I'm the old man who says stuff like my parents said way back when.
"It's all fun 'til you lose an eye!"
Does anyone listen? No, no they don't.
The 4th is nuts here in "the dotte." Fireworks are still legal. Smoking in bars too. They say "good for tourism."
As dark descends all the local crazies, same folks who don't have two pennies to rub together the rest of the year, break out what has to be hundreds, maybe thousands of dollars worth of explosives. No wind, never is on the fourth, so the gunpowder haze rolls down the hill to envelop the trees. The bats return early to their caves, sensing they will better survive one night's starvation. Lightning bugs go unnoticed.
(on the fourth)
Madness sets in. Even for me. I hold black cat bottle rockets between thumb and forefinger and light the fuse. The key with this method is not to hold them too tightly. These are things we learn.
Richard backs up his dinosaur Tahoe with the custom license plate that reads "DERPP" into the back alley. I set a bottle rocket flat on my Indonesian Rhyotah wood deck table aimed towards him to, eh, scare him a bit as he walks up.
I light the fuse as his door slams shut.
He appears through the haze carrying a black gun case and I yell "DUCK" as my timing and aim were somehow.. perfect.
Richard isn't one to duck though. The rocket whistles past his left ear, no more than six inches above his shoulder. He appears un-fazed. I breathe a short sigh of relief. In a brief spell of returned sanity, I whisper aloud "that could have put his eye out."
Veronica, fully taken with derangement, now dancing on the table in circles shooting multiple bottle rockets, left handed, right handed... lunacy!
The kids blast about fifty rounds into the ground with Richard's new assault rifle which appears to be fully automatic and is surely illegal, while I toss handfuls of waterproof "bunker busters" into a half filled 5 gallon bucket. I like the hollow sound. The bucket steams up like a witches cauldron.
I grab the twelve gauge and a three inch magnum with triple ought buckshot that we keep here.. for defense, and blast it into the ground. The report is deafening, and the "kick" nearly unhinges my shoulder.
Veronica screams out, "OUCH. FUCK!!"
A rocket gone awry, shot from her own hand, had circled back and exploded on her knee, directly on her barbed wire tat.
These black cats are the best money can buy, or so Eli tells me.
I admonish her.. "see, now what if that had been your eye?"
(above pic taken yesterday evening)