Oh boy, we were such naughty kids back then.
My older sister and brother were always getting me into trouble. I blame them. THEM! They always would tell me something - put your hand in the bucket of water, Michelle, and touch the electric fence; you won’t get shocked - as snickers escaped from grinning mouths. They were the ones who taught me about apple-hurling.
We had two apple trees on the property and about eight crab apple trees. We used the crab apples to play fetch with the dog, which he loved to chase after them and then chew the sour fruit apart. As for the red apples, we would gather the most rotten ones, poke them with the sturdiest sticks we could find, and whip the stick forward as the rotten fruit would sail through the air and squish into the target - namely one of my siblings. Heads and groin areas were off limits - in respect for my vulnerable big brother. But thighs, butts, stomachs, and backs were fair game. The best sticks were the ones that had the most spring to them, which would curve in a graceful arc as the overripe apple slid from the end and sailed to the farthest reaches of our property and beyond.
It’s the beyond part that one day got us into trouble.
One afternoon, while our parents were at the store, we were enjoying our game of apple-tag. I was IT, as I chased after my sister with the apple’s slimy innards oozing down my stick. She was in range when I released my weapon. I missed.
The apple sailed over her head, bounced on the ground, and sailed over the edge of the property to disappear down onto the roadway.
We were running before the car tires even stopped. We didn’t know who it was that we hit because we lived in hilly countryside and the roadway was a good seven feet lower than the actual land of the yard. This meant that the driver couldn’t see who threw the apple. Even better was the fact that the apple tree was near the property where I tossed the apple. Our alibis were soundproof this time.
We locked ourselves inside the house and stared out the window with dread as the car pulled into the driveway. The angry person knocked on the door, but we didn’t answer it. We knew our parents’ rule about not opening the door for strangers when the adults weren’t home. The person got back into his car, drove down the driveway, and disappeared. We breathed a sigh of relief, until our parents came home wondering why there was a note stuck to the outside door that said something about an apple and a car hood.
With our reading books scattered across the livingroom floor, we shrugged shoulders and claimed to have never heard anyone knocking at the door.