When I was a kid (and slightly older), my friends and I were guilty of doing many things that would flat-out infuriate me if some little shit pulled the same stunt on me today. Like throwing stuff at cars, for instance.
I went through a period when I threw a lot of rocks. I was very good at it, and could hurl one a full city block, hit an aluminum carport dead center, and create an amazing amount of hilarious noise. I once threw a rock at an awning during a Jr. High gym class (with the oblivious coach right there), and while riding a roller coaster at Camden Park (hit it!). Oh, I was a master, and had advanced to the level of stunt-throwing.
But flinging stuff at cars is a whole different ball game. Of course it’s more difficult to hit a moving target, but there was also the chance we could get our asses kicked. And that last part added a new layer of excitement to our “hobby.”
I never really threw rocks at cars, because that would’ve been crazy, but I let-loose with a bunch of other stuff. And below I’ll briefly tell you about some of the highlights, and you guys can take it from there. Hopefully a few of you were also juvenile delinquents, or encountered one or two during your travels, and we can get some good stories out of the subject…
One afternoon, during my paperboy days, I was picking up my bundle of newspapers at the “stop” in front of Steve’s house. I was down on my knees, stuffing Charleston Daily Mails into a canvas bag, when I suddenly (without premeditation or forethought) flung a handful of gravel at a passing panel truck.
The shower of tiny rocklets made a hell of a racket against the side of the truck, and the driver SLAMMED on his brakes. It sounded like a dining room hutch turned over in the back, glass shattered, and the dude jumped out of the cab all belligerent and red in the ears. Uh oh.
“Who did that? Who threw shit at my truck?!” he demanded, and we all just shrugged like we had no idea what he was talking about. The guy was fully incensed and said, “Fukkit, I’m calling the law!” Then he walked straight into Steve’s neighbors’ house(!) shouting, “Where’s your phone?! Where the hell’s your phone?”
My friend Vincent and I saw an opening, and took off with my newspapers. We went across the railroad tracks, and hid out inside the men’s room of Strickland’s 76 gas station, until the heat was off. Then we took care of my paper route, like any other day, chuckling about all the prior excitement.
And when I was almost finished, after Vincent had already headed home, Steve’s mother pulled up in her brown car and started yelling at me. Just yelling and yelling… I think she was even angrier than the guy with the exploded china cabinet, or whatever.
I’m pretty sure my parents were told about the incident, as well, but I can’t remember getting into too much trouble over it. I mean, seriously. In the universe of all the shit I pulled, that was but a tiny moon of Jupiter. But Steve’s mom still doesn’t see the humor, even in 2010. Heh.
One sweaty, hot-ass summer night, a few of us were out roaming the streets after dark. We came across an apple tree with a ton of little green apples around it. Somehow it was decided it might be kind of fun to hide in the alley, and throw spherical fruit at passing cars.
A serious miscalculation…
We hit a few cars, their brake lights came on, and they continued on their journey. This caused us to snicker, and wait for the next car to arrive. One guy actually got out, and yelled into the abyss. He couldn’t see us, but we could see him. Man, it was great! We were having a blast.
Then, as so often happens, we took it too far. We should’ve cashed in our chips, and called it a night. But the fun continued. And we ended up throwing apples – and hitting – a car owned by a couple of scary-ass criminal brothers.
These guys were capable of anything, and their car was full of other roughneck psychopaths, as well. They’d surely kill us, there was no doubt about it. It sounded like ten or twelve apples hit their piece of junk, even though there were only four of us throwing. It just kept going and going.
We all just about pressure-shat our Fruit of the Looms the moment we realized what we’d done, and everyone scattered.
The car started down the alley with the headlights on, moving slowly, with a once and future murderer walking on each side. It reminded me of the Secret Service, and the Presidential motorcade. I was hiding in a hedge not five feet from the alley itself, and it was one of the scariest things I’ve ever experienced. I was literally afraid for my life.
Occasionally one of them would yell some threat, and claim to see us, but they continued on past and nothing happened. They were probably half-baked as a result of gasoline huffing or somesuch, and that undoubtedly worked to our advantage. But holy shit, was it frightening. I thought for sure one of them would hear my pounding heart, and a deer hunter would find my skeleton in a few months.
Throwing apples at cars is a questionable activity, to be sure, but one Halloween night I witnessed something worse.
A bunch of us were out riding in Bill’s pickup truck, throwing eggs at houses, etc. And during the evening additional egg-throwers were recruited. It started with the usual crew, but eventually we had a couple of girls with us. It was highly unorthodox…
And I remember us riding up Fairlawn Avenue, which is a busy two-lane road on which cars travel at roughly 60 mph. We were STANDING in the bed of the truck, leaning against the cab, and hurling eggs whenever the opportunity presented itself.
Then one of the girls started winging them at oncoming cars. She’d throw them almost straight down, right into the middle of their windshields, with great force. We were going 60, they were going 60 in the opposite direction…
I couldn’t believe it; it was insanity. I started hollering for her to knock it off, but she continued. I was certain one of those cars would go airborne, start cartwheeling down the road, and every one of us would be charged with murder.
Yeah, and that’s what you get when you invite non-professionals into the operation. Nothing bad happened, but it most certainly could’ve. Sheesh. There’s stupid, and then there’s stupid… The code of delinquency had been flagrantly violated.
And, of course, we threw hundreds and hundreds of snowballs at cars. That was our winter sport. We’d sometimes get chased, and it was always a good time. I wish I could still do it, in fact. But society frowns on 47 year old men who engage in such activities. Wotta rip-off.
We used to have a game of sorts, involving the local cab company. It was called Curry Taxi, and we kept track of the number of times we hit one of their cars, and tried to outdo each other.
I remember one evening Steve and I were walking near his house, and we saw a Curry Taxi crossing the tracks at 16th Street. Steve got all excited, scooped up some snow, and packed it as he ran. He crossed the elevated railroad tracks, up one side and down the other, and the cab was right there.
Still in a full-sprint, Steve wound-up and hurled the snowball sidearm, like freaking Kent Tekulve, right into the door of the car. The thing was only five feet away from him when he threw it, and it made a fantastic THUMP! when it hit. It was a thing of beauty…
The driver didn’t even stop, probably because he was so used to being abused, and Steve and I couldn’t stop laughing. It was fantastic, and I think Steve was awarded extra points for his effort.
But as loud as the Curry Taxi thump was, nothing could compare to a snowball thrown by Bill. He could throw harder than any of us, and would often produce awesome results.
I remember him hitting a car while I was delivering newspapers one day, and it sounded like the entire quarter panel collapsed. It wasn’t just a THUMP, there was also an element of crumpling steel, of a fender going full-concave.
The driver slammed on his brakes and came after us, moving at a pretty good clip. I tossed my paper bags aside, and we took off. He didn’t catch us, of course, but I can still remember the sound of that Nolan Ryan snowball hitting metal. Man, it was incredible.
Yeah, and I could go on and on with these stories, but this thing is already way too long. If you have anything to add to a conversation about throwing shit at cars, please use the comments section below. Or maybe you were the hitee? We need to know about it, either way.
And I’ll see you guys again tomorrow.
Have a great day!