Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Old Geezer recalls "The Daisy Air Rifle Handbook."

I'm feeling the POWER! You know, like the strange but exciting power of 'being in someone else's house and free to poke around, open all the cabinets and peek inside. Even rearrange things at my will.

No, I'm not a burglar. It's just me, Raker, the guy WCC trusted(maybe a bit naively) to take care of his PJ Monoblogs while he hit the road on a short bit of business.

But he didn't reckon on how lazy I am. If not, maybe I'd have my own blog. What's the diff if I do his or mine for nothing? Anyway, I know an old guy, call him "Geezer," who lived some funny stories. His motto is "Been There, Done That, Even CAUSED some of it." Here is one from right after World War II. His tale is in progress, as he is muttering to himself. Let's join him.

"...and in those days kids were thrilled that real toys had started to come back. So were makers of toys, like the famous Daisy brand of air rifles. Naturally I had to send 50 cents for a copy of an exciting fat little publication called "The Daisy Red Ryder Handbook." Or similarly titled. It featured the cartoon cowboy whom their best-selling rifle was named for. It was full of he-man outdoor lore like how to shoot safely, (so you don't put your eye out.) But Mom told you that, so it added all kinds of other neat stuff boys wonder about. Excluding girls.

We played in the alleys back in Denver, and I was sitting on the ashpit out back reading that book. I'd already learned from it how to lasso fenceposts, then moving objects riding bikes. I was so good at that I got into trouble roping a kid we called "The Shrimp". He was riding his new bike past me, and when he went down like a baby calf, he dented the fake gas tank and hurt himself a bit. I was sorry, and was MADE to 'treat him nice from now on or you're gonna git it!'

Then here came Shrimp that day, and taking advantage of my pledge to 'be his friend' said "Whatcha readin'?" So I showed him several pages. "Wow! Neat!" He seemed to sense its ability to rid any 'sissy tendencies' out of even kids like himself. "Tell me some of the good parts," he begged. In the back of the book Daisy must have realized that modern kids who like cowboys also crave info about modern the Atomic Bomb. It had exploded into reality recently, and how a thing so powerful was made was still a blank in peoples' minds. So, being proud of what I'd just learned about the awesome weapon's inner workings. I enjoyed playing teacher to a willing and impressionable subject like The Shrimp.

Then, down the alley kicking a can came Kenny. He was bigger,tougher, and tended to become a bully whenever his short attention span overcame his boredom of being civil. "What you doing on that ashpit? Readin' BOOKS?" spat Kenny. Actually spitting, and a bit too close to us. He always had lots of spit, and used it to make statements. Both the mental and wet kinds. We could see he was going straight into bullying that day. "I wanna see what yer readin'. Gimme that book." He grabbed it quick as a snake. He gave a fast flip through the pages. "Maybe I'll borrow this and take it home to read myself." Just as I thought "Goodbye book," The Shrimp stepped right up to Kenny. "Listen you," he said louder than we'd ever heard him, "You'd better not mess with us anymore!" "Oh yeah? Why?" said Kenny wearing a confident sneer. "Cuz WE know how to make an ATOM BOMB, that's why!"

Kenny stared for a second, then tossed the book back to me. "I was just kiddin' anyway." Then he turned and trotted a bit faster back up the alley. Poor guy must have thought he was intimidating enough to become the target of another Manhattan Project!

End of story. That's all from The Geezer. And me too this time. C.U. -- Raker

1 comment:

  1. I used that line once, too....only everyone knew I just meant I could fart really loud.