Gut Rumbles

July 04, 2009

early halt

Originally PUBLISHED July 5, 2004

My fireworks display last night was NOT up to its usual standards. I couldn't find my stainless-steel cannon with the 4" flange on the bottom, so I used a reinforced paper tube that came with the fireworks. The first two TNT rockets went off just fine and lit up the sky most impressively. I thought I was on a roll.

The third one, however, did something that I've never seen before. I don't know if the launching charge was a dud or if the thing got hung up sideways in the cannon, but instead of hearing that satisfying "WHUMP!" and watching the rocket fly into the sky, I heard a thud, a sizzle and that goddam bomb stuck its head just above the end of the tube and stayed there, throwing sparks.

I thought, "OH, SHIT!" and did a duck and cover move. That sumbitch exploded six feet away from me and sent shrapnel and burning gunpowder everywhere. It blew my launcher in half. The flash gave me a two-minute case of complete night blindness. The explosion made my ears ring for an hour. This weren't no lightweight charge I was firing.

I wasn't hurt, but I was very excited by the experience. So excited, in fact, that I had to go inside and check my pants for accidental stains. Luckily, no children were around. I did hear one neighbor yell, "Hey, Rob! Are you all right?" I told him that I was, but I didn't shoot any more fireworks after that.

That thing could have put my eye out.

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