Thursday, August 19, 2010

Games Invented by a 14 year old Boy When His Friends Visit The Farm


This game has a couple variations.  There's the Shooting Range, which positions the boys on folding lawn chairs, aiming BB guns at a home-built "target trap" which consists of a few 2x4s nailed to together and an old bedsheet.

Am I okay with this??? Not really... there's something extremely messed up about buying ammo to keep the kid out of trouble.  

But it's going right in some ways.  He's become a total safety expert.  He'll give you the Safety Speech any time, the whole speech, with examples.

 Recently, three steel t-posts sprouted behind the cement floor where the new shed is about to built.  Of course their purpose is to hold up a string with pop cans threaded by their pull tabs.  Bucky had this game in town too, only then it was water guns, not BBs, cuz you can't shoot varmints in town.


I can't keep track of all the terms this kid throws around.  It has to do with a show on CTV in which the city of Toronto has a major hostage incident every week requiring the expertise of a group of highly skilled cop-negotiator-sharpshooter-hero type people, two of whom are Bald Men and quite badass in a nice Canadian kind of way... and of course they have, like, lives and issues and stuff but they also wear bitchin black uniforms and have all kinds of mics and headphones and holsters.  The boy thinks it's all awesome.  (You wouldn't believe how often I shake my head at how my Mennonite upbringing spawned this rifle slinging redneck kid...)

Bucky is fascinated with Hugh Dylan, a guy who provided growly vocals for The Headstones back in the day.  Now when a Headstones tune hits the radio, the kids shriek about how Bald this song is.  Everything hardcore and bitchin and flinty-eyed is Bald now.

So how the Bald Men blah blah blah game works is this: stand with your back against the big sliding barn door.  Pistol (EMPTY because Mom has this thing about gun safety, I don't care if the BBs are plastic or not) held in two hands at shoulder.  Yell clear or something then jump out into the hay mow and proceed to hit the styrofoam sheet, the truck hood, the weedwacker box, and the plywood leaning against the stack of pallets.  Oh, and you're timed on this.  Hours of fun.  For kicks you can throw in a laser scope or some kind of thing like that.  He even got his sister in on this.  He better watch it; she's a darn good shot.


I came home from town to find Bucky and his buddy D Man throwing knives at that big sheet of styrofoam insulation.  They had it propped up against those sliding barn doors, standing on the barn bank, taking turns flinging the knives.  Wow.  Just wow.  They were being all safe about it, with a line to stand behind and "proper" stance and all, but I wasn't sure if I should freak out or commend them on doing stuff rather than watching stuff.  Once they showed off their accuracy and how they were scoring their successes according to distance vs depth or something, well, I didn't have the heart to make them stop.  I told them not to stab anything that would bleed as I was tired and didn't feel like carting anybody to the emergency room.  They were cool with that.


Not sure who made this up, but I walked out the kitchen door yesterday, and there was my friend's son Little M (who of course is taller than me now) doing jumping jacks while Bucky casually squirted his feet with the spray bottle full of water he keeps beside the BBQ.  M's little brother Cute Stuff watched like this was normal.  I went back into the house totally forgetting why I went outside and thinking that girls don't come up with ideas like this.


yeah, more shooting.  Tie the helium balloons to the fence rail, and when the horses are way over in the other side of the pasture, go up into the hay mow and shoot the balloons.  Bucky says it makes a satisfying noise when they pop, "much like tin cans at close range."

I'm sure why you can see that I become apprehensive about boys in the window three stories up shooting BBs into the field.  This only happened... ONCE.  I had a soft moment. It won't happen again.


He's got an aerial map of the property on the computer, I think from Google Earth, and he's drawn these coloured lines all over it with the computer to show the trails.  With all the junk rearranging those trails have been modified, so that keeps him busy, and of course the trails all have to be maintained.  He does pretty good considering he's only -only- got about an acre and a half to work with.  He's got names for the trails and all.

Sadly it's been so hot this summer he hasn't ridden the 4 wheeler much.  By that I mean, not four times daily.

Boys.  They play hard.


Paul Tee said...

Some years back a friend abandoned a 1976 Chevy van on my property. For couple years it sat beneath the line of trees quietly rusting away, the tires going flat, and the tall grass nearly swallowing it whole. I waited patiently for its owner to claim it--but he never did. It was an eyesore, giving me that extra jolt every day as I drove the laneway that looped by it. A raccoon chewed through the rotten floor, and shredded the upholstery. A pair of finches built a nest in the front grill, and wasps colonized the air filter that poked its way through the hood. I once saw mice going up the tailpipe and squirrels groused beneath the wreck. In no time it was splattered with bird crap.

I got to get rid of it, I told myself everyday, as the sight swept through my line of vision, then immediately receded from memory as if wiped. Over time it was camouflaging itself, taking on more and more of the environment, trying to blend in. From somewhere, somehow, honeysuckle started weaving around the sheetmetal and wild grape latched onto the side mirrors reaching for the top You see the van just wanted to be left alone after years of faithful service, just to enjoy its retirement). In time I grew kind of used to it being there becoming part of my landscape.

Then one day I noticed a new alteration in the usual scheme. Splats of what appeared to be bird droppings added contrast to the UV-burnt exterior. But not on top, as one would expect, but along the sides, as if a bird took a run at the rusting hulk and did a horizontal drop. And these ... these splatters were in different hues, pale yellows changed up with washed-out reds, sickly greens competing with faint powder blues. What kind of birds had such variety of self-expression?

The puzzle intrigued me enough that I staked out the place trying to catch whatever was doing it. I spent hours on stakeout, sipping lukewarm coffee and chewing on stale donuts (I have given up smoking by then), but discovered nothing. Nada. Not a thing for miles. But next day, found fresh accumulation to taunt me. Days of watching grew into weeks and the summer passed, but I was still no wiser.

Then, on a late autumn day, I was driving on my lane, when abruptly something impacted my windshield. Immediately I recognized the telltale signs, I was under bird attack! Another hit, and one more. But no birds to be seen anywhere. Then, in my side vision, I saw shapes glide through the bush fringing the road, and flowing ninja-like through the shadows, outlines blurred by sackcloth. The apparitions kept pace with me as I bounced from pothole to pothole, while I was being peppered by a steady hail of shots impacting the car like hailstorm.

After I reached safety, I counted 43 distinct hits on the passenger side.

My sons were using me for target practice for their paint guns as I passed through the gauntlet of their defensive perimeter. Yeah, so are boys. Warlike, just defending their territory. So I know exactly what you are talking about.

The next day, I had the Chevy van towed, but negotiated safe passage for all my vehicles with the powers that be. A cease fire that has not been broken since.

Paul Tee said...

Did I write all that?

I didn't meant to. Sorry.

Heidi the Hick said...

Oh don't be sorry. We all loved it! By we I mean me bucky and mom!

You should save it. It belongs in a compilation of brilliant stories!

And yeah. Boys will be boys.

Biddie said...

My brother used to shoot at me.
I wonder if my Dad bought him his ammo??

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