad could see that Mom shot bolt-upright in the bed completely alarmed. He hadn’t purposely done this, and decided his best way out of the situation was to just play possum, squinting out of one eye at Mom’s reflection in the window to gauge her reaction. Mom continued to glare at his back during this time, and when she saw that he wasn’t going to own up to his epic blast, she let out a somewhat startled, mostly disgusted “good heavens!!” and laid back down to sleep.
Yes on that night, in addition to the wind, the silence had been broken. About a week later Mom and Dad were driving somewhere I their car, he leans to the side and let one fly. Mom jerked her head around for another stare down, but Dad kept his eyes on the road, chuckled, and said in his best mocking tone “good heavens!!” Mom’s nostrils flared and she told my Dad that he was disgusting, but then she broke down as well. From then on in my family, a well-timed fart was punctuated with someone exclaiming “good heavens!!” and my mother would reach new depths of shame.
When Dad was coaching basketball at Sul Ross State in Alpine, at least a couple of times during the season he would disappear for weeks at a time on the dreaded “road trips.” Alpine is situated very remotely just above the Big Bend, and the nearest college in our conference was over 200 miles away. Using a university van and a station wagon, they would pack in the road team between the two vehicles and embark on journeys that would often last a thousand miles before returning.
As you can imagine, packing a bunch of oversized college aged guys into such a small space raises the fart quotient to dangerous levels. It was during one of these long road trips when Dad had reached his limit with the foul smells and the window cracking that he instituted the “fart mile.”The rules of the “fart mile” were as such: Whenever Dad would smell a fart, he would pull over to the shoulder of the road, kick everyone out, and drive a mile up the highway and wait. Yes, the penalty for a fart was a mile hike under the hot Texas sun. After a few of these episodes the guys got the message and were able to hold it in.
One time as the team had to walk one off, while my Dad was overlooking this from atop a hill. He spied a rancher in an old truck that was coming up the highway, and he pulled over when he got to the team and there was an exchange of words. The rancher then pulled away, and when he passed my Dad he waved to him and was cracking up.
When the team finally made it up the hill, Dad asked what had happened with the rancher. He had pulled over and asked if they needed a ride, or some help, and one of the players exclaimed “no, we can’t get a ride because this asshole (punches the guilty party) farted and Coach kicked us out of the car to air it out!!”**
As for me, growing up I had always heard tales about “fart lighting” but thought that it was a joke or an urban legend. I never realized that the gas we released as a fart was not only smelly, but flammable as well (I guess that’s why they call it “gas.”) Anyway it was during my Freshman year at college, when my buddy Chris was in the lounge on our dorm floor, leaning back in a chair, when he suddenly rocked forward with his feet on the table, grabbed his cigarette lighter, and proceeded to emit a blue flame from his ass. What a revelation!! It was true...you actually could light farts!!
I soon became a master of the art of fart lighting. After a hearty meal and a few beers, I would treat those assembled in the lobby (this was a men’s dorm) to astounding displays of pyroflatulence. I discovered that the fewer layers of clothes between the flame and the source created a more impressive assjet, so boxers or sweatpants only became the norm for such lobby related activities.
So it went for a few months. But then the Xmas break came up, and I had to bundle up all of my unwashed clothes and go home for the break. When my Mom was uncovering my fetid laundry, she asked why the crotch of all of my boxers and sweatpants were singed at the crotch. I blamed a homosexual dryer in the dorm basement that was crotch driven, but she gave me the “Spock eyebrow” and discarded them, and replenished my supply of undergarments before returning.
Moms are good like that.