Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Availiable fireworks in this state suck these days

You can't buy cratering charges, Bangalore torpedoes, quarter-pound blocks of TNT or any cool stuff that I used to play with as a boy.

Enter the friendly, local, neighborhood bootlegger,

Let's leave it at that.

I am a third generation blower-upper of stuff on the 4th of July. I learned much of this from my father who, oddly enough, learned from his mother who was an Austrian immigrant via Ellis Island. She adopted this country and faced predjudice during WW1 for where she came from but didn't let it get to her.

She flew the flag every day and when Independence Day would arrive, she celebrated it enthustiastically by doing what people did. She blew stuff up with fireworks.

She taught my father do blow stuff up safely and as time went on he passed both the love of loud noises and the satisfaction of seeing something vaporize on to his son.

Dad told me that times were hard during the depression and that they had to do without an awful lot, but his mother ALWAYS managed to find a way to drum up a couple of banana boxes full of fireworks. While she died when I was young, I do still have a memory of my grandmother, a stocky woman with a warm smile and a German accent sitting on her porch and throwing cherry bombs into the street.

While by that time the Commonwealth of Massachusetts had outlawed a lot of fireworks, there wasn't a cop on the local force that would go after an old immigrant woman for celebrating her love of country. Years later, dad told me that a couple of cops would schlep her some of the fireworks they took away from kids because they thought it was funny watching her go nuts on the Fourth.

She was a quiet, warm woman that obeyed all the laws, rues and regulations and would be unnoticed in the neighborhood for 364 days of the year but would go stark staring bonkers on Independence Day.

For me, a safe and sane Fourth is depressing to contemplate. The Fourth of July for an American is supposed to be a day of lunacy that is fraught with peril.

Anyway, I am ashore this year for the Fourth and I suppose the local Gendarmes are not really as please as they would be if I was at sea but I suppose they will let things slide because it is the Fourth of July and if they carted off everyone that scored their fireworks from the friendly, local neighborhood bootlegger then the jails would be bursting at the seams.

For the record, I have already blown a pretty good sized smoking divot in the back yard and it it only 0805.

Have yourself an unsafe and insane Fourth!
I always like the way a Brit handled a stupid question. Someone asked him if they had a Fourth of July in England.

"No. We skip that day," he replied.

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