The other day, my daughter asked me if I’ve ever written about some of my faux pas throughout the years.
I told her not really.
One of my wife’s favorites is about the time I cut the tail off a dead squirrel to hang on my hat.
As a kid growing up in the 50’s and 60’s, I watched a lot of Davy Crockett and Daniel Boone on black-and-white on TV.
So, it’s not hard to imagine the thought process of an 8 year old lad when I saw that dead rodent laying on the roadside with its’ big, bushy tail intact.
I pulled out my trusty Swiss Army knife and after a few slices, the tail was mine.
I used some kite string to tie it to the brim of the palm-frond hat my folks bought for me when they visited Florida.
There it dangled.
Until the fur started falling out and the grissly, string of meat that used to hold the hair started getting somewhat aromatic.
Then there was the time Gergald Ferguson from Moultrie, Georgia and I chased an armadillo.
We were camping in the Wichita Mountains state park when we saw the armored cousin of a possum.
With “whoops” and assorted hollers, off we went with the critter wobbling away from us until we both stopped, out of breath, looked at each other and said, “What are we gonna do if we catch it?”
When wife Geneva and I were first married, we could put most of our worldly goods in the trunk and backseat of a ’65 Mustang.
What remained, we strapped in a luggage rack with 4 suction cup feet on the roof of this sporty little number.
We had stopped for gas and decided to cut across a large parking lot to the motel we had picked out for the night.
Clipping along at a nice pace, we we lucky to see the 6 inch high blacktop berm that seperated one business parking lot from another.
We stopped before plowing into the berm but that caused the luggage rack to slide forward, down the windshield and onto the hood.
That darn momentum!
I had to laugh.
One Father’s Day Sunday, I was doing some digging up by the back step when my wife came out and told me the cable had just gone off.
That was about the same time I noted two pieces of an orange cable on either side of my shovel blade.
My razor-sharp process of elimination told me the two things might be connected.
Did I learn my lesson?
I cut the same cable outside the backyard fence on another digging project years later.
Ever hear of old dogs and new tricks?
As a youngster growing up on Burns Street in Mansfield, Ohio, my Mom took my sister to the basement because of a really bad hailstorm we were experiencing.
But I wouldn’t join her because my 4 year old mind told me that old Maytag wringer washer, waiting forthe repairmain to reassemble it was of greater threat to me than howling winds and hail battering the front of the house.
I learned of my persuasive powers a few years back when I convinced my son-in-law to handle the rope we tied to a cherry treet in the back yard.
“I’ll cut and when it starts to fall, you pull like crazy so it doesn’t fall over the security fence and block northbound I65 traffic.”
This was an “America’s Funniest Home Video” winner in the making.
The only thing I didn’t say was, “Hey, hold my beer!” or “You’re not gonna believe this!”
Save for a few nasty rope burns on his hand, the tree toppled over in our backyard.
The stump still remains as a reminder to our potential video pay-off,
This next one wasn’t my total doing, but I was involved.
When the Foster and Malone kids got together, we loved to play house in the hay loft.
We’d move bales of hay around to designate rooms and fun was resulting until one of us thought lights would really make things neater.
A box of stick matches and several candles showed up in the hay loft and we had our lights.
How we managed not to become a bucket of Kentucky Fried Chicken I’ll never know.
I just remember my Mom and Aunt Helen saying, “You did WHAT?” when wer repeated the story that evening.
Then there was the time I perfected the ultimate crime.
I made snowballs with one of those perfect northern Ohio storms, found a box, and borrowed some of the plastic bags my Dad’s shirts used to come home in from the dry cleaners.
Close to 18 snowballs were carefully rolled and packed and placed in the box seperated nicely by the aforementioned plastic bags and then stored in the freezer out in the garage.
All winter I fantacized about thawing those projectiles out on a hot July afternoon and throwing them at the Dille boys.
I could see them running home in the heat, crying to their Mom that Johnny Foster threw snowballs at them.
She’s smack them upside the head and yell, “Quit lying! Go to your rooms!
Yes, the perfect crime!
Until I took my box of frozen goodies out of the freezer on a steamer of a summer afternoon and those snowballs were like rocks.
Thawing them turned them into slushy messes, not very throw-worthy.
Well, live and learn.
In hindsight, I can’t believe that my parents allowed me to use our freezer as an arsenal for “Operation: Dille Boy Snowstorm”.
But then again, they probably observed my pretending to be a bomber pilot and dropping golf balls on the carpenter ants crawling across our blacktop drive.
Dad would say, “Oh, Hazel. Just let him go, He’s just a goofy kid.”