Dumb Bobby & The Dynamite

The box was hand-stamped “TNT,” but Dumb Bobby couldn’t read yet. He would often find himself out in the shed behind the house, his hair mussed, his trousers down around his ankles, fudgsicle fingerprints on the light switches and doorknobs.

“No, Dumb Bobby,” his Mommy would say, “that dynamite belongs to your father. You musn’t disturb it or make plans to detonate the neighborhood.” She would pull his pants up around his waist, lick her hand and comb his hair down, and then she would serve Bobby a big steaming bowl of oatmeal. It seemed like Bobby was always being fed oatmeal.

But that didn’t stop Dumb Bobby from wondering. He was always reading fairy tales and action comics, and wondering just what happened before he was born. He was always breaking his toys, and singing songs of his own composition. And he was always curious about the dynamite in the shed.

He would sit for hours on the stone wall at the top of the street waiting for his Father’s car to arrive so he could ask him, so he could find out what the dynamite was for, what it was all about. When the whirlybirds fell off the trees, he would pick them up and split them and give himself a witch’s nose. He would watch the trucks drive by, and ask the drivers to honk their horns, and eventually the sun would fall from the sky. But his father’s car never seemed to arrive.

One day when the leaves began to change, Bobby walked up the hill to wait for his Father. Today there was no songs, no toys, no whirlybirds. He sat alone for an hour on the wall, which is quite a very long while, and when his Father failed to show he decided to find out for himself just what that dynamite was all about.

Just before dinner Bobby told Mommy he was going to play outside.

“Alright, Dumb Bobby,” Mommy said, “but don’t be long- your oatmeal is almost ready.”

Dumb Bobby grabbed the big box of wooden matches from the cupboard and ran out the door. He walked past the swings directly to the shed. He opened the crate stamped TNT and pulled out a bright red stick. There was something written on it… “Ex-plo-sive.”

Dumb Bobby struck a match and lit the fuse. He held the stick in his hand, knowing something spectacular was about to happen. As the wick grew shorter he panicked, and nearly dropped it, but he held strong, believing his Father would want him to.

Dumb Bobby saw it getting close now… the fuse was almost down to the stick. The flame was dancing its way down, winking at him, telling him everything would be okay. He wondered if-


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