Playing “Draw Poker” with the guys the other day was fun. Too bad I lost all my pennies and eight baseball picture cards to Jimmy Pizza. I didn’t have any money left and I have to dip into my bicycle reserve fund that I was saving to dress up my new bike. I feel that going to the last day of the Italian festival is a once in a lifetime thing. I took out six dollars from my stash and I stopped myself from take the eight dollar balance, that I put back under my mattress hiding place in my mother’s bedroom. I’m thinking that I will be going back to school soon and I want to hang out with my friends as much as possible before I’m stuck with having to do all kinds of school work. I made myself some fresh tomatoes that I sliced and put on Italian bread with olive oil, salt and pepper for lunch. Even though I was trying to save some money for the last night of the feast, I could not help myself. I ran down stairs to Defonte’s sandwich shop and bought an ice cold bottle of Pepsi to wash it down. Man was that good.
I went over to Nunzio-Superman’s house to see if he had any plans for the afternoon. I knocked on his door and he opened the door with a big grin on his face. I said “Hey Nunzio, why do you have this big smile on your face? You look like you swallowed a bird or something.” He put his finger up to his lips and said “Shush, my mother is not home right now. If my Mom finds out what I plan to do she will kill me.” With his hand he waved at me to come into his apartment, so I followed him.” Nunzio walked into his mother’s bedroom, kneeled down on the floor and stuck his hand way under his mother’s bed. When he took his hand back out he was holding an old T-shirt that is wrapped around something. He was still sitting on the floor near the bed when he started to unwrap the T-shirt to show me what he was hiding. When I saw what he had in the T-shirt, I jumped back and said “Holy Shit! You have Darts. How the hell did you get them?” I knew that our parents would never allow us to play with Darts. Every parent in the neighborhood kept on warning all of us about kids that were badly hurt when they were playing with the stupid Darts.
Nunzio grin was still on his face when he talked to me in a whisper saying, “My cousin Vincent and his family came to visit all the way from Long Island yesterday because of the Italian Festival. Vinnie, who is almost thirteen years old, always wanted my collection of Superman comic books. So, when he was here he pulled out these six Darts from his little bag and asked me if I wanted to make a trade for the Darts? I never gave it a second thought. I got my Superman comic book collection, gave it to Vinnie, and I said hell yeah. I said to Vinnie, you better take these comics before I change my mind. So we made a trade, my comics for his Darts.”
Meanwhile as Nunzio was telling me his story, I could not help thinking about a movie my sister took me to see last Christmas. The movie was about Laurel and Hardy being toy makers for Santa. The movie is called “Babes in Toyland”, but some people call it “The March of the Wooden Soldiers.” It was a real fun movie to watch. I enjoyed the part when they were fighting the villain, Barnaby and the Bogeymen when they attacked Toyland.
Stannie Dum and Ollie Dee used a gross of Darts to fight them off. There are Darts flying everywhere. Ollie set up the Darts and Stannie Dum was using a stick to hit the Darts at the evil villain Barnaby and his gang of Bogeymen. After Stannie and Ollie realized that they could not win this war wit Darts alone, they decided to push the button in the backs of each Wooden Soldier so they could wake up and fight the Bogeymen. The Soldiers did their job, they saved Bo-Peep and they drove Barnaby and the Bogeymen out of Toyland. Stannie Dum told Ollie to shoot the cannon loaded with Darts at the Bogeymen as they were running away from Toyland. But something went wrong and the cannon flipped over and shot all the Darts at Ollie’s rear end. The movie ended with Stannie pulling each Dart, one at a time, from Ollie’s butt. I know that this movie was all make believe and that no one got hurt. But it made me think that a kid seeing this movie, could feel that it may be okay to throw Darts at another kid. Now I know why our parents don’t want kids to play with Darts. Oh, what the hell, my parents will never find out that I’m playing with Darts. I can’t wait to throw these Darts at something.
When Nunzio finished his story he gave me one to hold. They are beautiful. The Darts look so big and the wood is so smooth to the touch. There is a very sharp piece of metal that looks like a thin nail, sticking out of the base. I touched it with my finger and I could feel it pinch me. I see now why the pointy nail could cause some real damage if it hit somebody. I like to run my fingers through the feathers at the top of the Dart, they’re so soft. At this point I hear Nunzio yelling at me “Hey, it’s not a kitten. Stop petting the damn thing and let’s go find a place where we can throw these suckers.” He took the Dart I was holding from me and wrapped it with the other Darts in his old T-shirt.
We left his apartment and walked around the corner towards the Brooklyn Battery Tunnel construction site. Our best bet was to find one of those dilapidated houses that will be torn down soon. We were lucky that the watchmen were having a two hour lunch break. Instead of the one hour lunch they were allowed. When we walked into the condemned house it smelled so bad and we noticed a couple of rats running for cover. So we made a lot of noise to scare off any more rats that were hanging around. We walked into what was an old kitchen and found a broken wood door lying on the ground. I kicked off the trash and broken glass that was on the door and I picked it up off the floor to put it against a wall near a sink. I said to Nunzio, “This wooden door can be our target.” Nunzio took three of his darts and gave them to me to hold. We then stood back about ten feet, Nunzio took aim and threw a Dart at the door. Wow, what a beautiful sound it made when the Dart hit and stuck deep into the door. We then took turns throwing the Darts into the door.
When I went to get my Darts out of the door, they were buried so deep that it took me a few seconds to wiggle the Darts back out of the wooden door. Man, are these things are so sharp I bet you can kill a rat with them. After hitting the wooden door target with the Darts for a half hour, we looked around the shit house for new targets to throw at. Then we started throw the Darts at anything and everything we thought the Dart would stick into. We had a great time playing this stupid game for more than two hours.
When we had enough Nunzio gathered the Darts and wrapped them into his old T-shirt. He ran home to hide them under his mother’s bed before she got home from shopping. Good thing that there was only the two of us throwing these Darts in the dilapidated smelly rat house. I started to think to myself that if there were three or four of our gang throwing these Darts in every direction there would be a good chance one of us would get hit with one of these friggen Darts. Then if we got hit with a Dart we would run home crying and bleeding. Our parents would rush us to the hospital to get stitched up. When we get back home they will kick the shit out of us and for added punishment, make us wash the stairs and hallways in our building for God knows how long.
I didn’t follow Nunzio home. I went looking for some of my friends so that we could hook up to go to the last night of the Italian Festival. When I find the guys I can’t tell any of them about the Darts. Because, if I do tell them, Nunzio-Superman, will break my neck. So we agreed that the Dart throwing we did has to be kept a secret.