Rick Duris–Welcome to my Sandbox–”Play Nice Out There”

by Rick Duris

When I was a kid, my Dad built my sisters and I a big sandbox in our backyard.  It was really big.

I think he built it after I injured myself severely after playing in a big dirt pile next door.  Wally, a friend of mine, accidently stabbed me with a shovel in the hand and leg requiring multiple stitches.


In my sandbox, (and it was MY sandbox,) it was fun.  Friends would come over and play in it.  Even when I wasn’t there.

We’d build stuff.  Sand castles.  Wet the sand down and create sand mud.  Splatter it, form it, whatever.  Just try and build stuff.

Later, we’d build more elaborate things with pieces of plywood, wood and rocks and such.

I got a little older and we’d do inventive things because ants had made home in the sandbox and we’d build little homes for them.

And when we got a little older, we’d take firecrackers and sparklers and have all sorts of fun blowing stuff up in it.  (Yes, including ants.  :( )

Or we’d play army in there.  With these little green army men.  (Army men smell when you light them on fire.)

Occassionally a cat would poop in the sand box. And finding it wasn’t fun at all.  Darn cat.  (But I still like cats.)


One day I found a fat, ugly Jabba the Hut toad in the sand box.  I let him stay just to see what he would do.  I’d pick him up sometimes he’d pee all over my hands.  Damn toads.  But I love toads.

Friends would still come over and play.  It was like a little local community for us kids no matter what time of day.

Today, the Internet is my sandbox.

- Rick Duris

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