What Could Possibly Go Wrong?
A LITTLE DRIZZLE NEVER HURT ANYBODY. This year on the 4th of July, the day for fireworks and celebration, we had low clouds and misty rain here in Terre Haute (That’s French for, “Has anybody seen my thumb?”).
The larger civic displays were postponed a day or more, hoping for clear skies. The rain, however, didn’t slow down the individual, beer-fueled, ad hoc, displays.
It seems that every year, rain or shine, there are countless people who think that they are qualified to fire off skyrockets and assorted quasi-military grade explosives in their backyards. The more alcohol consumed – the bigger the show.
Our immediate neighbors on either side were pretty quiet. One house has small kids and two nervous dogs and on the other side they are even older than us. They were probably sound asleep halfway through Wheel of Fortune. The folks behind us – you know – the ones who have a dog that never shuts up and who think a chainsaw is a precision landscaping tool.
These people tend to be a little boisterous for about ten days prior to July 4th and New Years Eve. This year they launched more ordnance than rained down on London during The Blitz.
On the morning of the 4th I stopped by the Kroger for a few necessities. Two doors down was one of those temporary fireworks stores. At 8 AM they were open and busy with last minute shoppers stocking up for the impending Zombie Apocalypse. I hate these stores.
Every year these stores pop up like mushrooms in strip malls, vacant store fronts, and on street corners all over Indiana.
“Buy One – Get A Thermonuclear Bomb Free!”
They must know that their customers haven’t a clue about how to use these rockets, etc. safely. I guess they figure that once they close up shop and head for the State Line the consequences are no longer their concern.
The news stories usually start a few days before the 4th. Lurid items about somebody blowing off a hand, frying an eyeball or two, or burning down the house. The first story I saw this year had some yutz in New York City losing a leg.
The states where I lived growing up had laws against these fly-by-night vendors. It didn’t completely stop the practice, but it did save some fingers.
My wife, the lovely and bottle rocket learned, Dawn, grew up in Texas – a State where you could go to a drive through liquor store and pick up a few shotgun shells while you were there.
About ten years ago Dawn decided shoot off a few rockets from our driveway. We had a few friends over. All of us were seated in lawn chairs to watch the show.
The rocket was poised for liftoff as Dawn lit the fuse. Being high quality merchandise made somewhere in Asia by slave labor the gunpowder did not ignite evenly – causing the rocket to tip over an instant before taking off for the sky. Instead of soaring into the Heavens it followed a direct path toward the crotch of a guest in a lawn chair. I have never seen any human move so quickly. The chair took a direct hit. We have heard that he has since fathered two children so we assume that he survived intact. Of course, we haven’t seen him since that night.
We heard that he moved to Kansas.