by Jerry Richardson 4/15/15
When I grew up 70-years ago there was no concept of a “free-range” kid because all children were by necessity and by intention “free-range.” Parents allowed their children to roam free, within understood boundaries, and they expected and demanded that their children be accountable and responsible (held blameworthy) for their actions.
What a wonderful (?) difference our progressive, nanny society has made:
Two Maryland children who received national attention as so-called “free range kids” earlier this year because of their parents’ decision to let them roam alone were taken into custody again Sunday by Child Protective Services.
Danielle and Alexander Meitiv’s children, ages 6 and 10, were picked up by police on Sunday at around 5 p.m., and taken to Montgomery County Child Protective Services. A neighbor apparently saw the children walking alone and called 911 to report it. WTTG reported the children were walking about a third of a mile from home at the time.
—Free Range Children
If a child did, today, many of the things that I did when I grew up, they would certainly be suspended from school—like the pop-tart-gun kid—or perhaps even be arrested.
Horror of horrors! When I was in elementary school I actually made for myself a chinaberry popgun. What a little criminal I was!
What is a chinaberry popgun?
In order to make a chinaberry popgun you first have to have a branch from a reed with a soft, pithy core which can be easily removed. You will want about an 8 to 12 inch section of the reed. Use a piece of wire, such as from a coat hanger, to punch out the pithy center of the reed. You will then have a wooden hollow tube with the hollow in the center being approximately ½ inch in diameter.
Next, cut a smooth, straight stick, or rod a bit less in diameter than the ½ inch diameter of the tube, and about ½ inch shorter than the length of the tube; be sure to have a large end on the rod that is suitable for pushing with your hand or bracing against your chest because you will use it as a plunger to operate the chinaberry popgun.
Now get some chinaberries. You will need two each time you “fire” the gun.
Take the first chinaberry and with your fingers push in into the front-hole of the hollow tube. Take the smooth wooden rod and push the chinaberry as far as it will go forward toward the front of the tube. When you finish this half of the “loading” the front of the first chinaberry should now be approximately even with the front of the hollow tube.
For the second part of the “loading”: With your fingers, push the second chinaberry into the front of the tube.
Now you are ready to fire. Put the end of the wooden plunger against the second chinaberry and place the front of the wooden plunger against your chest and pull very quickly and with force as you grasp the hollow tube; this will cause the plunger to force the second chinaberry into the tube toward the first chinaberry which is positioned at the front of the tube.
The forceful movement of the plunger will cause an air-compression between the two chinaberries and the rapidly increasing air-pressure will force the first chinaberry to “pop” out of the tube with a sound and with a release of chinaberry moisture that looks quite a bit like smoke—Bang! Gunsmoke! A boy’s delight!
You have just “shot” a chinaberry popgun.
If you are a kid (anyone under 18) don’t try this today if there are any nannies (progressive Bloomberg types) or gun-grabbers in your vicinity because they have no sense of humor and no tolerance for anything that goes boom; if they catch you, they will punish you and possibly lock-up your parents.
© 2015, Jerry Richardson • (3461 views)