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Thread: Childhood Should Have Killed Us - OK, Boomer Edition

  1. #126
    Another Estes rocket story ...

    We lived in a neighborhood of large (typically 1.5-2 acre) back yards, with no fences. Some of the neighborhood kids were playing baseball and I decided to launch my latest rocket. Unfortunately one of the fins came off at about 100 feet and it began turning in random-seeming directions, heading ultimately for the center fielder, who ducked. It embedded its nose in the ground, and he went to look at it - and just then the charge that was intended to open the parachute went off, slamming the body of the rocket into his nads.

    I should have had my ass kicked, but instead I was parentally informed that (a) I was not to launch rockets when the other guys were playing baseball anymore, and (b) I damn well better make sure that my fins were glued on properly.
    Maka ki ecela tehani yanke lo!

  2. #127
    Member Lopez's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Paulie View Post
    Speaking of things that should've killed us (or at least broke some bones), when I was a wee lad (5 or 6?), I was obsessed with flying. I was always concocting (not so)elaborate ways to do so. The two I remember had to do with everyday household items and a very tall arborvitae tree next to the house right near our front door (basically, my own personal ladder to the roof of our single story [thank god] ranch home). My little bro (363 days younger, to be exact) would always be in tow. My first attempt was an ingenious skydiving plot involving me, the edge of our roof, and an empty Wonder Bread bag (you know? The same bags you wore over your socks and under your winter boots so as to maximize your exposure in the elements while rocketing down the neighborhood ice alps on a metal saucer?). I mean, my GI Joe fared pretty well with that mylar parachute of his, so that Wonder bag should really do the trick! I step to the edge, extend the Wonder bar over my head, and wait for my brother's countdown. "...3, 2, 1, TAKEOFF!" My brother swore that my decent was definitely slowed to a float right before I flattened the rhododendron below.

    The second attempt was even more ingenious. We ascended the arborvitae to the roof and I had my brother Scotch Tape one half of our now useless checker board to each arm. I walked to the peak of the roof and waited for my brother's countdown. "TAKEOFF!" I ran down and dove off the edge in glorious swan-dive fashion. As I was pulling grass and turf out of my mouth, my brother swore I caught air for a second there.

    Again, I have a million of these, and as I write this, I'm truly amazed that I have never suffered one broken bone in all my 56 years. Unscathed!
    I tried something similar. Jumped off the garage with an open umbrella a la Joe Jitsu from the old Dick Tracey cartoons. I didn't get hurt, but the umbrella was toast.

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  3. #128
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sturgeon's Lawyer View Post
    I damn well better make sure that my fins were glued on properly.
    I'm going to get you a custom printed sweatshirt for Xmas.

  4. #129
    Member moecurlythanu's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Paulie View Post
    Speaking of things that should've killed us (or at least broke some bones), when I was a wee lad (5 or 6?), I was obsessed with flying. I was always concocting (not so)elaborate ways to do so. The two I remember had to do with everyday household items and a very tall arborvitae tree next to the house right near our front door (basically, my own personal ladder to the roof of our single story [thank god] ranch home). My little bro (363 days younger, to be exact) would always be in tow. My first attempt was an ingenious skydiving plot involving me, the edge of our roof, and an empty Wonder Bread bag (you know? The same bags you wore over your socks and under your winter boots so as to maximize your exposure in the elements while rocketing down the neighborhood ice alps on a metal saucer?). I mean, my GI Joe fared pretty well with that mylar parachute of his, so that Wonder bag should really do the trick! I step to the edge, extend the Wonder bar over my head, and wait for my brother's countdown. "...3, 2, 1, TAKEOFF!" My brother swore that my decent was definitely slowed to a float right before I flattened the rhododendron below.

