John Robinson’s Crime-Fiction PITFALL (written under the name Cameron Bane) will be available July 22!
[I]t’s time we talked about the thing that always said summertime to me, the lowly squirt gun. Growing up in the fifties there wasn’t a whole lot of variety to be found when it came to water warfare. You had four basic types, and three of them you could find anywhere: the Buck Rogers ray gun type, the tommygun (which looked great, but usually broke within the first half-hour of mortal combat), and then the holy of holies, the Luger style. They were usually cast in a bright green or yellow, but if you could find a black one you were literally King of the Street, and all the other kids had to bow at your presence. No matter its hue, the Luger squirt gun had a mean and nasty heft, and filled your hand like it was born there.
But there was a fourth type, and as rare as neutronium: the Greenie-Meanie. True to their name, they were the hue of a lime LifeSaver, but their best feature was their compact size. A Greenie-Meanie could easily be concealed in you hand, and then through some its hellish design, fired covertly. Hence, their scarcity. Teachers—and their pawns, our parents—made sure they were hard to find, as the invariably made the last week of school actually bearable. Especially when you could nail the teacher’s pet, Faye Nicholson, right in the back of her neck from eight feet out. So as I said, they were rare, but if you found one–and could keep it–even a Lugar-bearer, would make room for you as you passed.
Nowadays we’re civilized, of course. A lad (or lass) brings a Greenie Meanie to school, it’s suspension and counseling. ‘Cause, yanno, first it’s shooting little Marty Welch in the back with a stream of water, then it’s parking a nine millimeter parabellum round in his brainpain. As Barney Fife used to say, “We have to nip it! Nip it in the bud!”
By John Robinson