I was sitting by the campfire on vacation doing a little writing on my Palm Lifedrive and I was reminded of this childhood incident...
When I was 10 my best friend called me up and told me some
fantastic news. His dad was an RCMP guy who collected a lot of military memorabilia, and he always had cool stuff in his basement, old WWW II British military helmets, model tanks, all kinds of stuff. Well his dad went out drinking with some military buddies from DND one night and hit the jackpot. Back then, we used to play 'guns' a lot, which was the 1970's version of cops and robbers or cowboys and Indians, or whatever young boys played back then.
There was no HALO or Doom back then, (we had Pong though!) and what you did was get a plastic gun and you ran around pointing it at your friends yelling 'Bang you're dead,' then whoever you imginarily shot would lay down and count to 20 (you were on the honor system). The toy guns were better in those days, no day-glow orange plastic stuff, everything was cast in good old gun metal grey.
So Geoff calls me up and yells over the phone
"My dad got a BAZOOKA!!!".
No way I said
"Way!!!!" he said
You lie, I said
"Nope, I'm holding it right now, come over, let's get a game of Guns going!"
And he wasn't kidding. It was a Canadian Armed Forces bazooka tube with the firing innards removed. It had these yellow stickers with the instructions (point this end to enemy, and so forth) and buttons covered with rubber. It was just about one of the greatest things a kid could get his hands on. The only thing better than a bazooka was maybe a Sherman M4 tank..
This semi-drunken acquisition soon changed the balance of power in eastern Blackburn Hamlet. Now when we would play guns, we'd be a bazooka firing team and rule the local, "Bang, you're dead, count to twenty!" scene. Guys would be hiding around corners, we'd point our bazooka, I'd load and slap Geoff on the head, and we'd both make the 'swoosh' sound. The guys behind the corner wall would yell 'You missed' and we'd explain that obviously the bazooka had taken out the whole wall, so start acting dead already SHEESH! By the end of the summer we'd pretty much conditioned the kids we played guns with that the bazooka was capable of the Hiroshima explosion..
One winter we were outside with it, playing army and pointing it at buses (stupid kids!). This was in the 1970's, not like the stinking post 9-11 culture of fear we have today, and I can just hear the bus driver non challantly radioing in
"Yeah, I got some kids here with a bazooka..."
Man, those were the days... You'll never have the friends you had when you were 10 or 11...