In the south, stealing watermelons was a rite of passage for every boy entering the early teen years. Watermelons were cheap and plentiful, but they always tasted better when taken right from the field and eaten on the spot.
Before the Bynum Cutoff Road was installed, the best watermelons patches were in a field behind Pate Morrison’s Store. Of course there was an electric fence around the patch and the farmer kept a close eye out for bandits.
One night about a dozen of us decided that the watermelons were ready to steal; we had been watching them grow all summer. One of our gang bet that you could water the electric fence and not get shocked. He was wrong; it took him several minutes to get back on his feet.
The object was to gather a watermelon under each arm before the farmer came out with his shotgun. It was a tie; we managed to escape without buckshot in our rear ends with at least one watermelon per person. On the way out, we were in a hurry and were not as careful about the waist high electric fence in the dark; it bit a couple of us and caused a minor loss of watermelons. Only the best could hit the fence and still hold on to a watermelon under each arm.
We found a patch of woods back behind the American Legion and built a nice bonfire before we dined on watermelons. The preferred method of eating a stolen watermelon is to crack it open, eat the heart and throw the rest, including the rind, at your friends. A well thrown watermelon rind can smart and the remaining watermelon gets sticky pretty quick.
Someone had the bright idea of cutting a hole in a watermelon and filling it with moonshine, and then eating it after the juices sloshed around for a while. Unfortunately he did not have a lot of the moonshine, so only a few got a taste of the enhanced watermelon.
When all the watermelons were gone, we wandered down to the local cattle watering trough to wash off the now sticky watermelon juice before going home.
Stolen watermelons are the best.