While growing up I noticed my dad had an unusual fascination with insects, gophers, and fire. One particular incident I'll call the Snail Concentration Camp is disturbing when looking back on it. We had a lot of snails one Summer so dad went out with a big, red metal "MJB" coffee cans and started collecting them. He ended up filling three of them to capacity.

thousands baked alive in the burning hot sun!

Next he put the plastic lids on all the cans allowing the snails to bake & bubble to death in the intense heat of the Summer Sun. The stench of dead snails grew worse and worse.. Finally, after a week he opened the containers and buried the mess of slimy snail goo in a mass grave.

He once brought home a black widow spider that he kept in a sealed cookie bag with holes for about a year in our closet. He fed it flies & bugs until one day he told everyone, "The spider isn't acting right and needs to be killed." He loved that spider so much that to kill it he had to put it under the tire of his brown 1975 Buick Le Sabre and back over it. I'm certain its death was quick once the tire hit the bag.

He's also had an endless fascination with fire. Many times on the weekends he would fire up the Barbeque to burn old papers and play with fire. The ashes would fly around polluting the neighborhood, but dad would have a wondrous gleam in his eye. He'd sometimes combine his two loves Snail Concentration Camp with his Pyromania and thrill to the sounds of a snail bubbling and popping to death out of its shell.

Of course dad isn't the only one who enjoyed killing animals. My friend Joey across the street use to love to blow up frogs with firecrackers or watch their red guts burst forth from the sides. Other friends claimed pushing firecrackers up cat's asses and igniting them, but I've never actually seen them do that. Plus, I don't think a cat would not take too kindly to a firecracker being shoved up its ass.

Their guts are very holiday festive when you step on them and they explode against their green skin. Yuck!

Dad also prides himself on his ability to kill gophers. Apparently he spent many Summers on his uncle's farm killing an endless amount of them. I don't know if you've ever seen a spring loaded gopher trap, but it is a mean looking thing I would NEVER want to get my hand stuck in.

Most of the time I don't care about the gophers burrowing through my yard. I even named one in the front yard George, but he made the excuse that a crazed gopher might eat through the PVC pipes of my swimming pool which would cost thousands of dollars to replace. I figured what's the life of one gopher if in the process dad could relive a few fond memories of his youth.

He set up the traps and damn if the next day he didn't wake me up by shoving a whopper of a Gopher in my face. The thing looked like a huge dead rat. He wanted me to take a picture, but I was too disgusted.

Mom giggled like a school girl, called me a chicken and went ahead and snapped this glorious shot of him holding his prize winning trophy. Gotta love your parents!

-Randy Waage

Randy is a longtime friend and frequent contributor to retroCRUSH.  He has managed to keep a wonderfully entertaining livejournal that is mysteriously devoid of goth poetry.  If you liked this, check out Randy's articles on BEEF, The Last Atari Dealer on Earth, and Breakdancing