My sister, who was a good person, said, “You’re going to get it.” She bent over and kept on picking.
What a target! She was seventeen, a girl with big hips, and bending over, she looked like the side of a barn.
I picked up a tomato so big it sat on the ground. It looked like it had sat there for a week. The underside was brown. Small white worms lived in it. It was very juicy. I had to handle it carefully to keep from spilling it on myself. I stood up and took aim, and went into the wind-up, when my mother at the kitchen window called my name in a sharp voice. I had to decide quickly. I decided.
A rotten Big Boy hitting the target is a memorable sound. Like a fat man doing a bellyflop, followed by a whoop and a yell from the tomatoee. She came after me faster than I knew she could run, and I took off for the house, but she grabbed my shirt and was about to brain me when Mother yelled “Phyllis” and my sister, who was a good person, obeyed and let go and burst into tears. I guess she knew that the pleasure of obedience is pretty thin compared to the pleasure of hearing a rotten tomato hit someone in the rear end.
– LAKE WOBEGON DAYS, Garrison Kiellor