Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Dart Safety and the Purple Bikini

An excerpt from The Eight Fingered Criminal's Son
Dart Safety and the Purple Bikini
by W.Z Snyder
© 2008 William Snyder

Dart Safety and the Purple Bikini (1972)
When Cary Babinski showed up in my driveway I could barley see him for the onrush of late morning sunlight from behind. I had been hanging out in the garage, throwing darts. I spent a lot of time hanging out in that musty old garage that summer. Surfer Girl by Hawthorne’s own Beach Boys was playing on the baby blue transistor radio my father had sent me for Christmas.

“Hey Billy, can I play with you?”

Cary was nine and I was eleven.

“I don’t play, I hang out you little geek,” I unloaded on the goofy little kid.

Now I was plenty goofy myself and had experienced more than my share of derision from those my own age and even more from the older kids in the neighborhood so it was nice to have someone I could shove around once in a while. Cary sat on a sawhorse and watched me throw darts. I was showing off. I was picturing myself as Mingo from the Daniel Boone show throwing knives and hatchets. Mingo’s real name was Ed Ames and I'd seen him demonstrate his real life expertise with hatchet throwing on the Johnny Carson Show earlier that week.

“Let me throw the darts Billy.”

“You’re too young; darts are dangerous and you could get hurt. Then it would be my responsibility.”

“C’mon, I wanna’ play.”

“Shut up and watch the master you little dork.”

I let him retrieve the darts after I threw them. Feeling mighty confident after a few particularly good tosses, I was starting to picture myself in Mingo’s league. Mingo was without a doubt the coolest guy on the Daniel Boone show, cooler than Rosie Greer or Daniel Boone. He was a bad ass Indian dude who had been educated in England.

“Come on Billy, let me play.”

It was pathetic.


I had a bad idea. I picked up a flat yellow carpenter’s pencil and pulled Cary over to the dartboard.

“Now, put this pencil in your mouth.”

“Put the pencil in my mouth?”

“Yeah, like a cigarette.”

I was impatient.

“Ohhhh, your goanna’ knock the pencil outta’ my mouth like Mingo did on with the hatchets on Johnny Carson!”

The kid was excited.

I shoved the pencil into his mouth, backed up a few paces and picked out a dart.

“Yeah, that’s it Babinski, now hold still.”

The kid was shaking as I took careful aim.

“Are you sure you know how to do this Billy?”

“Sure I’m sure, now hold still.”

I was concentrating with everything I had. None too happy with what has going on, Kookie the Wonder Dog began to whimper at me feet.

“Shut up Kookie, I’m trying to concentrate.”

Beads of sweat began to form on Cary Babinski’s forehead as he attempted to stand still with his ear pressed against the dartboard. It was already hot. A prop plane buzzed low overhead. I took careful aim at the yellow pencil. The moist salty ocean air caused the metal and plastic dart feel slippery between my fingers. I squinted. I was one with Mingo. The smell of lawnmower gasoline, sawdust and spilled laundry detergent and the Pacific Ocean breeze filled my lungs as took a deep breath. In one motion, I released the air and the dart, hard and smooth. The dart sailed across the garage.


“ARGHHH!” Babinski bellowed in sheer terror.

You can read the rest in The Eight Fingered Criminal's Son. Check current postings to purchase the book...

Sunday, April 18, 2010

On Dealing with Atrophy

I had trouble getting out of bed this morning. My back hurt. So did my knees and ankles – and my neck. My left rotator cuff was feeling a little funky too. I must have been moving pretty slow because my wife told me I was walking around like an old man. I’ve been walking around like this for a couple of weeks now and I have a dumbass waitress at Valle Luna Mexican Restaurant to thank. You see, the family went out for a relaxing dinner a couple of weeks ago and the dumbass waitress passed out the menus she deemed it necessary to grace me with the senior citizen’s menu.

“Really? Really” I asked, “You think I’m a senior citizen???”

“Well, the senior menu is for fifty-five and over.”


For the record, I just turned fifty. Now I understood I was on the back nine and all but I had this ego fed vision of myself appearing much younger than fifty. I thought of myself as physically fit, agile, with cat like speed and the ability to hop chain link fences and the like.

I guess I got smacked upside the head with an epiphany and a half, courtesy of the bored waitress with a deadpan delivery, now didn’t I? The truth of the matter seems to be I’m a fifty year old dude who looks fifty – even fifty-five.

And so I’ve been grunting out daily ninety minute workouts at the gym, the result of which has been, according to my lovely wife, to make me appear even older.

One of my students asked why I was moving so slow. I told the class the menu story. They seemed to find humor in my struggle against the inevitable. A sweet little girl in the back of the room asked me if I was aware there was a sizeable bald spot on the back of my head and if I ever considered using the spray on hair product her grandfather uses.

My wife and students don’t seem to do much good helping me deal with the inevitable effects of atrophy, but waitresses with senior citizen’s menu’s are the worst.

Dumbass Valle Luna waitress.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

snYder coMics #11 - WHEN PIGS FLY

I've run across a few people with goofy names over the years.
Extacy Queen, Liberty Bell and Ivy Wall are fomer students and Roy Beadknopf is a former classmate.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

The Arizona Justice League of Photographers in Old Town Scottsdale

The Arizona Justice League recently got together for an early Sunday morning shoot in Old Town Scottsdale.
Of course the Banana was there too.

Clif the Lawyer pointed out that this was an interesting piece of art. Too bad the artists got the letters backwards.

The banana was lurking. The banana is always lurking.

Can't tell you why, but I dig doors on old buildings.

I was playing Peter Pan, trying to catch my shadow.

Couldn't resist the white against the blue Arizona morning sky.

The green and blue was working for me too.

Anybody else ancient enough to remember Roy and Dale and Trigger?

"In the name of everything that's good Clif, get the hell out of there!"


Sunday, April 4, 2010