GHETTO BAZOOKA TUBES: an excerpt from Hella Bad Boy Stories


Being bastard kids with no supervision got us into all sorts of trouble- a lot of it involved throwing things at cars or drunk people- we were terrors on our street that we policed and patrolled with wrist rockets, bb guns, mud balls, fruit with firecrackers in them, and our most impressive weapon of all- a bundle of bottle rockets with a pvc pipe to fire them out of-

We were all pretty poor so we didn’t have the newest toys that shined on TV commercials aimed at us- we didn’t own Nintendo Entertainment Systems but we did have our very own fucking rocket launcher that we fired at real people every night-

We were pro’s- I held the launcher tube and Paco lit the rockets- we could work really fast- ready in seconds- and we had to be- as our favorite target stumbled by every night- the big boss man is what we called him- all the kids on our street knew him because he would come by every night- drunk out of his mind- mumbling- singing- cussing- pissing on a fence-

There was a bar up the street that big boss man frequented- it was one of our favorite things to do those summer nights-

A big boss man sighting would take place around 10pm every night “ big boss man!” would echo down the street- our friends knew that Paco and I would man the artillery and take care of big boss man and they loved to see it- these were our fireworks- we’d grab the pipe and the matches or lighter-

Being little pyromaniacs we always had fire handy-we’d watch big boss man approach as we did in the bushes- the sounds of his dress shoes scuffed as he stumbled down the street singing or cursing- He looked like a business man- an asian business man- a salary man- and we were about to pay him his salary- Five bottle rockets right up the-

As soon as he passed we’d kick the gate open- stand in the middle of the sidewalk and scream “ big boss man! “ at first he didn’t respond- but after about the tenth time he knew the drill- this was the tenth time- big boss man turned around and looked at us- terror in his eyes as he tried to commandeer his intoxicated faculties to move down the street-faster-

Must escape crazy fucking kids?!- kneeling with the pvc pipe aiming at his butt “fire” I yelled out as Paco lit the fuse- the smell of gunpowder and smashed plums on the sidewalk as I inhaled deeply ready to launch a volley at our eternal foe big boss man- whoosh! -a bottle rocket rushed out of the tube BANG exploding a few feet to the left of his business slacks as he hobbled down the street-

I could see the glimmer of his glasses as he looked back trying to gauge when the next rocket would come- “reload” I yelled- “fire” another rocket fired at big boss man with report- another- another- as we laughed and cheered chasing this drunk man off of our street- it was some kind of strange victory for these young boys none of them with good fathers- most of them with none-

Did we see this big boss man as our absent father? Chasing him off- telling him “ we don’t want you any way! get out “ Is that how we dealt with our feelings of abandonment? By hating this strange man and chasing him away from our homes- I don’t know now- were we just little shits or was there something deeper behind our rage?

We never harassed or harmed any women- we all had moms- most of them good and hard working- they may have hit us with broom handles or thrown knives at us but they were still good-

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This was an excerpt from my book- Hella bad Boy Stories- a collection of short stories that will be available later this year-