Thursday, June 02, 2005

Festivities and Fireworks

With the recent passing of the Victoria Day holiday here in Canada comes the inevitable fireworks display. I am always fascinated by fireworks and watching the display hearkened me back to days of old. Fireworks and teenagers rarely mix well, and we were no exception.

Back in our younger days we were enjoying the holiday fireworks in the best way we knew how. We decided to play pyrotechnic tag. Fire a round at your buddies and see if you could get them. This seemed hilarious and extremely entertaining at the time but I can tell you now from experience that watching a round smoke through a friend's pant puts a serious damper on your celebrations.

You would think this would put us off of fireworks, or at the very least their misuse possibly for the rest of our lives, but not my ragtag bunch of misfits. No sir!

The following year, while working of at a friend's family business we were delighted to open the mail one day to find an order form for fireworks. Now I'm not saying that we were misrepresenting ourselves as we were the end users the literature kept referring to, but we went ahead and placed an order for a retail starter pack that included a serious amount of firepower. We pretty much blew most of what we had made in the beginning of the summer but we were armed and dangerous in a way nobody we had met before had ever been.

We began the festivities by challenging each other to fire off roman candles over the lake by hand. This proved to be a source of no real excitement so we began stunt shots. Target practice began and eventually the festivities descended from there. We soon tired of pop cans and the other targets and we launched a few candles off down a drainage culvert because it looked really cool when they spiraled off down the pipe. We also made the grievous error of wondering what a concussion shell would be like inside said culvert, our curiosity was soon satisfied and I don't think I hear right to this day. Just to mix things up we decided that a pinwheel would look really cool in the middle of the road. To keep it from taking off into a neighboring field we nailed it to the road surface and let 'er rip. The results were fantastic, but the guy who turned the corner in his car thought they were just alarming so he turned around and went the other way. Coward.

The night began to wind down and the impossible happened, we were actually getting bored, but luckily this happened as we were running low on ammo. For our finale we started plinking shots off of the stop sign at the intersection. What was really cool was how the shots blew into a bunch of little pieces and reflected in the sign. Almost beautiful. What happened next was a thing of astonishment to us. The final shot in the candle fired straight and true, but instead of bursting into a hundred dots of brilliant light it welded itself into the plastic on the sign. It continued to burn for a few seconds and when it finally extinguished itself it had melted almost halfway through the metal.

Suddenly I realized how close my buddy came to walking with a serious limp for the rest of his days. Sadly I still love fireworks but now I point them at the sky or when nobody is looking, at the occasional stop sign. Well, unless we've been drinking.

Vive la revolution!


Blogger Frally said...

Fireworks rock! In Australia, they are illegal in every state except for the nations capital, Canberra. I've been involved in a fair bit of firework smuggling in my time, with subsequent "blowing shit up" in back alleyways. Ah, the good ol' days...

6:15:00 AM  
Blogger dan said...

Why are all the best thigs in life dangerous or unhealthy?

6:33:00 AM  
Blogger Stacy The Peanut Queen said...

The Peanut King and his buddy used to actually have roman candle fights. They'd stand back to back, take X amount of paces away from each other, turn, light their candles and shoot at each other and try to dodge the others little fireballs. Meanwhile, I was sitting on the sidelines (unable to talk them out of this insanity) with the phone in my hand, just waiting to call 911.


8:21:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Funny story! I love fireworks, the sound, sight and smell. My parents didn't allow them, but my brothers would go to the nearby town and shoot them off with their friends there. Sadly, I wasn't allowed to go. But I made up for it in my college years!

8:42:00 AM  
Blogger Schotzy said...

Fireworks are da bomb!!! We my sons and I always have a huge 4th of July picnic. And when it gets dark we have our own fireworks display, and yes they are illegle here but so many folks break this law that the police just can't keep up with everyone so don't try. But anyway each of the families involved put in a couple of hundred for the fireworks and we do a smuggling run about this time of year to avoid the highway patrols that are looking for smugglers around the holiday. And yes my guys can do some crazy things with our pyrotechno law breaking. S

9:31:00 AM  
Blogger Ruth said...

they make little trucks that you can ignite and they blow up- my personal dad had been a volunteer fireman so fireworks were closely supervised at our house-altho im sure my more daring brothers had some escapades...

11:15:00 AM  
Blogger Martini Love said...

I love fireworks they are too fun.. can't have them here though it will burn the state down!

6:22:00 PM  
Blogger mrhaney said...

i never fooled to much with fireworks but i do like to watch them. some of the best shows you have to drive to in your car which i do not mind. what i do mine is getting back home and fighting the crowds and the traffic. i also like baseball games at the stadium but i do not like coming out of the stadium and driving home. i love it when my son, who is 38 years old now, picks me up in his car and drives me to and from the game. that is the best.

7:41:00 PM  
Blogger happyandblue2 said...

I also played with the things when I was younger. And I saw quite a few pants pockets blown off..

9:37:00 PM  
Blogger Lisa said...

I think we should all be celebrating that you still have two hands left to blog with huh? lol

10:53:00 PM  
Blogger Karen said...

Retail starter pack? LOL! (They probably made more sales to teenaged boys than they did to geniune retailers! :)

2:51:00 PM  
Blogger glomgold said...

What is Victoria Day in celebration of?
I have probably hit more people with fireworks unintentionally than when I was actually aiming for them. It's a shame they are illegal and thus difficult to come by around here now. Why? Everyone I hit is still quite alive and uninjured. :)

9:56:00 PM  

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