Riddles of Living from J.R. “Randy” Hardin

When my dad was a lad in the late 1920s, there wasn’t “trick or treat” on Halloween. There was just “trick.” One Halloween night, my father was walking around with a firecracker known as a four-incher. He’d saved up to buy it and was wondering where to explode it when he looked through a screened door and spotted a family of six eating a late dinner. Dad lit the fuse and tossed the firecracker on their front porch. The firecracker bounced on the porch and through a hole in the screen. To his horror, the last Dad saw was the four-incher rolling under their table.

Dad took off running as hard as he could go. He heard a big boom and a lot of screaming as he disappeared around a corner, zipped down the street to his home, ran into his room, and started doing his homework. He had a restless night, but never heard anything from it. Luckily, no one was hurt, and no one came looking for him that night or the next week. It was a long time before he ever touched another firecracker.

My dad had an older brother, Johnny. One of Uncle Johnny’s friends was spending the night at my grandparent’s house. Uncle Johnny had purchased a bunch of bananas that evening for everyone to enjoy. It was during the depression, money was scarce, and bananas were a treat. Late that night, there were still five bananas left. Johnny got one and offered his friend one. Uncle Johnny left for a few minutes, and when he returned to the kitchen, his friend had eaten all the bananas.

That night as Johnny was lying in bed next to his sleeping friend, he kept thinking about his buddy eating all the fruit and got mad. Uncle Johnny got out of bed, picked up his shoe and hit his snoring buddy in the stomach with the heel of his shoe. His friend jumped up moaning and holding his stomach.

“My stomach is killing me!” his buddy hollered.

“Well, it’s probably from eating all those bananas,” my uncle told him.

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