Who’s in the way?

Who is this in the way? This is the mantra of grandma. There is another version: Who did this to you?

There was a high step in front of my house, four layers, built with big green stones. 1958, a “big liberation” cracked the bottom layer. My grandmother sighed: …… Who is this in the way?

The cracked steps revealed some metal pieces, yellow, cubic, large and small, shiny. I thought it was gold, the adults said it was pyrite. Soon, the school “satellite”, teaching us to do “ore radio”, I installed one with this ore.

Really tuned out the sound. In the prickly murmur, the radio announcer was full of enthusiasm: “I’m here to order the three mountains and five mountains to open the way” …… “How bold people are, how big the earth is” …… “fifteen years to catch up with the British, twenty years more than the United States of America” …… I listened to the blood fever, but a little bit of regret: not waiting for me to grow up, take over, communism will be realized.

Of course, “a small man’s ambition is big”, I can also add bricks and tiles to the communist building. Soon, a “small blast furnace” was built in the schoolyard. Whenever we had time, we went looking for scrap metal.

The first found, indeed, scrap iron, leaking pots, rusted locks, off the palm of the shoe, bent iron nails …… adults are also supportive, but also throw a broken through the bar, old grate and so on, sponsored us. But later, such things scavenged, the attitude of the adults changed.

On the two gates of the courtyard, there is a pair of cooked iron rings, called the door with. Not the electric bell? Pry them off to make steel.

The south house of the grandma Sun came out: “No! Do you think that the iron ring is only for the door? That is also for the sake of appearance, prestige! If you take it off, you’re just plucking out the eyes of a person, right?”

I have two kitchen knives at home. Hey, let’s keep one and hand it over to the steelmaking.

At first, my mother was hesitant, saying that both knives were useful, one for shredding meat and one for slicing steamed buns. Grandma also added fuel to the fire, saying that if we use the knife for cutting raw meat to cut steamed buns, we will all have stomach problems. However, mom changed her mind later because someone at the factory also handed in a kitchen knife. Grandma was isolated and had to recite her mantra again: Ugh …… who did they invite to mess with?

There is a fat old man in the east room: Grandpa Liu, kind-eyed, when Fu Zuoyi’s division chief. In the Cultural Revolution, the Red Guards of the Sixth Form came to raid the house, tied him to the grapevine and told him to hand over the change of day account. He couldn’t hand it over, but he didn’t dare to argue and begged his grandfather to sue his grandmother, but the girls killed him. This is a later story. I will write about this later. Before that, Grandpa Liu also became more and more modest. There is a shadow wall in the courtyard. There is an iron triangle on the wall. When we wanted to tear down the iron triangle, he quietly came over and told me carefully: that is for reinforcement, don’t collapse the shadow wall, and then smash us.

We didn’t listen to him. We didn’t listen to anyone but the call of the Great Leap Forward. The propaganda poster on the street showed a worker’s uncle holding an iron poker and clamping a red steel bar, which went from 10.7 million tons to 18 million tons in one go. The Yanks and Brits down there were shivering with fear.

This steel bar has my kitchen knife.

The chopper was thrown into the blast furnace, and no more rotten iron could be found at home. No rotten iron, scrap copper also become. I also set my eyes on my grandmother’s closet: the upper and lower two layers; left and right three pieces, exactly one wall, each set of cabinet doors have brass ornaments, chain and key are copper, the lock eyes are very special, “Ji”, “Wang”, and The word “Wan” is similar to Hitler’s logo.

This time, grandma is dead set against it. The mantra changed from nagging to Qu Yuan’s heavenly question: “Who is in the way? Ah? Who did I piss off with this cabinet? What? That’s my mother’s family’s gift! As long as I don’t die, no one is going to poke a finger into it!”

I retreated: “Then I’ll take the lid of the rice jar!”

