The doorbell rang, and when I opened the door the postman handed me a package, "Sign here please," he said. I signed, thanked him, and took it inside. When I opened it, I was delighted to see the plus-size pantyhose that I’d ordered several weeks earlier. It had arrived in time for Halloween. I wouldn’t have had the nerve to buy such a thing across the counter at Tickerberry’s. This year I’d get the little wiseacres when they came around in their dumb costumes. Trick or treat! I’d show them a trick or two.
Just before dark on Halloween, I went out to the side yard, facing the gravel driveway leading from Bottom Street. Last year the troublemakers stole my rain barrel, and I found it split into pieces half way to town. I’d be ready for them tonight. I moved to the clothesline area, and tied one leg of the panty hose to each of two upright posts. To test the slingshot out, I loaded an apple into the britches, where I had sewn in a piece of leather harness. I pulled back on the pantyhose and cut loose. That apple sailed over the lilac bushes and across the road, landing with a “whomp” against the old buckboard wagon. I was astonished at the distance that piece of fruit had flown.
Clearly, I had to work on accuracy. I thought, perhaps, a small pumpkin would make a better missile, heavier, and sloppier when it hit the driveway. I gathered a half-dozen pumpkins from the field nearby, and lined them up by the clothesline poles. I practiced with a few more apples, and got the range down pretty well. I didn’t want to waste any pumpkins, but I figured that I could adjust for proper distance when my targets came along.
My wife had gone to town, earlier in the day, and hadn’t yet returned when darkness fell. I knew she’d be against my “childish activities”, as she’d say, so I was hoping she wouldn’t return until I had a little fun, especially with the Dugan kids. I knew it was them that stole the barrel. Of course, any pesky kid was fair game.
I was getting pretty impatient for action when I saw somebody approaching on foot, down near the gate at Bottom Street. In fact, there were two somebodies sauntering along. Little did they know what was waiting them when they drew next to the buckboard, my aiming mark. I loaded up a half-rotten pumpkin about eight inches across the middle. I hauled back on the pantyhose with a slightly stronger pull than for a large apple. Then I waited, watching them amble along in conversation, two shadowy figures about to eat pumpkin whether they were hungry or not.
As they drew abreast of the wagon, I released the orange missile. The pumpkin flew straight and true. I watched, pleased with my aim. Then, as the soft fruit landed on the tallest shadowy figure, full on the shoulder, piercing, horrified screams were raised from both of my visitors. I began to rock with glee. As I quickly reloaded, something stopped me from firing again.
Shortly after this, I learned that my wife’s car had broken down in front of the church, and Reverend Ames had kindly walked her home in the dark. As my apoplectic wife pulled pumpkin strands and seeds from her hair, I agreed that I would, indeed, be paying to have his suit cleaned.