When I was about twelve years old, I lived in a subdivision in Gautier, MS. Me and a friend of mine were riding bikes as usual when we noticed a neighbor has a trash fire going.
So we stopped, I mean what kid doesn’t love a good fire? We got to talking and this man offered us five dollars each to help him clean up his yard. We get to burn stuff and get paid? We had hit the jackpot. Well heck yea we’ll help. We ditched our bikes and got to work burning sticks, straw, leaves, trash, and pretty much anything we could find that would burn.
Man, we were having so much fun, until we run out of stuff to burn. We had that yard so clean you could eat off it. What are we going to do now? I start plundering around and found a can of pork and beans on his carport. He’s never going to eat them if he hadn’t already, so let the sucker’s burn. I threw the beans in the fire and never gave them a second thought.
About twenty-three minutes later our neighbor was stoking up the fire when all of a sudden, KABOOM! I mean the ground shook, and shook hard. My friend and me hit the deck. We peeked our heads up for a quick look.
Craaaaaap! The can of pork and beans had exploded. It scared the crap out of us, but not as scared as we were of our neighbor when he turned around to look at us with hot burning pork and beans stuck all over his face.
To heck with the $5, he can keep it. I jumped on my bike and pedaled as fast as my itsy bitsy little legs would take me. The next day we felt terrible so we went by his house to apologize. We stood nervously as we rang the doorbell. He answers the door and this poor guy looked like he had a double dose of the Mongolian Measles.
I had my apology rehearsed in my head but all I could manage to say was daaaaaaaang! But the apology was going to go something like this …
“Sir, We are so sorry that we exploded beans on you and that now you look like Howdy Doody and you will probably never get a date again. That part really is terrible, and to make it up to you we are going to try and hook you up with Billy’s older sister Maudy. She doesn’t see so well and maybe she will get to know you on the inside, the you that didn’t strangle us or tell our parents what happened, the you that is good enough to stand hear right now and hear us out without chasing us down the street or slamming the door in out faces. You sir, are a great man. And we are proud to be your neighbor.” Then I hand him a brand new can of pork and beans as a peace offering and walked away.