Wednesday, June 02, 2004

Oh, Like You Post On A Regular Basis...

Save the accusations, because it's agitated guilty conscience day and there is no need for them.

But other than that...well, some things are up, some down. You know?

For one thing, the weather around these parts has just been lovely and summer is definitely rising in the East. On a related note, my birthday is one month from today. Eric, Leon, Crystal, everyone else, you all know what that means...FIREWORKS!

Please, no fireworks as gifts this year. I've still got a lot of fireworks with questionable legality from previous years. I keep looking for opportunities to use them, but since the neighbor got a fireworks ticket last year (that was at least partly and probably mostly my fault) I've been iffy on the whole idea.

The other night I dreamt that you can buy bags of cherry bombs in the sporting goods department at Wal*Mart. That was a pretty good dream. I didn't buy any (because I've already got lots of fireworks. Funny how stupid real-life details leak into clearly unreal dreams) but I did suggest to my brother that he buy some. Seemed a little more age-appropriate. He's ten years younger than I.

There was a while there I was going to use this blog to publicly make fun of my math instructor. I'll still mention him, but I'm beginning to respect him, and the making-fun-of part won't work the way I originally intended.

So his name is Mr. R. Yes, that's the real first letter of his real last name.

You know what? Once again, I can't make Mr. R entertaining to write about. So instead I'll write the story of the above-mentioned firework ticket. Ok?

So it was about July, and just a gorgeous evening. It had rained a little the day before, so things weren't too terribly dry, and I dragged the wife out to light a few fireworks. Seems like it was either the 4th or the 24th, because there were houses all over the valley with fireworks going off that were at least almost as illegal as mine.

A while back I went to Evanston (WY) and bought some pretty big rockets. They're on sticks about three feet long and the rocket engines are a good couple of inches around. Also, I'm a big fan of floral mortar shells. I found some particularly large versions of these in Evanston also, and they're great.

So Crystal and I went out to light a couple of rockets and a couple of shells. We went outside and I set up a shell and launched it. FOOMP!, the shell said as it left the tube. BOOM-CRACKLE it said at apex. Beautiful.

The neighbor to our East paused lighting his dinky bottle rockets (also illegal...that's gonna be important in a minute here) to gape in awe.

So now the neighbors were enjoying the show, and joined in with whatever they had. He lit a salute roll (it's a bunch of tubes with flying firecrackers), and I lit a couple of my big rockets.

Just as I dropped another floral shell into my mortar tube, the wind started to blow a little. I lit the shell, and we could see it get blown around as it traveled upward and then burst.

I turned to my wife and said we'd better go in, even though I had intended to light more of the same. I picked up my tube and the remaining fireworks on the driveway, and just as I crossed the sidewalk on my way to the house, I noticed a police officer walking briskly toward me, about twenty feet away.

I continued on my course into the house, and he continued on his, past my house, and straight to the neighbor, still lighting the little stuff. I came back out of the house and quietly found a dark place to hear and watch the goings on with my neighbor and the cop.

The cop explained that he had been out on the highway and had seen our big fireworks and had followed them right to us. Then he asked the neighbor for ID and ticketed him for lighting illegal fireworks, which the neighbor admitted to doing.

The two talked about how the big ones were being launched at my house, not his, but apparently, the cop didn't catch me red-handed, had to assume that they were all coming from the one guy he caught, and couldn't do anything about me. Whew!

So I literally dodged a $50 firework ticket by about five seconds last summer. I'm a crazy guy, but I'm not interested in trouble with the cops, so I need to find a better outlet for my firework bug.

And that's my Almost-Got-A-Fireworks-Ticket story. Instead of my math instructor. Believe me, it's better this way.

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