Friday, December 3, 2010

That's Shocking!

Back when I was growing up we didn't have much to play with. I had the most toys since I was an only child but when me and my cousins all got together we didn't need any stinking toys. We knew how to have a good time and we didn't have to have any store bought toys to while away the time.

We could always walk up and down the creek looking for rocks or minnows or we could run through the plowed fields searching for arrowheads. We would troupe through the woods hunting snakes or blackberries. Sometimes we even snuck up to the top of the hill to sit and smoke rabbit tobacco where we could see all around and make quick our escape in case we were ever spotted. Fortunately we never were.

The most dangerous and the most fascinating game we ever devised was when someone told us about the electric fence and how you could touch it. At first we would take turns running up to the fence with one eye on the fence charger and the red light which showed when the power was on. We would try to touch it before the electric current came back on. After tiring of such game sport we decided there had to be more fun to it than that.

I have to explain that the group consisted of me and my couisins: Randy, Debbie, Stevie and Eddie. Stevie and Eddie were Debbie's little brothers. We usually picked on Stevie and Eddie because they were the youngest and the dumbest in the bunch so we devised a new strategy. We had been taught that the current could run through anything touching it and into the ground. That's why it was our job to go around making sure that there wasn't any grass or weeds touching the fence and grounding it. The electric fence ran around the pasture that was used to keep the cattle in and was only a couple of feet high.

I don't know who got the brilliant idea of making a human chain but I bet it was Randy because he was always coming up with some bright idea. We all stood in a line and joined hands and swore not to break the chain. After a few tries we decided it would be best to put Stevie and Eddie on each end of the line. The one on the end of the line would grab a 55 gallon metal drum used for burning  garbage. The first one on the line would grab the electric fence. The current would come on and pulsate through us all and then flash back off.

While our hands were joined it was hard to break the current so we immediately began fighting and squirming to let go when the power was off. We wanted to get loose before the second jolt of electricity struck us. If the chain was ever broken the last kid standing who was in the line got the full force of the electricity running through them directly into the ground. We never let go if we could help it. You should have felt our sweaty hands and smelled the fear. We were in heaven!

We didn't just play with the electric fence one time and forget it. Each and every time we all got together we made sure to show our courage and sense of adventure by testing our strength and daring with the electric fence. We were united in blood and bonded by our bravery. We were invincible! We were kids.

I still treasure my memories of those times we so foolhardily risked electrocution although I know that the current couldn't kill us now. At the time I thought we were risking our lives. I still wonder who the heck gave us the bright idea of shocking ourselves. It seems to me it was PawPaw or Daddy or my uncle, Bob. Maybe all three. I just don't remember. And I wonder what their bright idea really was. Was it designed to intentionally kill us? Now that I have kids of my own, I wonder. Humm . . .

Debbie reminded me that we also put Stevie and Eddie up to peeing on the electric fence. She said that was the best part. No wonder I though little boys looked like Vienne-Wienies. I guess anybody would if they were being electrocuted.                


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