sharp sticks & throwing stars

Afternoon; most gorgeous Saturday on record; someone call the Almanac.

Sonic Youth is on the stereo and “Teenage Riot” sounds fuzzy and sunny and just perfect for the moment.  You might ask why I’m not outside doing something in the gorgeous weather… it would be a good question.  Sharaun’s down at a local park doing a changing-table “outreach” thing for her mom’s group and I’ve got Keaton plus two more girls (daddy daycare up in here), daughters of our friends.  And even though the girls and I played outside for an hour or more they soon tired of the warm sunshine.  So we’re back inside.  The day played out perfectly, capped with one of those perfect fireside endings where you’re just tight enough to have a burned-in smile and quick wit.

I can remember when my brother and I discovered that we could put sharp edges on things by scraping them on the concrete over and over again.  At first it was just sticks honed into spears, quite serviceable too, at that.  I imagine mankind has been making this same discovery for thousands of years.  One man scrapes a stick on a rock and realizes it’s now sharp and he can throw it at things and it’ll stick.  Hit a moving animal with one and it might die and then you can eat it.  Over and over again until we progressed enough to fashion smarter weapons and didn’t need sharp sticks anymore.  Then sharpening sticks becomes a discovery of young boys.

We turned it up a notch when the K-Mart in town began selling blunt-edged, but made of real metal, ninja throwing stars.  We each had one and we’d spend hours scraping them back and forth across the roughest parts of the driveway, perfecting each tine into razor-sharp points.  I do believe we made them truly deadly.  We could sink them an inch deep into the broad side of the fence when thrown with force; even deeper into the soft living wood of neighborhood trees.  We were the real deal; we had ninja-branded skateboards and we rode around flicking throwing stars into inanimate objects like wild mini-ninjas on wheels.  Back then if anyone in our mostly sleepy little Southern California farming town would’ve stepped to us we could’ve quickly dispatched them.

Stay back.  Goodnight.

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