    The second attempt was even more ingenious. We ascended the arborvitae to the roof and I had my brother Scotch Tape one half of our now useless checker board to each arm. I walked to the peak of the roof and waited for my brother's countdown. "TAKEOFF!" I ran down and dove off the edge in glorious swan-dive fashion. As I was pulling grass and turf out of my mouth, my brother swore I caught air for a second there.
    Your brother's name wasn't Lucy, by any chance?
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  5. #130
    Member Garyhead's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Paulie View Post
    Wonder Bread bag (you know? The same bags you wore over your socks and under your winter boots so as to maximize your exposure in the elements while rocketing down the neighborhood ice alps on a metal saucer? Unscathed!
    Yup! Bread Bags were a staple at my house for winter wear.
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  6. #131
    Member since March 2004 mozo-pg's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lopez View Post
    I tried something similar. Jumped off the garage with an open umbrella a la Joe Jitsu from the old Dick Tracey cartoons. I didn't get hurt, but the umbrella was toast.

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  7. #132
    Outraged bystander markwoll's Avatar
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    I think I tried a with a beach umbrella once and it got jerked out of my hands and luckily did not spear me when it landed.
    "It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it."
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  8. #133
    Banned Dave (in MA)'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Garyhead View Post
    Yup! Bread Bags were a staple at my house for winter wear.
    Never did that but I'd heard of it for when the kid's boots were a bit too small, to make it easier to get them on.

  9. #134
    Quote Originally Posted by Dave (in MA) View Post
    Never did that but I'd heard of it for when the kid's boots were a bit too small, to make it easier to get them on.
    I remember if hiking boots rubbed a little you would put a plastic bag in them and fill them with water and put them in the freezer.
    NEVER UNDERESTIMATE THE POWER OF STUPID PEOPLE IN LARGE GROUPS!

  10. #135
    I remember being fed a bit of Vick's Vaporub when I had a bad cold, then there was Mercurochrome for cuts (long since banned in the U.S. for mercury content), whiskey on a cotton ball for a tooth ache, high alcohol cough syrups....and yet I survived.
    "And your little sister's immaculate virginity wings away on the bony shoulders of a young horse named George who stole surreptitiously into her geography revision."

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  11. #136
    Member Jerjo's Avatar
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    My maternal grandpa liked to buy stuff for us grandkids but sometimes he might have gotten a little careless. He had a Ford Ranchero pickup. Remember those, really lightweight car/truck hybrids. His had this HUGE engine meant for a Lincoln town car. And grandpa thought nothing of handing off the keys to a teenager. When my cousins, brother, and I were in grade school we would all get all the highly-caffeinated Mountain Dew we could drink on Christmas Eve. Like we weren't already nuts because of the holiday and already overdosing on sugar. One summer, he got a weather balloon and threw it into the backyard for us savages. My cousin Dan, who was five at the time, got slammed so hard by the thing his feet actually left the grass. Croquet wasn't so much played in that backyard as used for chasing each other around with mallets. No supervision. And the topper: lawn darts. Remember those little lawsuits in the making? It was a miracle that no one took one in the foot or body because we'd HEAVE those bad boys. I loved the man but boy, in retrospect he put us in the path of danger again and again.
    I don't like country music, but I don't mean to denigrate those who do. And for the people who like country music, denigrate means 'put down.'- Bob Newhart

  12. #137
    Occipital Provocatee Plasmatopia's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sturgeon's Lawyer View Post
    I damn well better make sure that my fins were glued on properly.
    We were in a hurry once and didn't let the glue dry properly. All the fins (except maybe one?) were left on the launchpad and we had to run for cover while the rocket careened around in random directions. Good times!
    Just sitting at home rocking back and forth and jealously caressing my invisible collection of theoretical assets.

  13. #138
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    Quote Originally Posted by Plasmatopia View Post
    We were in a hurry once and didn't let the glue dry properly. All the fins (except maybe one?) were left on the launchpad and we had to run for cover while the rocket careened around in random directions. Good times!
    Not dangerous, but I did something similar when I built the Revell Visible V-8. Couldn't wait for the glue to dry, started turning the driveshaft.

    Ended up with a pile of gooey parts.
    Last edited by rcarlberg; 12-06-2019 at 11:49 AM.

