The Slingshot

There are a number of reasons I’ll never call myself perfect.

The earliest piece of evidence that comes to mind is a time when I was probably eight years old. My dad spent a lot of time out of town and working out of state. One time he came back from a job in Kentucky with two slingshots as souvenirs, one for me and one for my brother. The were both carved of wood, mine was in the shape of an eagle and my brother’s was a bear.

Instead of shooting rocks and doing damage, my brother and I came up with an alternative: together we made balls of toilet paper, soaked them in water, and shot them to watch them splat against any surface. I mean, it was kind of amazing.

I was curious and a bit too curious and I thought it was a good idea to take aim at a taxi that’d just pulled up in the alley behind my house. I remember pulling the band of the slingshot and holding it back for the longest time until I just let it rip. The thing snapped through the air and smacked the window at mach-4. It nailed the rear, driver’s side window and scared the hell out of the driver. He was a greasy, middle-aged man; and he was not happy. He got out of his taxi, yelled at me, and wanted to talk to my mom.

So I went inside, told my mom what happened, and that there was a guy who wanted to talk to her. She went outside before talking to me about it, and I went straight to my room (as was the usual punishment). I sat there for hours before I came downstairs to hear what my mom had to say about it. I wasn’t in as much trouble as I’d expected to be in, but I was not allowed to hang on to that slingshot.