|It always seemed to be caused by fireworks.Page 1 of 1 |
|I had another thread going about why my dad just didn't kill me. Had to do with fireworks and his precious lawn. This was the next year. |
Our front lawn had a slope about five feet high going down to the sidewalk. This was a real nice neighborhood in N.E. Philly where identical twin homes lined the streets. For most neighbors judgement was passed by the condition of your lawn and your garden. My dad was king. I was his only worker.
There was one blemish in our yard and it was like a fever blister on a beautiful blond. Even a blind person could see it. Right at the curve of the front lawn. Anyone walking by gat a great eye level view. It was a red ant colony. Every day they would dig and soon there would be a high pile of dried out little nuggetts of dirt That just got my fathers german blood boiling. He tried everything including poison but nothing seemed to work. Every year he hoped they would die or just move but every spring the mound would form and dad would get mad.
One day I said to dad. Can I try to get rid of them. He had given up and without thinking gave me the go ahead. He never asked one question about how I was going to try so we now had a base from which to start the blame. Even my mom stared at my dad when he said it was OK. My track record for doing anything without collateral damage was not the best and he had just said....OK.
Next day in school I made my plan. Couldn't wait or the chance to get at them red ants. Ran home, changed my clothes and got to work. My tools were simple. I had a punk. Nothing more than what we now call incense sticks that were rumored to keep the bugs away while you let it slowly burn. Never worked but it was fire on the end of a stick for us kids. Next was my secret box. Not even mom knew about it. Kept it burried behind a pile of something in the garage. It was my box of fireworks that I had pilfered from my dad over the years. It had everything you could imagine and I was about to turn it all loose on the red ants.
I sat on the edge of the lawn and watched as the red ants worked non stop making their nest larger and larger. I knew each grain of dirt dug deeper into my dads thick hide and now I was about to solve his problem. Slowly I took a string of one hundred firecrackers apart. First one was placed into the ant hole and the punk lit the fuse. I turned away as it went off. Boom and suddenly the hole was slightly larger. Next one in and lit and hole got deeper. Ran the entire hundred crackers in one after another. I tried to imagine what was going on inside the nest. I knew I was winning this battle and all for dad. Amazing how ast a kid can go through a hundred firecrackers one at a time. Now it was time for the serious hardware. Cherry bombs and M-8o's were next and these were much more effective. Turning away wasn't good enough any longer. These big boys made me roll over and cover when they went off. One after another were shoved deeper and deeper into the now large hole that was once an active ant colony.
It was 4:55 when dad pulled up and just then the last M-80 had gone off. I looked up and saw this incredible expression on his fave. Dad never smiled much and I was sure the wide eyed open mouth was just because he needed practice smiling. He got out of the car right in the middle of the street and with mouth still open just stared. I smiled until I turned around. There all over our neighbors car, the street and the cars across the street was nothing but dirt. The ants and a good section of the front yard had been blown clear of our property. I just never figured that into my destroy the ant plan.
Dad slowly walked over to me and started to shake. I got nervous and stuttered saying. I think I got rid of the ants. Dad slowly turned and scanned the neighborhood. He looked at every house around us and yelled. Why didn't someone stop him. You could see drapes and curtains slowly slide back into place as the neighbors withdrew from their snooping. It was the one time I can remember us not sitting down promptly at 5pm to eat. Dad went inside and yelled to my brother and mom. Get buckets, brooms and a shovel. The four of us spent the next hour cleaning up the neighborhood. My brother yelling at me for messing up and dad yelling at mom for not stopping me. She yelled right back at him. I decided to not even look at what he was doing because you gave him the OK. I was conused. All this yelling and not one person was saying anything about the ants that I singlehandedly had destroyed. At a very young age I learned an important lesson. No victory no matter how complete is not always rewarding.