Homer times are not exclusive just for adults. There are plenty of Bart times also. This vignette is from my distant past and is definitely a Bart story.
I was 13 years old. My neighbor and I both had acquired bow and arrows. We had built a sod house on the edge of a 12 foot embankment. Oh and just so you know it was exactly like the sod houses that were built on the prairies back in early frontier days – Exactly! Ours was not really a house because it only had walls, we were never very good figuring out how to make roofs.
We had poked a look-out hole through the side of the sod wall. One day we decided it would be a really great idea to shoot our bow and arrows at the lookout hole from down below the embankment, while the other person looked through the hole.
It was a game filled with excitement and danger. The sod walls were about 8 to 10 inches thick so there was no real danger of the arrow blasting its way through the sod and impaling us. Also, we were not that good of shots and the likely hood of the arrow actually hitting the exact spot where the lookout hole was seemed small to me. No one had explained the law of averages to me yet. Well regardless we reasoned that in the unlikely event the arrow did fly true to the hole the person looking through the hole simply had to move his head to the side and the arrow would fly harmlessly by. I wonder what age God actually turns the key to engage the brain of a teenage boy? Hmm… something to think about.
This game seemed very logical and it was thick with competition and daring. Who could scare the other person the most added a great flavor of intrigue to the challenge. I was sure I could out do my neighbor and send him flying sideways to the ground to protect himself from my arrows.
Sure enough one of my arrows flew as true and as pretty as a swallow catching a nat out of mid air. The arrow sailed straight toward the lookout hole and my neighbor did the logical thing and simply moved his head aside and my arrow flew harmlessly by inches from his head – what an adrenalin rush. We played this game for some time.
There came a time in the shooting, I was looking through the hole and as true a shot as could possibly be made, my neighbors arrow was let loose. I saw it coming right for the hole and I swear that arrow hypnotized me I did not and could not move. That arrow smacked me right in the middle of the forehead knocking me down. D’OH! That hurt! With blood rolling down my face into my eyes that ended the game – I guess I lost. What is wrong with teenage boys. I mean seriously! These are the times when I have a strong inclination to believe in natural selection but the theory totally falls apart because here I am still writing.
Now is there a lesson in all this? Can’t really think of one – except maybe it proves praying grandparents, parents, uncles, and aunts do make a difference.