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The Great Rubber Band Wars of 1965

Mom would never miss a clothespin
from the hundreds in the blue cloth bag,
or notice the missing wooden ruler
from the drawer of school supplies.
There were bags of red rubber bands
furnished by The Evening American,
a newspaper unlike the godless Republic
that delivered an ad filled Sunday edition,
forcing kids to violate the Sabbath Day.
If you held your tongue just right,
you could use a bit of Elmer’s glue
to forge a way cool rubber band gun,
with an endless supply of ammunition
perfect for surprise attacks on Miriam,
the older sister, busy doing girly things,
or little Mark who’d quickly make his own,
kicking off The Great Rubber Band Wars
of 1965. It was a shoot or be shot battle
that raged across the living room rug.
I held the high ground behind the couch
with access to the bathroom down the hall
leaving Mark the exposed ‘easy chair’ flank.
Fire. Reload. Fire again. Vigilance required.
Watchful for an open shot, a sneak attack.
It was an epic battle in an epic war.
Mom drove the ’61 BelAir into the carport,
so we scrambled to clean up the mess,
hide evidence, stuff our guns beneath our bed.
We feigned boredom when she sang out
that we should come and carry groceries in.
Later she got the Hoover out of the closet
asking us why our newspaper bands
were scattered behind the couch and chair.
Not knowing what to say, we mumbled lies.
She didn’t buy it and asked point blank,
“Have you been shooting rubber bands again?”
After we confessed our warlike, sinful ways
we were sent to our room to retrieve our guns.
And that is how the Great Wars were ended,
our eyes saved from being blinded,
our guns beaten into clothes pins.
We didn’t get to eat any of the hard candies
Mr. Tang threw in the bottom of the bag
for kids who helped mothers put away the food.
We were smarter the next time she left us alone.

1 Comment

  1. Profile photo of Susan Cepin

    Thanks, Rod. This put a smile on my face. And left me wondering in what way you were smarter the next time she left you alone. 🙂

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