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#1 Sep 14, 2017 11:42 am

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Shooting up the House

It was one of those long summer days, when all the grown-ups were at work and we had freedom of the house. We were in Mick Osborne’s back garden, just down the road from our house on Camplin Road. Nothing much going on; just a bunch of bored boys doing anything to pass the endless summer days. Then my brother Pete came charging in on his bicycle, grinning from ear to ear.

“Wait ‘til you see what I’ve got!” he announced as he leapt from his bike, sending it clattering into a pile of others in a tangled heap. He reached into his pocket and furtively unfurled his latest acquisition: a gun! He grinned to our oohs and aahs, and explained how he’d swapped it with a school mate of his, for an Arsenal jersey and a set of Campagnolo gears. We gaped in wonder as Pete loaded and cocked it. My other brother Doug walked down to the end of the garden, putting cans on a wall for target practice. Then Pete said the fateful words:

“Watch me do a John Wayne!” He swiveled around, gun in hand.

Crack! A shot rang out.

“Hey, watch how you fire that thing!”

Doug didn't immediately realize he’d been shot. It was only when he saw the blood oozing from a hole in his hand that the awful truth sank in.

“You bastard, you shot me!’

Amazingly Doug felt no pain, but he could feel the lead slug just underneath the skin, about three inches away from the entry hole. This was serious. Pete knew he would be in big trouble when this got out; dad would kill him! The bullet was just underneath the skin, so Pete suggested they use a razor blade - and cut it out. Not surprisingly Doug didn’t go for this idea. At which point, everyone in that back yard decided that now would be a good time to get the hell out of there - and scarpered.

Leaving Doug alone with this hole in his hand, which by now was beginning to hurt. So he walked down the road to our GP doctor Thompson’s surgery, who immediately sent Doug to Edgeware General Hospital. It wasn’t long before dad found out and we all buckled down, fearing the storm. But it was one of those rare occasions when dad flummoxed us, by not exploding – Pete didn’t even get a licking.

In time, the air pistol found its way into my eager little hands. One night when dad was out; my friend Kevin Corrigan and I retrieved the air pistol from its hiding place, and decided to have some fun. Directly opposite our house lived the Leonards. We hated the Leonards; it was a family feud that had started the very first day we’d moved into Camplin Road.  We hadn’t even finished moving in when this tall, obzocky man from across the road comes marching out of his front door and shouts at me, Pete and Doug:

“Oi you lot, stop riding those bikes on the pavement! I’m a policeman you know!”

We soon found out the truth; he wasn’t any damn policeman, he was a railway guard! He had an ugly daughter and a stupid son, Paul, whom we harassed every occasion we could. The uncivil war between the two families simmered for years, until that fateful night when I decided to heat things up. I loaded the pistol, stuck it through the letterbox, made sure that no one was walking by, took aim - and fired.

Pang! The slug hit their front letterbox with a loud clang - great shot! Mr. Leonard opened his front door and looked around, puzzled Kevin Corrigan and I peeped through our letterbox and collapsed laughing – then decided to do it again. This time I let Kevin take the shot.

Pang! Once again Mr. Leonard opens his front door; once again Kevin and I collapse laughing. Then…

Bang-bang-bang!!

“Open up! I know you’re in there! I saw you fire that gun through the letterbox; if you don’t open this door right now, I’m calling the police!”

Shit-shit-shit! I turn to Kevin: what’re we gonna do? I dunno he whispers, it’s your fucking house! Slowly, I pushed open the letterbox - to be met by a pair of angry eyes, staring back at me.

“Hand over that gun – now!”

Not wanting my prized possession to fall into the hands of Leonard’s idiot son Paul, I removed the firing pin and sheepishly opened the door and handed it over.

“I’ll see you later, when your father comes home!”

As soon as Mr. Leonard stalked back across the road, Kevin Corrigan decided it’s time he fucked off home, bastard! “I’m not waiting around for your dad!” Oh thanks a bunch!

An hour later dad arrives home. He hadn’t even entered the front door when Mr. Leonard pounced on him, waving the air pistol around, indignation steaming out his ears.

“Look what your son did … dangerous weapon … could have killed somebody … blah-blah-blah!”

Dad fumed, profusely apologized to Mr. Leonard, and promised to deal with the matter, “firmly”. Strangely enough, he wasn’t so mad at me for shooting up the Leonards’ house; he was angry at me for getting caught and making him have to grovel to Mr. kiss-my-ass Leonard! I didn’t even get a licking.

I never did get my gun back.

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#2 Sep 14, 2017 12:48 pm

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Re: Shooting up the House

Doh know what to make of this story. Nice long doh.

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