Thursday, July 08, 2004
Sparklers and Bottle Rockets
This year's 4th of July celebration raised the bar on home firework displays. Those measly sparklers and sputtering fountains just won't hack it next year. Now that we've seen the possibilities, our standards are higher. Our expectations are greater. We just can't go back to lawnchair-variety spinning flowers and bottle rockets.

Randy's crazy cousin Dave smuggled Indiana fireworks over the Illinois boarder. Apparently the good people of Indiana aren't much concerned about anyone shooting their eye out or setting whole neighborhoods alight. Because, let me tell you, the firework stands in Indiana sell a whole new grade of festival firepower.

Cousin Dave put on one hell of a show. Pinwheels that shot 50-feet into the sky and twirled daintily. Plumes of purple starlets zoomed overhead, one after the other. Red dragon flames licked the treetops. Dave would shout to the gathering crowd, "This one's called The Birthday Cake," and then for the next five minutes banners of light waved overhead, stardust burst forth, and glitter hung in the air. Without a license, without training, without any first aid burn training, and without so much as a bucket of water near by, we watched something that rivaled anything at the City's 4th of July extravaganza.

After lighting off the last rocket, Cousin Dave wandered in from thick cloud of smoke that had gathered about his launch site. His staggering form resembled a ghost soldier's on a battlefield. He coughed raggedly, wiped soot from his brow, and hand over his heart began to sing the Battle Hymn of the Republic. "My eyes have seen the glory...."

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