(Some names have been changed in this story in order to keep me from getting my ass sued off.)
I used to raise chickens back when I was a lad. It was my first business, an idea of Mom & Dad's, and a good one, too. I learned all about business basics -- they loaned me money for the chicks and feed, and provided a place for my 40 white leghorns, the "small" chicken coop on our property. It was called that because we had a "large" one too, which at one time housed 200 constantly pooping chickens. I was 10 years old then, and I guess you could say that I lived on a small farm, with its two pastures, barn and woodshed being a home to anywhere from 10 to 20 black angus cattle. But we never thought of it as a REAL farm because we also had one of those, an 80-acre beef cattle farm about a 20-minute drive away, which also served as headquarters for my Dad's excavating business.
Anyway, the purpose of having the chickens was to sell the eggs. I would feed and water them daily, gather the eggs, clean the eggs, weigh the eggs, put them into cartons and sell them throughout the neighborhood on my little 3-speed bicycle. Some of the neighbors bought a dozen or two every week, and others stopped by when they saw my "EGGS 50 cents/DOZ." sign out front.
Eventually, I got all the start-up costs paid off and began actually making a little profit. I think this took something like three years. A year or so later, the chickens began to "molt", and their egg production began to slow. What was 40 eggs a day became a dozen, then down to about one a day. About this time, Mom & Dad took over the costs of feeding the worthless fowl.
And so it was that one night at dinner, Dad says, "Why don't you go down and shoot all those chickens next time you get the chance?" I nodded in agreement, always willing to shoot at things with my .20-gauge Winchester single-shot even though it kicked like a mule and always left a huge bruise on my shoulder. Dad's request was forgotten for a couple of days. Then one afternoon, with my parents gone, I was getting stoned down in the woodshed with my neighbor John Warthog. John lived up the road on a REAL farm, a huge dairy farm with hundreds of head of milk cows, which is what you'll usually find on huge dairy farms. But the real story at Pleasant View Dairy was the not the cows, but the Warthogs whom owned it.
John's grandfather, "Pop", was senile long before I was born, and only went downhill from there. The worst nightmare was getting stuck behind him on the way home from church -- he would drive his Jeep pick-up 10 MPH down the center of the road, oblivious to any honking, yelling, or ill-advised attempts at passing him. Blind in one eye to begin with, he had no business behind the wheel of ANYthing. When he died around 1970 or so, we felt a sense of relief more than anything.
John's dad was a gregarious sort, a funny and upbeat fellow who won my admiration by buying a brand-new Olds Vista Cruiser every two years. They switched to Cadillacs later, after some of the kids moved out. But John's dad, Chris, had this horrible, disfiguring "birthmark" over half his face. What it looked like was a huge purple scab, but if you knew him, you just got used to it. It was part of the Warthog Legacy: They all had some sort of birth defect or another, or got disfigured before adulthood somehow. Even Mrs. Warthog was obese, with a major, I mean MAJOR, case of "lazy-eye syndrome". Then the kids:
There are different theories about the Warthogs, some think "Pop" had some bad genes or something, but I suspect in-breeding.
Anyway, John and I are smoking dope in the woodshed one sunny afternoon when I remember that I was recently ordered to shoot the chickens. All right! I run to the house and grab my .20-gauge and a box of shells.
John and I decided to take turns: One would chase the chickens out of the little chicken-coop and into the open chicken-yard, where the other would blast away with the shotgun. Now, remember, John and I are 15 or 16 now, John's blonde hair is beyond shoulder-length, and my frizzy brown mess is halfway down my back. We are blowing away chickens while shouting and hooting and running around with stoned glee.
We forgot about the new neighbors maybe 200 feet away from the chicken yard, the Mosleys, a nice Mormon family whom had moved in a few months earlier. There was Mr. Mosley, a gruff-looking sort who looked a lot like a PE teacher; Mrs. Mosley, a pretty mom; Brett, who you may remember from story #3 but whom we hadn't really met yet (who would later shoot himself Hitler-style); his sister Shawna, who was pretty and would later get pregnant at 15; and young Todd Mosley, I guess we'll never know how he turned out.
Anyway, when John and I pause for a moment in our chicken-massacre frenzy, we look up and there they are: all five Mosleys, looking at us, all lined up behind the glass door in their family room, and in order from tallest to shortest: Mr., Mrs., Brett, Shawna, and young Todd. They are all staring in disbelief at two apparently crazed pot-head hippies blowing away two or three chickens at a time with a .20-gauge shotgun! We laugh even harder as we corner and finish off the last of the freaked-out squawking birds, each shotgun blast sending a huge mass of feathers into the air!
By the time we got done, the Mosleys had drawn their curtains.
Maybe they thought they were next.