The rice jar is a large porcelain jar, and the lid is a large copper plate. Lift it up and knock, the sound is very loud. Grandmother also disagreed to refine it, but not so old backward, said: that plate first, do not refine, “change a square”, but also can build communism – for communism to beat the drum! It can also bombard the house sparrow!

The house sparrow is a sparrow. It is also a national movement. The “patriotic health campaign”. The “Four Pests Campaign”. The four pests refer to flies, mosquitoes, rats and sparrows. Sparrows came in last place.

At that time, going to and coming from school, I had a fly swatter inserted in my school bag. The flies were stinky, and so was I: garbage piles, slop buckets, fresh horse manure on the road, public toilets at school or on the street. When I came home from school, I left my school bag and ran to the toilet, a squatting is more than half an hour.

The whole courtyard is such a toilet, regardless of gender, go in and plug it is. As long as I was inside, the neighbors had to wander around outside, suffocating coughing hard.

I do not care, squatting on the latrine, legs numb also squatting. Drunkenness is not in the poop, in waiting for flies. Come one to hit one, whether it is mung bean flies or marijuana flies.

The flies are killed, but also to collect the corpse, to the school points, so that the merit of the reward. I dumped all the matches in the house on the windowsill and used the empty firebox as a fly coffin.

I also hung sticky fly paper, dug up fly pupae under the old wall, and made a “fly cage” with window screen: leaving a funnel-shaped entrance and exit, which was easy to get in but hard to get out. When it was done, I set it in the middle of the yard and put some fish gills and fish urine bladders under it, and in a short time, the cage was buzzing.

I won the “fly competition” of the small red flower, on the school’s honor roll.

Mosquito control is mainly a matter for adults. And it was a unified action: after dinner, the grandmother in the street with a paper horn, skating around the alley, yelling from house to house. In a short time, all the families set fire to the “six six six”. Then, they closed and locked their doors and went out for a walk. Old neighbors came together and chatted. The children are madly “fighting on horseback”. The white smoke of “six six six” came out from the doorway of each house, and it was quite choking in the hutong. One family was so sloppy that they locked the cat in the house and let it bury the mosquitoes.

Exterminating rats is the most fun. Although I also belong to the mouse. The rat poison, the rat trap, someone also in the water tank on the seesaw board …… my fun is “buckle rat” – find a wine cup, press a piece of meat skin, and then take a large bowl, false buckle in the The wine bowl is halfway up the waist, it’s done. As soon as the rat pulls the meat skin, the bowl will slide down and buckle it tightly. When I heard the noise, day or night, I would rush to the first. Hold down the bowl, stick to the ground a rub, crush out the rat’s tail, step on a foot, and then, lift the bowl, the same kind of mutilation, the authentic rat will be put to death.

Then there is the sparrow bombing. This is the biggest movement in the “four pests”. For several days in a row, four sixty-nine city gongs and drums at all times. Not only gongs and drums, as long as you can make noise, whatever you can. Blowing trumpets, knocking on iron kettles, setting off firecrackers, or simply breaking their voices, wolf-like wailing to the sky. If you have a sick person at home, you have to close the doors and windows. If you can’t stand it, you can also plug your ears. Anyway, you can not let the sparrows fall in your area – fall down to be dead, scared to death tired. I’ve really seen sparrows fall headlong from the sky, stone child-like.

We organized a “small slingshot team”. In the past, the teacher often confiscated the “bow”, this time, the teacher led us to do, and also issued rubber bands. After the equipment was finished, we went to the church in Xishku – it was very clean because there were no gongs and drums. Sparrows who had nowhere to land headed there.

“Pop!” I shot a stone child. It missed. Only a few leaves were shot down. The sparrow on the branch did not fly away, only shaking feathers, moving paws. It seems that it is already half dead from exhaustion. It does not want to be polluted by noise again.

I suddenly softened my heart a little. Sparrows are not as hateful as the other three pests after all. Flies are too dirty, mosquitoes are greasy people, mice always make people feel itchy. But sparrows …… not only not hateful, but also a little bit of pity, cute.

