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My Buddy Ward

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posted on Nov, 13 2015 @ 08:55 AM
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This is actually a true story too...

Mom was always worried about Ward Austerbrun; we were about 10 and he had a homemade go kart. That automatically made him dangerous, per Mom. To me it meant we had a ‘way out’, an escape. Now, life at home wasn’t all that bad, but Ward had a go kart…and that meant all the difference in the world. After we got the tree fort done, complete with seedy pictures from the Sears catalog, we had not only a Bat mobile, but also a Bat cave. Ready for any contingency; we were free!

Ward was good with his hands (his dad owned a machine shop), but not so good with his head. I think at one point he even rode the short bus, but that didn’t matter to me…he had a go kart! And even better, two could ride on it. Ward was kind of like a backwards Einstein; his ideas always seemed plausible, but usually we ended up getting in deep trouble.

Fella, my dog, didn’t like Ward so much. I suppose it was a result of the time he told me Fella would be just fine walking out on the ice to fetch the toy submarine that somehow didn’t pierce the ice like Ward had planned (it’s a long and twisted story). Fella loved his cookies, but just hated the water. Ward promised me just one more cookie would do the trick. Now that I think about it, Fella would downright growl whenever Ward came around. Matter of fact, even I sometimes felt like growling at Ward when I remembered having to wade out and break ice to get Fella…but Ward had a go kart!

One day Ward and I watched a formula one race on TV. Ward kept telling me about how he knew how to make a “turbo”, just like on the formula one cars. After the race we were all charged up to have something with a turbo on it. Then there was complete silence. Uh oh, it was happening again!! Ward had some kind of a hair brained scheme.

I found out (later) about all Ward knew about turbos was they involved using exhaust gas to get more air into the carburetor. We got the go kart into the garage easy enough, and in a few minutes had the muffler undone from the motor. Then, per Ward, it was a simple matter of fashioning a cardboard duct from the exhaust to the carburetor and viola’…turbo! (Hey, we were 10, and Ward was a 'genious').

The first try of the turbo yielded less than desirable results. In fact, the engine seemed to run even rougher than it did before (which was pretty rough). Obviously the problem must be we didn’t have a good enough seal on the piping. After a good amount of bailing wire and tape we had her sealed up real good. Hmmmph, now the damn thing wouldn’t run at all. Oh, it’d start, but then sputter, cough, puke and ultimately die. Some ‘turbo’ I thought, but Ward was convinced it would work.

Now I had seen Dad use this stuff in a spray can on the tractor to start it on cold days before. And I knew exactly where that stuff was, but I didn’t tell Ward about it at first because I figger’d he’d get it all worked out.

After a while I said, “here, Ward, spray some of this in there”. About this time Fella, my dog, decided this was his moment to get out and promptly skedaddled. Holy mother of all things holy, did that go kart run now!! It only ran for about 20 seconds, but I was bettin’ the old Briggs & Stratton engine was turnin’ more RPMs than one of those formula one cars! “DO IT AGAIN!” I yelled with glee, “DO IT AGAIN, WARD!!! Give it more this time, that was COOL!!” Ward gave ‘er a big ole shot of that ether the next time and pulled the cord.

Oh man, I don’t know if the crank was spinning backwards, or forwards…or both, but she lit off. I think he had about a quarter pull when it happened. I’m not sure if the cardboard caught on fire first or Ward got the whiplash from the cord, but that baby took off at about 60,000 RPMs!

To this day, I don’t know if the horrible shrieking noise was Ward, or my Mom (who’d now come to investigate) or the go kart itself, but the huge ball of fire (which used to be Ward) was pretty scary and I got the hell out of there!

Within seconds there was a loud bang, and then a kind of “eeeaaaiiiiiggghhh” sound. As bad as it sounded, everything was good so far. Then I heard it…that dreaded sound…”BOB….GET YOUR BUTT IN HERE…RIGHT…THIS…MINUTE!!!

I hadn’t had time to check Ward’s vital signs yet, and I was clear out in back, but there was only smoke (not fire) coming out of the garage so that was a good thing. Time to make a decision.

