Perry Mason Wouldn’t Take This Case

Published: Tuesday, November 6, 2012 at 12:26 PM.

You know, sometimes I write so bad I have to stop and explain it the following week. I believe the recent Halloween story was pretty straight forward. It was a simple tale about me and the usual boyhood suspects hollowing out some pumpkins, dropping a couple of Cherry Bombs in them and exploding them in various and sundry places around town. I should have entitled the article, “What We Did On Halloween Night In 1964 To Create A Little Fun”.

But I kinda thought that would have left little to the imagination as to exactly what, when, where and how the story was going. I thought “It Was Quadruple Jeopardy For Me!” might make you wonder if I didn’t fall into some dire consequences as a result of my immature and thoughtless action. Which, as a matter of fact, I did!  Of course, some well meaning and spot-on copy editor working overtime for the paper syndicate left out the exclamation point on the end of the title. That changed the content of the message all together and might have led to some misunderstanding. And maybe, it was just a bad title selection on my part. Enough of you have mentioned it to me that I am fairly certain it is the latter.

Let me catch you up on where we were. The pumpkins had been scraped out, the bombs placed inside and several sets of explosions had occurred. As young teenagers we were simply “exploiting the possibilities” of small town America on a late October night in the aforementioned 1964. Patrolman Jim Dick Crews’ sweet tooth had fortuitously placed him at the high school Halloween Carnival just as we were getting set to roll in a few exploding projectiles. He caught us red handed.

So now we are all down at the jail. I’m ready to take my medicine. I was wondering about my one phone call when Jim Dick made it for me. He called my parents!

I would have preferred jail time. I would have volunteered for community service. I was thinking how quickly with those Peace Corps people take you when Daddy walked in. Now folks, he was as calm as a cucumber. He visited with Ricky and Yogi’s parents. He thanked Jim Dick numerous times. He was smiling and shaking hands as we departed……

He whipped me from the jail house all the way out to the end of Stonewall Street! Somehow he already knew that we had exploded a loaded pumpkin on Mrs. Boaz’s front steps…..with her standing there! Dad was embarrassed and ashamed of my action “with a neighbor, son, with a very good neighbor”. He took the whole thing a little too personal I thought. 

Now, listen closely here, we are getting to the jeopardy part. I had a fun night. I had messed up something awful. I was sorry and truly repentant. I was not in no way, fashion, shape or form ever going to explode another pumpkin in an inappropriate or dangerous manner. I had been duly punished. This whole sorry episode should be over.

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