My brothers and friends and I were all wicked little shits as young boys.
We stole things.
We tortured and killed bugs and fish, and it was all a big blast.
We even had industrial mass murder facilities to kill the pillbugs because they ate our strawberries.
We poured salt on snails because they were pests.
We had “gladiator” fights or “bullfights” with these caterpillars called wollybears. There’s nothing wrong with these caterpillars. We simply killed them for sheer kicks.
We would clear out a circle on the dirt and that would be the arena. We would put the caterpillar in the arena. Then we got these huge nails and threw them at the caterpillar. Every time we did it we shouted “Picadors!” or “Picadores!” (I love these hilarious names boys come up with for their evil games.) If you watch bullfights those are the guys on horses who ride up to the bull and stab it with spears to make it easier for the bullfighter.
We used to go fishing for smelts at this place called “The Smelt Place.” Original name, huh? It was in an estuary called the Bolsa Chica. There were fish called smelts there (Pacific smelts) and we could not catch enough of these damned things. We mostly just released them. We would catch up to 100 of them in a day.
Finally we got mad at the fish for, frankly, being such morons as to let us catch 100 of their kind every day without every figuring out that the Velveeta was nothing but a scam with a hook in it. We lost respect for them. I also think we got bored of catching them all the time.
So we started this game called “Acapulco Cliff Divers” (I love these hilarious names boys make up for their wicked games) where we would catch a smelt and then cast it over onto the rocks. The fish would land on the rocks, injuring it. Then we would reel the poor fish in over the damned rocks, which of course hurt them even more. They’d be dead after a couple of casts. I’m not sure how many days we did that, but it was not a lot.
One boy, TM, who had a diabolical laugh, tied a live smelt to a rope to the back of his back and then took off on his bike via the drainage ditch we used to access the place. The fish was dead shortly after. I remember he was laughing like a maniac the whole time he did this. We all thought that was pretty damn funny – tying a live fish to a rope and dragging it to its death! Ha ha! Good times!