Thursday, February 28, 2013

Trailer Park Lessons - Hold Your Fire

I told you a couple of weeks ago about the trailer park that my dad and I moved into following some pretty intense family craziness. (Including his - to be fair, the way that we ended up in this trailer park had just as much to do with his inability to hold down a job and to stay away from drugs as it did with any of the other stuff that was going on in our lives.

And it happened that we moved into the trailer park with the shitty ass tin can single-wide with holes in the floor and a governor on our water meter. 

This week's lesson is all about a giant hard-headed boy that has always had to figure out things on his own. When he was the same age as the Supergirl, he hung himself upside down in a tree by his foot (that is a story for another day) after being told repeatedly not to even climb the tree (and I wonder where my girl gets this hard-headed stubborn streak of hers). 

It's also a story about a man named Butch. I am not sure if Butch has ever had a last name, but I am pretty sure that as time has passed, he has forgotten it. He's the kind of old biker guy that lights his next cigarette with the one he is currently smoking, drinks nothing but Busch (yuck!) beer, and somehow never, ever has to go to work. He was rail thin and wiry with a long gray beard that he never trimmed. 

There were rumors around the park that Butch had once shot and killed his dog right in front of his trailer steps because of a hangover. Judging by the pile of empty Busch beer cans right outside his window, and the blood-stained dog collar he kept hooked around his front door knob, it could be true.

One day, my younger brothers came over for a visit and the youngest (although he was about 11 or 12 at the time) stumbled upon our dad's BB gun. I told him to leave it alone and for a while he did, but when I went to the bedroom I heard the front door open, a BB gun pop and then a ricocheting rattle followed by a squeal, a slamming door, and heavy breathing. 

I storm out of the bathroom, "What happened?". My terrified brother looked at me, panic in his eyes. "I shot the concrete slab with the BB gun and the BB bounced.

"Bounced into what?"

"Butch's house."

"What did you break?"

"Nothing. I just heard a voice that said, 'Boy, I return fire.'"

Lesson learned - unless you are prepared to go to battle, don't fire. 

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