Here's a BB gun story from my childhood. It happened in our backyard in Youngstown. I added an email correspondence with my brother where he tells a good one about our grandpa as well. But thanks for sparking this. I think I had to get it off my chest.

-Rob

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My brother Marty and I got a BB Gun at KMart when we were kids. I remember really liking getting a fresh box of BBs. I thought BBs were beautiful. But there were also "slugs" I think they called them. "Slugs" looked more like a small thimble wearing a metal skirt. They were the ones you shot if you wanted to hurt something big.

Well, after getting home and practicing on aluminum cans for a week or so, we set up a pretty decent sniper operation out of our bedroom window. Our window looked out over the backyard and garage where our grandma would feed birds, and it got to the point where I would throw bread on the roof of the garage to bait them. Pigeons, Sparrows, and what I think were called Grackles were the only birds who fell for this sort of thing. Once the bread was in place we'd go up in the window and take our shots at them when they arrived. We were never very good shots, mostly we would come close and scare them. "Look how big that bird is, you better use a slug!".

But one day I got my first bird. It was a Sparrow. And it was really dramatic 'cause he rolled off the garage roof over to the side of the garage where we used to have our secret club meetings. So we ran downstairs and outside to see the fresh kill and when we got there I looked down and looking up at me was the tiniest little black eye, about the size of a BB now that think of it. The sparrow wasn't dead. But he was really bloody and we were yet to discover Ranger Ricks Nature Club that later taught us how to bandage and save birds. So I had to put it out of its misery. It seemed like forever, staring down at the Sparrow, trying to make a decision. I couldn't get myself to point the gun again, but it was MY kill, so I had to do something.

What I did was I kicked the bird really hard against the side of the garage. It died instantly, probably broke its neck or just mashed into pieces being so fragile. But he left a patch of blood about the size of his entire body on the side of garage, and when I looked down the same patch of blood was on my white tennis shoe.

We gave the bird a back yard burial and put a stick in the ground to mark its grave.

I lost interest in the rifle after that.

-Rob

Below is an email correspondence with my brother when I was fact checking this story.

Me:
Hey, Do you remember what year we got BB Guns. How old we were? It was just you who had one right?

Marty:
Yeah. we still have that around somewhere. It was a Daisy pump-action air rifle. Remember you used to throw bread on the roof then wait in our bedroom and pick off birds? You fucking serial killer.

My favorite BB gun thing was when grandpa had the BB pistol that used the air cartridges. One time there was this great dog that looked like a bust-out bloodhound with a saggy ass and it was in the garage. He went out with the BBgun and was walking toward the dog and shooting it. He must have unloaded 20 BB's on the dog but I think the gun was fucked up because the dog was just standing there looking at him. He was all the way in the garage like 5 feet away from it and shooting the shit out of the dog (at least he thought he was). I remember fucking pissing my pants laughing (actually I'm laughing my ass off right now). Did you witness that? I still remember it, the way the dog was just standing there looking at him and he was doing a Mr. White on it. I think his air cartridge was fucked up.

 

- Rob Hudak