  14. #139
    Banned Dave (in MA)'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Dark Elf View Post
    I remember being fed a bit of Vick's Vaporub when I had a bad cold {...} ...and yet I survived.
    https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-...t/faq-20058569
    Vicks VapoRub — a topical ointment made of ingredients including camphor, eucalyptus oil and menthol that you rub on your throat and chest — doesn't relieve nasal congestion. But the strong menthol odor of VapoRub may trick your brain, so you feel like you're breathing through an unclogged nose.{...}
    Swallowing a few teaspoons of camphor — one of the main ingredients in VapoRub and other topical medications, such as Campho-Phenique and Bengay — can cause deadly poisoning in toddlers. Topical camphor absorbed through mucous membranes or broken skin also can be toxic. That's why you should never put VapoRub in or around the nostrils — especially a small child's nostrils. And if VapoRub gets in your eye, it can injure your cornea.

  15. #140
    Hunh. My grandma useta put VapoRub right on my nose and here I still am.

    Ah yassss, medicines and the medical profession. Do you remember getting pinworms allegedly from Hallowe'en candy? It was an annual event in our house, followed by the annual oral application of pyrantel pamoate (Reese's Pinworm Medicine).

    Hallowe'en almost deserves a thread of its own. Crappy mass-marketed plastic costumes galore -- my father got sick of those and made us costumes out of cardboard boxes. At the Costume Parade, my brother's costume, a turtle, won third prize ribbon while mine, a tyrannosaur, won first. Dad was pretty handy in those days. He even thought to put a hole in the chin of the tyrannosaur head so that I could reach my mouth and so eat some of my candy before going home and having to share with my little sister, who was too young to trick-or-treat.

    Parents did not accompany their children trick-or-treating in those days, and smaller kids (like my friends and I) were subject to egging by older kids. The one time this happened to me I had to be physically pulled off the kid who'd done it, because my wee hands were wrapped around his larynx and squeezing.

    And our neighbors the Randazzos (he was a retired Mafia consigliore) would give out apples every year, which our parents would dutifully throw out because there might be drugs or razor blades in them. Randazzo didn't need any of that crap; if he had wanted to kill one of us, he just would have.

    These were the days before "no-fun-size" candy bars. The families in our neighborhood either (a) gave out full-sized candy bars, or (b) gave out little premade bags of circus peanuts and suchlike.
    Maka ki ecela tehani yanke lo!

  16. #141
    Thinking about the Randazzos reminded me: they were my next door neighbors. Across the street from them was Baron von Barrens, who had flown de zeppelins fur der Kaiser in der Great Var. He was a nice guy but heated his house with coal gas, which once or twice leaked, forcing an evacuation of the neighborhood.

    Next door to ze Baron and across from us was a cop. He was also a nice guy.

    But I wanted to talk about Joe Randazzo.

    My grandfather caught a rabbit and brought it to us for a pet. My father (handy guy) built a hutch out of wood and chicken wire. One day Randazzo stole the rabbit and ate it. There wasn't shit we could do, because he still had friends in the family business and we didn't want to mess with him. He also used to throw his empty wine bottles into our yard. Real nice guy.
    Maka ki ecela tehani yanke lo!

  17. #142
    Quote Originally Posted by Sturgeon's Lawyer View Post
    Parents did not accompany their children trick-or-treating in those days, and smaller kids (like my friends and I) were subject to egging by older kids. The one time this happened to me I had to be physically pulled off the kid who'd done it, because my wee hands were wrapped around his larynx and squeezing.
    When I was 9, I got jumped from behind by an 11 year old who stole my candy - and that was on my own lawn. It could be The Lord of the Flies out there while trick-or-treating.

  18. #143
    Man of repute progmatist's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jerjo View Post
    My maternal grandpa liked to buy stuff for us grandkids but sometimes he might have gotten a little careless. He had a Ford Ranchero pickup. Remember those, really lightweight car/truck hybrids. His had this HUGE engine meant for a Lincoln town car. And grandpa thought nothing of handing off the keys to a teenager. When my cousins, brother, and I were in grade school we would all get all the highly-caffeinated Mountain Dew we could drink on Christmas Eve. Like we weren't already nuts because of the holiday and already overdosing on sugar. One summer, he got a weather balloon and threw it into the backyard for us savages. My cousin Dan, who was five at the time, got slammed so hard by the thing his feet actually left the grass. Croquet wasn't so much played in that backyard as used for chasing each other around with mallets. No supervision. And the topper: lawn darts. Remember those little lawsuits in the making? It was a miracle that no one took one in the foot or body because we'd HEAVE those bad boys. I loved the man but boy, in retrospect he put us in the path of danger again and again.
    On a summer day, my family went to the Salt River in a 72 El Camino, the Chevy version of the Ranchero. My parents sat in the cab while my 2 brothers and I sat in the bed holding the inner tubes. On the way home from the river, on the opposite end of the Greater Phoenix Area, a powerful monsoon storm overtook us. All 5 of us crammed into the cab the rest of the way home.
    "Well my son, life is like a beanstalk, isn't it?"--Dalai Lama

