A Fortress in Paradise

This is off topic, because it’s not about writing or even dogs.

Well, we’ll say that this is a great example of narrative nonfiction, and therefore reasonable to pull out and show you all. It’s also just really funny. It’s from, let me see, American Digest. I don’t remember where I originally saw the link.

I Had a Fortress Once In Paradise

One of the rare pleasures of having boys for children is that, if you are their mother, you can find yourself at the washing machine in the garage holding half a stick of TNT you’ve just found in your 7-year-old’s jacket. Now that is a feeling you don’t get every day.

More pleasant still after seeing your child has a half-stick of explosive in his pocket is the thought, “Just where is the other half?”

Naturally, my mother could not wait to telephone my father at work with the joyful news of explosives in the kid’s clothing. His reaction was, I am sure, “Just where is the other half?”

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4 thoughts on “A Fortress in Paradise”

  1. This sounds like the stories my dad’s friends tell when they come over. They gleefully talk about playing baseball with rotten eggs, lobbing explosives into the manure pit, and blowing up an abandoned house when they should have been in Sunday School (taking out most of the windows for a mile around in the process). Yes, some of them were on government watchlists. No, none of them lost limbs or digits, by some miracle. My dad often did not get in on the worst escapades simply by virtue of being a dairy farmer’s son with many chores to do.

  2. It is very engagingly written!
    Kids just two generations ago did have so much more freedom to roam and do their own things, didn’t they. They mostly survived doing so too, even though some of them did take hair-raising risks!

  3. I’m remembering some of my dad’s stories: the attempt to naturally carbonate raspberry juice that ended up exploding in shards of glass all over Sunday roast beef dinner; something that involved a helium balloon carrying a payload I don’t remember that exploded over the neighbour’s yard … I’m going to have to get him to retell the stories so I can write them down!

  4. You definitely should, Kim!

    My dad told a story about the time his brothers and he got the engine and chassis of a car and built a body out of wood. And what happened when they crashed it …

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