O Hour, Charleston,SC

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Christmas, Fireworks, and the holy t-shirt

    Am I completely crazy, or is South Carolina the only state that celebrates the birth of Christ by trying to set your neighbors house on fire with an arsenal of explosives that would make any terrorist cell drool with envy ? Without any licence or training you can walk up to a stand (there everywhere) and buy enough black powder to fill Fort Moultries armory.  One day someone with only $2.00 in his pocket  is going to buy a single Roman Candle and proceed to to shoot it back into the stand, then they'll sit down and watch the show.
   Last year in an attempt to compete with my neighbors and silence my teenage son I spent more  on fireworks for Christmas than I made for a week in my first job. Every conceivable form of sky munition was at my disposal and off we went to deploy them along with all my neighbors and their  fiery stores to our cul-de-sac  of hell. At the Pitch of the battle you could have filmed a scene from "Saving Private Ryan" with me in the Tom Hanks role dodging rockets and projectiles from every possible direction as I tried to strike a match to what amounted to a doomsday bomb of phosporetic joy. The pride and joy of my collection was a box the size of a suitcase filled with over 200 rounds of star burst shells  that were SUPPOSED  to fly high in the sky and light up the entire neighborhood with a celebration so bright that  everyone including Disney would envy me.  Best laid plans and all, That's not what happened.
   The first sign that something was wrong was when the shirt I was wearing caught fire as the bomb went off while I was still bent over it. The missile zinged past my ear the moment the match touched the fuse. I could hear the sound of laughter all the way from China in my head, or was it my neighbors? The next dozen rounds went off all at the same time, stopping the laughter and dispersing the crowd as they used each other as human shields or ducked for non existent cover. Streaks of light shot down the road, onto rooftops, and across yards on their hunter-killer missions. I turned in time to see my dog, a cat and two kids dive under the closest vehicle. All traces of the joy that had been there a minute  ago gone, replaced now by expressions ranging from excitement to terror(my dog) . Doors slammed from everywhere as friends and family deserted me, leaving a trail of iced tea glasses, purses, toys, and an elderly woman in a wheelchair behind. Suddenly I found myself  alone on an island with my own private Frankenstein. In a moment a thousand possible scenarios ran through my mind, all of them involving lawyers and lawsuits. As the barrage intensified I knew that I had to man up and find a way to stop the carnage.
    Turning I ran toward my house, past a couple of water hoses, a kids sandbox and a fire extinguisher that my wife knowing me, had brought out. None of these things  registered in my head as two explosions hit the bicycle in front of me, taking the garage from dark to flashbulb bright in a split second and filling it with little balls of burning joy. Frantically I stomped out the last few embers. Trashing the garage for anything to help I finally selected my weapon. Back I went, the smell of my burning hair filling my nostrils, trying hard to focus on the carnage going on in front of me. I once again entered the fray. Running toward the scene of the crime  I heard the old lady calling me names usually reserved for use by sailor's and longshoremen,till a round from the beast sliced past, stopping her in mid curse and putting her depends in the decidedly used category.
     I can tell you what,NOT to use on a burning block of flaming death. Whatever you you do, don't try to snuff out a rocket battery with the large bucket that you were using to clean parts in. All in one motion I covered the fiery pile with the container and  then proceeded to sit down on it. In my mind cutting off the oxygen, but in effect turning the last 50 rounds into one  badly placed bomb. Seems that fire, gun powder and gasoline are a bad idea.........who knew?
    I don't remember much about what happened next, but I heard more than once from those brave enough to watch from the safety of their living rooms that they were amazed at how high a bear sized man could get into the air.They say that afterward I was awake and babbling about space shuttles and burnt toast. My clothes shredded I stumbled back to my door, deaf, battered , and burnt, into the  amazed wide eyed arms of the family I love .

                 I began stockpiling for this year the very next day,,,,,,My Excuse, is that I was South Carolina educated
                    MERRY CHRISTMAS,,,,,,,,,,,,,,WOOOOOOOOOSHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!   BANG!!!!


  1. This made me laugh out loud!

  2. I was laughing so hard, I had to get a tissue! Charlie asked "my God what's s o funny?" I let him read this and I thought I was going to have to take him to the hospital he laughed so long. See he had a very similar thing happen about 30 years ago and the family will never let him forget it! Thanks for making my day!