I used to catch sparrows, and that was to play with them –

In winter, after the snow, sweeping out an empty field in the yard, using firewood to support a coal sieve, the following sprinkle some millet, firewood tied to a rope, pulled into the house, hiding behind the door …… not long, some sparrows will fly down, jumping to eat children. A pull of the rope, they will be held back.

The sparrows are held in the bird cage, and I feed and water them. I fed and watered them. Grandma was not happy about this, saying that the size is also a living creature and should not be confined. Mom told me a story and sang a children’s song about how a child rescued a small sparrow: “…… small sparrow, small sparrow, your mother, where to go …… my mother to fight food to go, still not home, hungry really uncomfortable ……” seems to be learned in the church school. Mom went to church as a child.

Grandmother did not believe in Catholicism, but she prayed to Buddha and ate fasting. Of course, after the liberation, both she and mom said they didn’t believe in anything anymore, except the revolution. But sometimes when she wasn’t careful, she showed her fox’s tail – she had to ask me to release the little sparrow, saying that it was called “releasing”, doing “good deeds”, and could “accumulate virtue “The “good deeds”, can “accumulate virtue. Otherwise …… “they are in the way again who?” She was always chanting this, chanting in my ear.

I got tired of hearing it, and I listened.

To be honest, I was quite happy to see the little sparrows poofing away ……

The actual fact is, when I hit the sparrow, I just had a soft heart, just a little. A lot of things, recalled a long time later, often complicate the reaction at the time. I was just a little soft-hearted, and immediately hardened again. I reloaded the stones, drew the bow, aimed, and fired! The sparrow still fell headlong.

This time, I got a material reward: 10 small pellets, made of ashes, round and hard.

In the future, when I go to Xishku again, my hands and heart will not be soft. I deserved it! Who told the sparrows to steal food?

We don’t fight other birds, we fight sparrows alone. Just because they destroy the three red flags. Although it is said that the grain yield has been tens of thousands of pounds per acre, but also can not let them blindly spoil ah. After all, that is a human being desperately planted out, or blow out hard.

But …… is possible? Not hitting other birds?

The people on the ground can plug their ears, but the birds in the sky can not. Sparrows can not, magpies can not. Crows, larks …… whether people like it or not, many birds have been unlucky, a sweep. “Fell a white earth is really clean.”

Only geese are okay and fly far. They flew away, carrying the shadow of the “people” with them.

Then the people celebrated the victory, the full victory of the powerful slaughtering the weak. The achievement was great, the loss was small. Even with the lid of my rice jar, it was still small – the copper plate was finally cracked by me and finally thrown into the earthen blast furnace.

However, after another short time, the red light of the earthen blast furnace also disappeared. Because the refined stuff is not called steel, nor iron, just a piece of black lumps, I do not know what to call it.

Of course, this is what I learned years later. At that time, the broadcast was still proud of the fact that everything was planned to be overachieved and everything was achieved ahead of schedule. Even when corrected, it was said to be a strategic shift. Even if it shifted elsewhere, it still did what it had done.

We support agriculture again.

The company’s production of tens of thousands of pounds of grain per mu? The buns in the canteen are not freely available?

That’s not good either. The imperialists are still watching and ready to start a war. We still have to support the world revolution. Middle East, Suez, Panama ……

Soon, the “ten borderlands” were developed all over Beijing. The most planted thing in the “ten borderlands” was castor. Castor oil can fly airplanes. A single castor was a bullet to the imperialists.

Castor was also planted in the yard. The original planting of “beauty banana”, “cocklebur” and “dead” are gone, is a water of castor, tall and strong. In the flower pond at the root of the south wall, “Jade Hairpin” used to be planted, and the flowers were very white and smelled very good. Especially at night, when riding in the cool, more white look and smell comfortable. The “Jade Hairpin” does not need to be planted every year, covered with ashes in the winter, the ashes are removed in the spring, on the line …… can not! The “jade hairpin” can not extract oil. So, grandma’s mantra is dense again. “The first thing you need to do is to get rid of the problem. What? This is to provoke who? What?”

