Friday, July 4, 2008

Forbidden Fireworks

Don't you just love fireworks?

I hope you're not thinking, "Yeah! I love those fountains, chasers, firecrackers, whistlers... oh! And those groovy little ones that buzz along the ground. They are Neat-o!"

NO! NO! NO! I am talking about REAL fireworks. Aerial fireworks, Skyrockets, Mortars! Things that whistle as they go up and BOOM! as they bloom in the sky. Not the sissy (legal) fireworks that are available in Utah.

In Wyoming where I grew up you could buy almost ANYTHING. I actually think that most of the people who bought fireworks where I lived were actually from Utah or Idaho. At the end of June fireworks stands would pop up all over the place.

You can imagine that the Fourth of July wasn't very exciting for me the years that I lived in Utah... and Arizona (where there were NO fireworks, period.) Well, actually there was one year that our fireworks display turned out to be pretty exciting...

A few years ago we were in Logan visiting my sister and her husband for the Fourth of July. My mother had also come to visit from Wyoming and had brought some illegal fireworks with her (Go Mom!). In Utah any firework that goes over 15 feet in the air is illegal. I don't know what the penalties are, but it's probably more than I want to pay.

So we were out in front of the house setting off the fireworks. We would do some of the legal fireworks (often many at a time) and then intersperse them with some of the "good" ones. We were having a great time and I think the neighbors (and the neighborhood!) were enjoying the show as well. Of course we were keeping a lookout for patrol officers and we weren't setting off too many of the illegal fireworks at a time so they wouldn't be able to pinpoint our location.

Then we got to a promising-looking firework that was called "99 Gun Salute". Perhaps we should have stopped to think for a moment before we lit this one. You know... "Hmmm... I wonder what a large firework called 99 Gun Salute might do?"

But no... we just lit it and stood back. The next thing you know rockets are shooting up in the air and making dazzling blooms in the sky overhead. It was gorgeous and wouldn't have been a problem... except... you guessed it... there were 99 of them and we were trying to be somewhat inconspicuous. This thing just kept going and going!

So we are kind of panicking ...but what can you do? We just had to wait for it to finish while we all tried to look invisible. It was actually pretty funny... especially when a police car cruised by a little while later as we innocently set off our neat-o fountains and whistlers.

Happy Fourth of July!

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