July 03, 2003

Firework Jitters

I bought fireworks last night. And I'm not talking about the namby pamby wimpworks that are legal in Minnesota. Those are mere sparklers, although I've always held a special place in my heart for jumping jacks, particularly the art of throwing them into the air and watching them arc back to earth like angry enflamed fireflies.

But the fireworks I bought last night were of the illegal Wisconsin variety. The big dogs. The real hazards to life and limb. To purchase these gunpowdery goodies, my friend Marc and I made a run for the border to a place called Prescott, Wis. By itself, Prescott is not an interesting town; it's simply a little burb that straddles the border of Minnesota and Wisconsin. But, not even a mile into the Wisconsin side stand two honking big warehouses stacked to the roof with pyrotechnic joy. Both stores were sporting the sign that sends chills down my spine: Buy One, Get One For 99 Cents.

Be still my beating heart.

It's been awhile since I made a Wisconsin run for fireworks. It used to be my college summer ritual. But ever since I joined the work world, I just haven't had either the time or inclination, or the money, to devote to fireworks. That simply had to change. Last night, I only had one certain goal: I was going to buy artillery shells. I needed artillery shells. With artillery shells, you can turn your simple camping trip into a fireworks extravaganza.

Artillery shells have come a long way since I last bought them, oh those many five years ago. They've gone from impressive newcomers to the fireworks world to the de facto standard. I was not prepared for the variety of artillery shells before me. I just stood in front of a bunker of assorted artillery shells, absorbing the all-encompassing odor of dormant gunpowder. And I learned something as I stood there. Not only have artillery shells changed, they've become shit-assed expensive. They're a lot bigger than I remember, that's for sure. And, now they're capable of multiple air bursts that could rival the displays put on by most cities. And they can blow a hole in your wallet so fast you'd think they were your girlfriend.

But, this is the 4th of July, the birthday of our nation, the biggest excuse of the year to blow some shit up. Money is no object. So, I bought some wicked cool artillery shells for $40, and then I got some more for 99 cents, and then I bought a whole bunch of small stuff, like firecrackers and roman candles and a couple sticks of dynamite, because that shit's just fun to play with.

Let the mayhem ensue.

UPDATE: Oh yeah. I almost forgot. Happy 4th Of July everyone!

Posted by Ryan at July 3, 2003 10:47 AM
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