Shotgun Party

Most folks don’t know what a shotgun party is. So here is the explanation:

1. Get a shotgun, preferably a 12 gauge.
2. Round up some friends that don’t mind a good joke.
3. Find yourself one or two fellows that deserve the consequences.

One Friday night in 1960 with no dates and nothing to do but ride around Malvern, Arkansas, looking cool in our penny loafers and flattop haircuts, boredom had set in for four of my buddies and me. There was a need for a shotgun party. Except for myself all those involved will remain anonymous. This is because I don’t have their permission to name them and a couple of them would be embarrassed politically if it were known what they had done.

The five of us decided to entertain a couple of our classmates that thought they were tough, the quintessential switchblade types with black leather motorcycle jackets and greased back hair. An old abandoned farm house about three miles from town sat next to a gravel road. That was to be the center of action. We told the two subjects that we were going to a bootleggers house to buy some moonshine and asked them if they wanted to come along? Well now, who would refuse a little shine?

We piled in one of our buddies car, four of us and the two objects of the shotgun party. The other member of our crew was in the farm house with a coal oil lantern burning and a loaded shotgun. We drove up to the house, parked on the side of the road under a big oak tree, and started arguing as to who would go up there and buy the liquor. It was a short hundred foot walk from the road up to the house. We had already collected a dollar from everyone in the car. One of the toughs we had brought along said, “hell, you bunch of sissies I’ll go buy it.” We gave him the money.

The young man took out his comb and ran it through his hair, straightened his leather jacket then swaggered up to the door knocking loudly. We could hear movement in the house. The door flew open with a big man dressed in overalls and a big straw farm hat standing in the doorway, the lantern light silhouetted him, and in his hand was a shotgun.

“Are you the mangy no account son-of-a-bitch bin a messin’ around wid my daughter,” he said. “I’m gonna light up yo ass boy.” For those of you that don’t know much about shotguns there is a unmistakable sound when a shell is chambered into a pump shotgun. It can paralyze you with fear. The figure commenced to shooting up into the tree under which the car was parked. Six rounds fired from a shotgun with three inch magnum 12 gauge shells will get your attention real quick. Our faux farmer was hollering and firing the gun with limbs and leaves falling all around us until he didn’t have a shell left.

The four of us yelled, “let’s get out of here,” and jumped in the car. The two we had brought with us no longer were in sight. So we started the car up and sped off down the road. We had to make it look good even if we were in on it. It was about a half mile down the gravel farm road before we got on a two lane asphalt road. Just as we pulled on the asphalt and turned toward town the other two party goers stumbled out of the woods flagging down our car.

There before us were two teenager boys one missing a shoe, their blue jeans and leather jackets torn. One of them had a bloody nose. They both had scratches on their hands and faces with bits of twigs and leaves in their now completely gone awry greasy coiffures. They also were muddy since they had fallen down in a shallow creek during their mad dash. Both were out of breath and one of them had peed in his pants. It was all we could do to keep from laughing. We told them to get in the car quickly before that crazy old man came after us.

When we got to town we let them off at one of their homes and went on our way. We laughed until we were almost sick as we drove back to get our friend at the farm house. When we got there the money was found dropped at the front door. We made two dollars that night and bought a six pack of beer with it to celebrate.

About two weeks later one of the boys told us that he and some of his friends went back to the farm house and taught that old geezer a lesson. To this day none of us has ever told those two boys what really happened and that there was no old geezer to teach a lesson, just a vacant farm house on a gravel road. I suppose the bravado was his way to distance himself from being so scared he had let loose his bladder in his jeans. We never told any other person about the incident but when we would see either of those boys we would smile remembering one of the finest shotgun parties we ever had.

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