Monday, July 24, 2006

Fire Power

Fascinated with guns, we made them from timber. Using a template, a gun or rifle outline was imprinted on a piece of half-inch thick plank and cut out. We fixed a rubber band at the tip of the barrel and on the other end ,we nailed in a wooden peg, those used for hanging laundry. The rubber is then stretched and held down by the peg and this acted as the mechanism to propel our ammunition. For bullets, we used unripe green ‘buay cherry’ fruits. These fruits were in abundance where we lived and when ripe, they are red and tender with a grainy sweet taste. These trees populated along the canal behind Block 12.

Green unripe ‘buay cherry’ is sturdy and makes good projectiles. The peg holds down the stem and the rubber band is extended over the fruit. Releasing the peg will propel the fruit forwards.

Used light bulbs tied to a tree, empty cans on a shelf and birds became our targets and for calibrating our weapons. Everyone tried to outdo each other with crazy designs, some work and some don’t.

War games were played between two teams and sometimes, it got out of hand as we ignored the rules. Gunfights usually ended up in fistfights.

These were the cowboy days. The days of John Wayne.

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