By Charles Towne
Buster was a friend of mine and his mama hated spiders.
She didn’t just hate spiders, she hated spiders with a passion. To hear her tell it, spiders were fallen angels, the spawn of Satan.
One day, his mama told us that if we killed the spiders in their outhouse, she would give us each some of the oatmeal cookies she had just baked. Wow, what a deal! Buster told me that the reason his mama hated spiders so bad was that she was afraid one of them was going to bite her on her bum.
Well, it might happen!
Anyway, we went out to their necessary facility and started looking for spiders, and soon realized the spiders were smarter than we were. Which really shouldn’t have surprised us all that much ‘cause even garden slugs were smarter then we were.
Yeah, the clever little boogers were pretty clever ‘cause they were hiding under the toilet seat where they could bite any unwary bottom that happened to intrude upon their domain.
(And in case you’re wondering, thinking about oatmeal cookies while trying to eradicate spiders in a smelly outhouse was something we definitely could wrap our minds around to get through it!)
The problems: we couldn’t murder-ify the spiders. As much as we desired those delicious oatmeal cookies, neither of us wanted to stick our heads through the hole in the toilet seat to hunt for threatening critters.
But, as boys often do, we soon came up with a solution: We would blow the spiders up!
I had some cherry bombs left over from the 4th of July, and after giving it very little thought, which was the way we approached most of our schemes, we figured that if we dropped a cherry bomb down the toilet hole, BANG! No more spiders.
I held the cherry bomb while my old pal Buster lit the fuse. I stepped into the outhouse, threw the cherry bomb down the toilet hole, and turned to jump back outside just as my old buddy Buster slammed the door trapping me in the outhouse!
Did I say he was my friend?
Well, my desire to get out was greater than his desire to keep me in, so we were both standing outside laughing when the cherry bomb exploded.
We were really expecting a very large BANG… but all we got was a measly little, pop.
Neither of us had ever heard of a dud cherry bomb before.
Well, we put our heads together again, which was probably dangerous at the best of times, and concluded that if we twisted the fuses together of half a dozen cherry bombs, it might do the job.
See, who said kids don’t think.
Our plan B was genius. Unfortunately, we were not, leaving out the consideration of unexpected variables.
About the time we threw our spider killing bomb down the toilet hole, Buster’s daddy surprised us by rushing down the path on a very urgent errand. He threw the door open and had just sat down… when our bomb EXPLODED! Quite spectacularly, I might add.
Buster’s daddy exited the outhouse without even opening the door. I mean, he quite literally tore the door off its hinges.
Not even noticing us standing awestruck outside, he quickly hobbled up the path to the house, which was all the more humorous because his pants were down around his ankles and his backside adorned, painted if you will, with the aromatic contents from the nether regions of the outhouse. As he stumbled along he was mumbling something about not knowing where in the world those boys got dynamite!
Reasonably I suppose, Buster and I were given the more-than-stinky task of washing the inside of the outhouse… but his mama did give us each a glass of milk and some oatmeal cookies.
I think it was about that time that Buster’s daddy began to develop a very peculiar twitch, very similar to my father’s. It must be hereditary or something, because when my three boys were in their teens, I began to acquire that same twitch.
Papa God’s children sometimes do some rather goofy things don’t we? But do you know what? He loves us anyway. And He is going to give us something a lot sweeter than milk and oatmeal cookies!
Papa God, thank you for parents. I reckon there wouldn’t be boys if there weren’t parents. Lord, please help all parents and keep them safe. We love you and thank you for an interesting childhood that, for the most part, we survived. Amen
Charles Towne is first and foremost a Christian. An octogenarian, author, journalist, wildlife photographer, naturalist, caregiver, and survivor, his life has been and continues to be, a never-ending adventure filled with possibilities never imagined. He has adopted the philosophy that to Live fully, laugh uproariously, love passionately, and learn like there is no tomorrow, is a formula for a long and joy-filled life.