  19. #144
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sturgeon's Lawyer View Post
    One day Randazzo stole the rabbit and ate it. There wasn't shit we could do, because he still had friends in the family business and we didn't want to mess with him. Real nice guy.
    Maybe you were IGNORING him?

  20. #145
    Member Jerjo's Avatar
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    My wife worked as a nanny/mother's helper in summers during her college years. She did one stint for a wealthy family in Greenwich CT and one of the parents told her that crime in the neighborhood was unheard of. Apparently there was a number of former NYC residents who worked in "family" business who retired to Greenwich. You don't want to rob a house in a neighborhood where there's a chance the owner doesn't call the police, he calls Vinnie and Sal from the old neighborhood.
    I don't like country music, but I don't mean to denigrate those who do. And for the people who like country music, denigrate means 'put down.'- Bob Newhart

  21. #146
    Occipital Provocatee Plasmatopia's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sturgeon's Lawyer View Post
    One day Randazzo stole the rabbit and ate it. There wasn't shit we could do, because he still had friends in the family business and we didn't want to mess with him. He also used to throw his empty wine bottles into our yard. Real nice guy.
    Reminds me of my wife's stories of her neighbors in Vietnam who were well-connected within the communist party and would do all sorts of things to piss off everyone around. Like putting in a pig pen in the front yard and directing the runoff into my wife's parent's yard. I guess it wasn't enough that the commies had forced the previous homeowner out of their house so they could take it over.
    Just sitting at home rocking back and forth and jealously caressing my invisible collection of theoretical assets.

  22. #147
    Member nosebone's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sturgeon's Lawyer View Post
    Thinking about the Randazzos reminded me: they were my next door neighbors. Across the street from them was Baron von Barrens, who had flown de zeppelins fur der Kaiser in der Great Var. He was a nice guy but heated his house with coal gas, which once or twice leaked, forcing an evacuation of the neighborhood.




    Old neighborhood stories are great!

    We had a pair of middle aged lesbian sisters who lived across the street we called the "moon maids"

    They sat on their front porch all summer chain smoking and holding onto any balls or frisbees that landed in their yard.

    One late summer night we were awakened by Loretta (moon maid #1).

    She wanted my mother, who was a nurse, to administer her an emergency enema.

    I had no idea what was going on at the time.
    no tunes, no dynamics, no nosebone

  23. #148
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    Quote Originally Posted by nosebone View Post
    One late summer night we were awakened by Loretta (moon maid #1). She wanted my mother, who was a nurse, to administer her an emergency enema. I had no idea what was going on at the time.
    Sounds like a Tom Waits song.

  24. #149
    All Things Must Pass spellbound's Avatar
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    And the topper: lawn darts. Remember those little lawsuits in the making? It was a miracle that no one took one in the foot or body because we'd HEAVE those bad boys.
    I probably wouldn't remember them, had I not accidentally thrown one into my brother's ankle.
    if you want money for people with minds that hate, all I can tell you is brother you have to wait

  25. #150
    One of the families in the neighborhood , their father helped develop one of the Messerschmitt airplanes. I went to school with the older son. One of the kids in the neighborhood was six months younger than I but we were in the same grade, he helped develop the insulin pump and is vice president of a medical corporation making a seven figure salary. By today's school standards for age he would have been held back one year because he wouldn't be as intellectually developed as I am. Did I mention he went to college in twelfth grade.
    NEVER UNDERESTIMATE THE POWER OF STUPID PEOPLE IN LARGE GROUPS!

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