As I streaked by the garage and into the house, hoping to avoid an appointment with Mom’s oak “sawed off yardstick”, I could swear out of the corner of my eye I saw a smoldering Ward, hunkering over what was left of a go kart trying to figure out version III of his new “turbo” invention.

After what seemed like hours of, “you and that boy are going to kill yourselves one of these times and I’ll be damned if I’m going to sit by and let you two do it!!!” I was given two choices; go to my room for the rest of the day, or go clean the basement. I eagerly chose the basement.

After a while milling around (not really cleaning) in the basement I discovered an old horn full of blackpowder, long since forgotten about. Now if I could just find some tubing…

…just wait ‘till Ward sees this!!

edit on 11/13/2015 by Flyingclaydisk because: (no reason given)




posted on Nov, 13 2015 @ 09:11 AM
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As a mom, and yet a hard core tomboy, two things:

I am so happy and slightly surprised, that you are still with us today.
That sounds like an amazingly fun childhood. (And slightly familiar.)



posted on Nov, 13 2015 @ 09:11 AM
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a reply to: Flyingclaydisk

I was absolutely riveted! I would have read it all day if it was longer. Excellent writing.




posted on Nov, 13 2015 @ 09:44 AM
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a reply to: Flyingclaydisk
That was great! Thanks for the laugh. It reminded me of some of my own childhood misadventures. I'd love to find out what happened with the black powder. I imagine it was fun.



posted on Nov, 13 2015 @ 09:51 AM
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Why is it the hair brained ideas of our youth seem highly intelligent compared to some of the stupid things kids do nowadays??? Sounds like a fun childhood. Gone are the days of imagination being your best friend. *sigh



posted on Nov, 13 2015 @ 10:01 AM
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a reply to: Skid Mark

That story isn't anywhere near as entertaining as the day we made a flame thrower out of an old fire extinguisher!

Now that was an experience we truly were lucky to live through!!!!





posted on Nov, 13 2015 @ 10:31 AM
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Ha-ha.. I grew up with a friend named"Buddy Ward". We built a half-pipe in his back yard, mostly for bikes, but it was great to skateboard on too. He lived right across the street from one of my best friends Little Ronnie. We did a lot of crazy stuff, but the worst was the occasional broken collar bone. Last I saw Buddy was almost done with one of the sickest 68 Camaros around.

Anyway, back to your thread, sorry for any drift.



posted on Nov, 13 2015 @ 01:30 PM
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a reply to: Flyingclaydisk
A flamethrower out of a fire extinguisher? Now, that's ironic. It also sounds like a great story in and of its self. Is Ward still alive, by the way?



posted on Nov, 13 2015 @ 01:30 PM
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Fantastic Imagery! Great story!



posted on Nov, 13 2015 @ 11:03 PM
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Me and my friend Jimmy built a rocket kart when we were in elementary school.
Wooden frame with tires off an old riding mower.
You had to steer it with your feet and drag an axe handle for braking.
Then we strapped an oxygen bottle from my dad's welding shop to it.
Jimmy piloted the craft on its maiden, and final voyage.
I knocked the valve off the bottle with a sledge hammer and boy was she off.
At some point the tires exploded and it became a rocket sled.
Then the whole thing disintegrated and Jimmy was left in the ditch, minus one nipple.
My dad did his best to pretend to be angry, but he eventually broke down and started laughing his ass off.



posted on Nov, 14 2015 @ 10:34 PM
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I like your writing style.

This could have the makings of a great book.



posted on Jan, 14 2016 @ 04:24 PM
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a reply to: Flyingclaydisk
I have to say that this is one of my favorite threads. It's so funny!



posted on Apr, 11 2016 @ 01:38 PM
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a reply to: Flyingclaydisk
You are a great writer! I cannot add more.



posted on Apr, 11 2016 @ 04:59 PM
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a reply to: Flyingclaydisk
You are a natural story teller.

It was like I was there with you, I could see it all as it went down.

Brilliant, funny, utterly believable. Just loved it!







 
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