The actual fact is that once you’ve washed the fish, panned the rice, and brushed the pot, your grandmother still brings the basin over with her little feet upside down to water my castor: “This water has fertilizing power, ‘a crop of flowers, all depends on the manure as the home’. Alas ……”

The words of my grandmother finally matched up with the radio. The radio is also talking about “the crop is a flower, all depends on the manure as a family”.

Therefore, people in the city should also accumulate manure.

I don’t see horse manure on the road anymore – the wagon drivers have hung manure pockets under the horses’ asses. Some old walls were torn down, and it is said that the old wall soil has fertility. The huts were emptied more diligently, and the smell of their stirred up shit and urine could often be found in the yard. Even the bare-assed children did not pee and poo anywhere ……

In early autumn, the school suddenly organized us to go leaf hunting. Before the trip, the nature teacher also gave a lesson: leaves can compost, green fertilizer. Green fertilizer can make crops grow stronger.

Our battleground was the backwaters.

On the shores of the backwaters, there were two rows of large poplar trees. The leaves were beginning to yellow, but most of them were still green and dense. There was a long shade under the trees. We boarded flatbeds, pushing wheelbarrows, carrying large bamboo poles, lined up and came majestically. When the wind blew, the poplar leaves clattered, as if they didn’t know what to do, and applauded us.

The teacher gave a whistle, we will hold a tree, hand and foot to climb up. The school used to forbid to go up to the house and trees. They said it was a wild child. And this time, we all became wild children. The teachers stretched their necks and faces under the trees, directing and encouraging us, and jumping on their feet to hand us bamboo poles.

I rode on the fork of the tree, wheeled the bamboo pole, and smacked it as hard as I could. The leaves of the poplar trees were falling. Some of the delicate branches were broken. They fell even faster.

Below, the teacher and the female students collected leaves and filled sacks. The female students sometimes laughed, sometimes shrieked, and sometimes looked up at our bravery. The female students at the table even called my name and pointed: “There! There! There are many more there ……” “Hit it this way, this way! Otherwise the leaves will fall into the river ……”.

I hit it more vigorously. I’m not sure if I’m going to be able to do this. Hands are sore, eyes are confused, clothes are hanging torn, the bamboo pole is drawn and split, legs rubbed spit (shed) the skin …… or fight!

Finally, the teacher blew the whistle again. We got out of the tree, leaning against the “green fat” sack, catching our breath.

The sun is going down. The weather is still very hot. A break, sweat came out, pickling the blood on the arms and itchy. However, the scenery in front of you is like winter: two rows of poplar trees are all bald, only the branches of the earth yellow left. And look at the sun elongated shadow of the trees, also became a big broken broom.

When I got home, I saw that my clothes were torn and my arms were hurt, so my grandma and mom were very nervous, thinking that I had gotten into a fight with someone. They were relieved when I told them about the leaf fight. However, they did not praise me, nor did they feel sorry for me. Mom didn’t rush to put red salve on me, and grandma didn’t rush to mend my clothes. On the contrary, they frowned, sighed and did not say much. They didn’t answer any of my questions.

After eating dinner and going to bed, grandma muttered again, “Let the child do this, alas …… this leaf is in the way again?”

Mom also sighed again, a long short sound, for a long time, before annoyed to say: “sleep …… alas …… sleep …… “

She probably said it to me. She knew I wasn’t asleep. The day is still hot and the atmosphere at home is stuffy, I whistle whistle fan, my heart is a little aggravated. What’s going on here? Why are they acting like this?

Who am I in the way of?

Who have I provoked?

March 15, 2001