Pirates and Coyote

In the 1970s, safety was a different concept. To sum it up, basically, it was “Don’t do anything stupid, and you won’t get hurt”. So, as a single digit age child I would ride in the backseat of my Grandparent’s car, but to entertain myself I would sit on the floorboard and play with toys. I still remember the sensation of sitting in a metal box inches above the road as my Grampa drove down SR155. I could feel every bump, dip and turn as we rolled along in my Grampa’s big old Buick. Since I couldn’t see the road, the motion changes seemed random, like an amusement park ride. While this was going on I would be involved in my own little world of plastic army men and dinosaurs.
We were on our way back from Coast to Coast in Grand Coulee where I had just got two brand new pirate action figures. Their names were Captain Hook and Captain Peg Leg. Even though there were no crews, their couldn’t be two captains and they were locked in mortal combat on the floorboard of my Grampa’s 68 Buick as we made our way through Million Dollar Mile. Captain Peg Leg was my favorite, he could throw a dagger. You would place the small plastic replica in his hand, cock his arm and fire it with a button on his back, and he had Captain Hook dead-to-sights. I pulled back Captain Peg Leg’s arm till I heard it click, and prepared to fire…
“Look, a coyote!” My Grama suddenly called out, and at that moment I misfired the dagger, and it flew across the floorboard and somehow out a crack in the seal at the bottom of the car door. In disbelief, because I hadn’t noticed the crack under the door before, I jumped up and looked out the back window, only to see the coyote run away and disappear into some bushes. I couldn’t remember the name of the knife so I shouted: “my daggit, my daggit!” but by the time my Grandparents understood what I was trying to say we were at the bottom of Million Dollar Mile and almost home. I never did get Captain Peg Leg’s dagger back.

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