Bug Spray

I Napalmed ants—when I was in grade-school. It wasn't really Napalm, of course, it was orangeish plastic Hot Wheels race track lit ablaze. It'd keep burning while dripping red-yellow fireballs of molten sticky plastic droplets of scorching death. Even if landed close; close was close enough. Any ant within a half-inch of the flaming gunk would be shriveled toast.

Pest Control

The girl next door liked squashing turgid green caterpillars with the end of a stick. She didn't kill them all, just the fattest ones; giggling at the guts. Each summer, a specific large concrete wall in the neighborhood was always covered with the undulating, boneless green sacks of goo. And every year the girl would go to work and “stick” it to 'em.

Culling

At one end of the neighborhood, a boy would send healthy and happy toads flying with his baseball bat. CRACK!

Hunting Season

On the other side of the block, a kid we knew as “Fire Head,” 'cause of his insanely red hair, was preparing a treat for some hungry birds, which were scavenging to feed the perpetually famished little chirppers back at the nest. He'd use his model rocketry control not to launch missile kits, but to set cherry bombs off from afar. He didn't want to end up like a kid did from the previous summer. The last thing that idiot-boy saw was bones from an exploding fish traveling at the speed of sound towards his wide-open eyeballs. When they found the lug-nut, one eye was open and drenched in gore. The other eyelid reflexively shut, but to no avail. What was left was a puslogged, flesh pincushion of throbbing purple. No, Fire Head wasn't into a future shuffling around with a seeing eye dog—especially with his galaxy of freckles, shit splattered complexion, and glowing head of hair lighting him up. TARGET! Anyway, he'd set the explosive in a small puddle of gasoline, spread a layer of gravel over it, and for frosting, rested an appetizing, scraps-of-bread topping. Hiding behind a brick and concrete stair landing, he waited, grinningly, to turn the munching birds into flaming victims of Medusa—buckshot style. It never failed.

Sanguine smiles all around.

Gliding across the treetops to:

There are four boys on the school playground; brothers on a swing-set (about twelve paces from the teeter-totter Hang 'Em High Hal infamously pissed off of), and brothers atop the rickety, four-story black metal fire-escape. A wonderful summer day in the hick mesopotamia. The old school reeked of red-scare, patriotic programing. Constructed in 1945 of dark, fired brick and dingy limestone, it breathed with corporal punishment, classism, and atomic racism. Each room had big clocks with giant, scratching tarantula arms.

Dean, and his younger brother, Tim, enjoyed the breeze and view from the highest landing of the fire-escape. Dean wanted to try and make it to the roof; using the banister and top door hinge, he somehow scaled up to a stone windowsill. He was now six feet above Tim, who was still on the rusted metal landing, and terrified for his brother. Dean tried to climb on top the decorative limestone head above; seeking leverage with his left foot halfway up the surround stonework and grabbing at mortar cracks by hand. Tim was yelling, “No, Dean! No!” Dean was always taking risks like this. Being that he had a congenital heart problem, they called a “hole,” it seemed like he was always trying to prove his bravery or some shit. Ya know, “kid-stuff.” A skinny, bald little thing, Dean was quite a bit smaller than his “little” brother. Well, this stunt wasn't getting him much fearless hero points, so, he gave up and stood again on the high sill—this time, his back to the window.

The swing-set brothers below started to chant: JUMP, DEAN—JUMP! JUMP, DEAN—JUMP!

Swing-set Brothers: JUMP, DEAN—JUMP! JUMP, DEAN—JUMP! JUMP, DEAN—JUMP!

                             Tim: NO, DEAN! NO! NO, DEAN! NO! NO, DEAN! NO! NO, DEAN! NO!

After this dissonant, dyadic round went on for awhile, Dean looked like he was seriously going to do it! Getting ready to spring! Inching toward the edge! Everyone braced! BOOM! In the distance, birds of fire were screeching above the treetops.

Caterpillar goulash.

Sizzling ants.

Shattered toads in the outfield.

 

 

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