The Outsider: High on carbs
|By Will Jones - The Outsider | July 6, 2017|
The potato shot high into the sky, rocketing out of sight and for a moment we all stood motionless, grinning, eyes darting from one to another. And then, the whistling sound as our vegetable projectile came hurtling back to earth.
To run or stand still?
“Just don’t stick your tongue out,” laughed Jeff.
The potato smacked back to earth and split into pieces just yards from where I was standing.
“Don’t stick your tongue out?” I asked, wondering what the hell he meant.
“If the potato hits you on top of the head and you’ve got your tongue out I guarantee you’ll bite it off!”
Holy moly, the safety precautions when playing with a potato cannon, who’d have thought it, eh.
Yes, a potato cannon. It was yet another first for me and as far as my Canadian mates were concerned, something of a rite of passage.
It all began a few weeks ago. As we leaned across the box of my battered truck, beers in hand, my pals told stories from their misspent youth of building and firing potato cannons. Shooting spuds out into the middle of a lake. Firing them at friends armed with baseball mitts. Sitting around campfires, aiming the cannons straight up to see if they could get a potato to land in the fire (that’s where the sage advice about tongues was spawned). There was even mention of a much more lethal potato cannon hybrid, the socket cannon! Made from steel rather than plastic piping, it ran on compressed air and fired three-quarters inch sockets.
“Clean through one side of the shed and out the other,” chuckled the perpetrator of this rather fearsome piece of homemade artillery.
And then, a few days later, Jeff produced a brand new potato cannon. One he’d made for his father-in-law’s 60th birthday no less, and which now he handed to me, along with a aerosol can of deodorant and a 10lb bag of potatoes.
Oh, the fun that can be had with some plumbing pipe and potatoes. Digital gaming is just so blah ...
PHOOT! Up went another one, just as the boss drove his big shiny truck into the yard. The world seemed to slow as all but the potato, which had now reached the peak of its climb and begun to tumble back to earth, caught our breath in anticipation. I watched in horror as the spud rapidly gained speed as it descended towards the truck. I tried to shout but my potato cannon training got the better of me and my mouth stayed firmly shut.
I heard the whistle. I closed my eyes and SMACK! The sound of spud on metal. My stomach churned as everyone gasped.
Then, “Hahaha! It hit Kyle’s truck,” shouted the boss.
I opened my eyes as a flood of relief washed over me. Kyle’s crappy old truck is even more knackered than mine. And he was laughing too.
“Load it again. Let’s see if we can hit Jay Jay’s car,” shouted someone.
Someone who wasn’t Jay Jay because he was already sprinting towards his vehicle to extricate it from what was quickly turning into far too much potato cannon fun.
WILL JONES - is The Outsider