This is a great story, and a great example of why I urge my students to write about "every day" type things that happen to them. They need to be remembered. I tell them: "You are important and your stories are important." I'm glad Uncle Kirby took the time to remember and write, and I urge you to do the same....and like I say in class, "even if it feels strange at first..."
The Croquet Ball
My brother and I used to argue a lot when we were young, or I should say my brother would give me a hard time, until I got mad, and then he was happy. Now, whether he did this on purpose or not I do not know. I suppose only he knows for sure, but I strongly suspect he did.
For example, one evening Mom and Dad had some company over so us boys went upstairs to play (or we just wound up there; we were always just winding up someplace). Things were not going well between us, at least I didn't think so. As for my brother, I think he had a plan. I think things were falling into place just the way he figures. Because after a while he had me wound up. I mean, I was mad, and he just kept teasing me. Well, I felt like the time had come for me to teach him a lesson, so I picked up a croquet ball and informed him I was going to throw it at him if he did not cease and desist real quick. Notice that I told him what I was going to do. That was something you always had to do. You always had to tell them what you were going to do before you did it. Like, "If you don't stop I'm going to hit you and it's going to hurt."
My intent here was not to really throw the ball at him but just to get him to stop teasing me. My brother did not see it this way. Remember, he had a plan. He reached into the toy box and pulled out a plastic army helmet, put it on his head, and announced to the world, "Go ahead and throw it!"
Well, I knew that a plastic army helmet was no match for a croquet ball, but he kept it up until I was so mad I launched the ball. I mean, I zinged it at him. It was at this point that his plan came together. See, he knew that the plastic army helmet on his head was no match for the speeding croquet ball that was rapidly approaching, but it was good bait. He knew that if he put the helmet on and taunted me a second time, I was going to throw the ball. He also knew that the window he was standing in front of was no match for the speeding croquet ball. Now the beauty of his plan was its simplicity. There was my brother standing in front of this speeding croquet ball that had been blasted in his direction at something approaching the speed of light. He knew all he had to do was duck. That's all--duck. Just duck and the plan was complete.
So he ducked.
Now this croquet ball was not radar guided or a heat seeking missile so it passed over his head (not by much though, and punched a hole through the window. When I say "punched a hole," that's what I mean. Not only did it go through the glass, it went through the screen too. This glass was old; it looked kind of wavy and had small bubbles in it. When this croquet ball, traveling at supersonic speed struck it, it just made a hole slightly larger than the ball. After passing through the glass, it went through the screen in much the same manner. My brother checked to make sure the window was broken. He looked at the window then at me and said, "Now you did it! Now you are going to jail!" It was at this point I knew I had been had. I knew right away that I had been set up. I could tell he was just waiting for me to throw the ball so he could duck and make the ball go through the window and then I would go to jail. I had fallen into his trap. I just knew any minute the police were going to come and take me to jail!
Dad came to my rescue and convinced me that I was not going to go to jail. While my brother stood around and said, "I don't know what happened, I was just standing there and he started throwing croquet balls at me! It was a good thing I had this helmet or he might have killed me."
The window got fixed without me going to jail, but I did get a good talking to about throwing foreign objects at people, not just my brother, but anybody. I do not know if my brother got into any trouble or not, but I do know that he never told me to throw another croquet ball at him.