It Was Quadruple Jeopardy For Me!

Published: Thursday, October 25, 2012 at 04:39 PM.

Squeaky knocked on the door. Yogi waited a long second and rolled the “loaded” pumpkin up the sidewalk toward the front steps. We were racing across the street for some evergreen bushes when the thing went off. We turned in time to see the porch light come on and Mrs. Boaz step out. It’s a scene still frozen in time. Halloween night, the eerie gloaming from the sixty watt bulb, the innocent bystander looking toward the skies as for an explanation and tiny shards of pumpkin meat, rind and seed seemingly suspended in mid air.

As soon as the coast was clear we broke and ran for the pumpkins scattered in Mr. Brooks’ back field! We were laughing so hard I couldn’t catch my breath. The thrill of victory had already clouded my judgment. “How many cherry bombs do we have?” Squeaky was counting on a memorable night. We each borrowed a pumpkin from the expansive patch and started for town, scraping out the insides as we went.

The town square fish pond was the next victim. And we didn’t have to run. We just moved back behind the World War I cannon and watched the water rise up in the air. If the giant goldfish were startled at all, they didn’t let on. We rolled two pumpkins at once down the slight incline of Broadway Street. One explosion went off in front of Tri-County Electric, the other made it all the way to the Ben Franklin Store. The town was closed down for Halloween night so we weren’t drawing much of a crowd.

Jerry thought of the haunted house. The Jaycees had put up a giant tent across from city hall, built rooms out of cardboard walls, blackened all the lights and filled it with horror items and traps and missteps around every bend. We rolled “lighted up” pumpkins under three sides of that “house”. Folks, you’ve never heard such screaming and yelling. It was like “Nightmare on Elm Street” twenty years before the movie came out! Men, women, boys and girls filed out of that place with pumpkin innards plastered to their skirts, jeans, tennis shoes and hair.

Me and Yogi, Ricky, Squeaky, Jerry and Billy B. were the most innocent bystanders ever seen in those parts!

A quick trip back to Mr. Brooks’ field to reload and we were sneaking into the side door to the high school auditorium. We were figuring on a simultaneous attack on the fishing booth, the bag bean toss and the cake walk. We were lighting up just as night patrolman Jim Dick Crews was easing in to take his chance at winning Mrs. Crawford’s seven layer coconut cake. He nabbed Yogi and Jerry with the lit match in their hands. The guilty accomplices were caught “pumpkin handed”. 

At least we got a free ride back to town. We didn’t count on the angry Jaycees. Mrs. Boaz, bless her heart, forgave us with a laugh. The folks at Tri-County Electric weren’t so charitable about their broken window. We never got a report from the fish.



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