This is my brother’s story, and he reads here, so I may get corrected on some of the details, but it’s too funny not to retell.
My brother and his wife visited some of her relatives in a southern state. I’m going to obfuscate and declarificate the details here in order to protect the innocent guilty ridiculous er, in order to protect the identities of all involved, just in case you know them. Or just in case my brother might have hyped up the details just a teenie bit.
Anyhow, I believe it was after dinner and a few of the relatives had cracked open some beers. A few, including my sister-in-law, had gone indoors, but my brother remained outside with the rest, enjoying the night air and the company.
“Hey,” said one of his in-laws, “let’s bring out the potato gun!”
For my erudite readers who are wondering if you need a gun to hunt the wily potato, it’s not like that at all. A potato gun is a stupid an ingenious device made with PVC piping, hairspray or some other ignitable, and all sorts of mechanical goodness in order to launch a potato about a hundred yards.
My brother’s in-laws wanted to impress him. I guess he said something noncommital to them like, “Uh…what?” which they took as an endorsement of their fine idea. The potato gun was produced. Potatoes were procured. A launching area was cleared, and they proceeded to launch potatoes.
Much oohing and aahing. Much beer drinking. Much launching of our many-eyed spudly friend, Mr. Potato Bullet. A good time was being had by all.
They were shooting for distance, of course, and would try different angles of elevation, different amounts of combustibles, and different shapes of potato.
Then someone said, “Hey!” and remembered that Grandpa was on oxygen!
This is the point where my brother’s eyebrows shot up, and he thought, “This is not a good idea.”
I’m not wise in the mechanics of potato-gunning, but apparently they attached Grandpa’s oxygen line to the chamber of the potato gun and filled it with oxygen. And kept filling it. And kept filling it. And my brother, seeing they were serious, made sure he and his beer were a goodly distance away.
The canister was sealed. The spark was ignited.
My brother says that when the smoke cleared, the potato gun was in shreds of PVC plastic. And as the thunder of the explosion finished echoing off the houses and the hills, the family members could be heard heard to murmur, “Oh!” and “Wow!”
“And,” my brother added, his voice thin, “I think the potato is still going!”
O bounteous potato, denied your rightful future as french fries or hash browns but immortalized in orbit and in folklore and now on the internet, forever to be known as “The Eye In The Sky.”