Johnny-on-the-Spot … by John Foster
For his 18th birthday, our grandson wanted to do something “different” so the whole “famn damily” spent a few hours throwing axes.
There’s a business just north of us with areas screened off (about the size of a one-car garage) with a target painted on 2×8’s attached to the wall.
After a brief “lesson” on how to toss your axe, you step up to the yellow line on the padded floor and “fling away”.
Leave it to my wood-working wife to note that 2×8’s can be pretty costly today if you go to the lumberyard to purchase a few.
We noted a healthy supply of pre-cut 2×8’s were neatly stacked beneath the wooden benches we sat upon between throws.
As a group of 8, I thought we did pretty good.
There was only once that an errant axe toss ended up near our seating area.
We did “guys versus gals”, then “boomers versus zoomers” and we scored with the caveat that if you exceeded the target score of “50” you returned to “30” and that keep the competition tight.
We closed out the evening by doing a little target-practice by attempting to just hit the “blue” dots on each target before you could try for the red “bullseye”.
I did a little “axe” research afterwards and found that they have very “human” parts.
Of course, there’s the “bit” or “blade” but there’s also a toe, heel, beard, cheek, eye, poll/butt, shoulder, belly, throat, grip, knob along with the haft or handle.
The axe was probably the first tool from the Stone Age and those prehistoric models did not have a handle.
The hafts didn’t come along will about 30,000BC.
There’s a different “military or weapon” history to axes, including the battle axe, the throwing axe and event the tomahawk.
I suspect the term “splitting headache” comes from experience with one of those devices.
When we’re not throwing axes, they are normally used to fell trees, split lumber and, in general, work with wood.
According to my sources, the “golden years of axes” was from the 1890’s through the 1940’s.
Throwing an axe made me think of that incident with Ed Ames on the Johnny Carson show from April, 1965.
Edmund Dantes Urick (Ed Ames) of the musical Ames Brothers, also played Cherokee tribesman “Mingo” on the “Daniel Boone” television series with Fess Parker in the early 60’s.
On the “Tonight Show, Johnny inquired of Ed if he was handy with a tomahawk and then asked for a demonstration of his skills.
A wood panel with a chalk outline of a cowboy on it was carted onto the stage and Mingo “let ‘er rip”.
His tomahawk struck the target in the groin area with the handle pointing up.
The result was perhaps the longest sustained laugh by a live television audience in history.
It’s a “You Tube” classic, even today.
Speaking of television moments, the recent Oscars telecast offered a “slap-dash moment.
Comedian Christ Rock poked fun at actor Will Smith’s wife, Jada Pinkett Smith, and her hair, or lack thereof.
She deals with alopecia, a condition that causes rapid hair loss.
Will Smith strode to the stage and slapped Chris Rock across the face and had some “bleepable” comments as he walked back to his seat.
Now, the cynic in me wondered if it wasn’t a staged event because ratings for these Hollywood things have been hurting.
These guys do get paid for acting, you know.
Most newscasts the next day lead with “slap-gate” before anything was said regarding award-winners.
But then, I heard the outcry of some who said Hollywood does not condone violence of any kind.
I’d like to think Will took exception to the remark for the sake of a laugh and was compelled to stand up for his lady’s honor.
But that’s probably too gauche, too bourgeois for the folks in La La Land to comprehend.
I sense a lot of these folks would benefit from a slap or a swift kick in the backside.
You see, these are the people that got “goodie bags” that contained a plot of land in Scotland, “Lord/Lady” titles, a 3 night stay in Scotland’s Turin Castle, a 4 night stay at a California result, liposuction and renovation procedures, some home improvement work plus other goodies and trinkets.
Oh, by the way, they also got some popcorn.
So while you and I pump gas in excess of $4 a gallon and watch our purchasing power be gobbled up by inflation, these real-life clueless types get a gift bag worth more than the combined income of many of us.
Makes me want to throw an axe.
Or stop watching movies.
Or slap something.