Sunday, July 4, 2010

Breakin' The :Law!

Ready to go: bamboo sparklers and some sort of Cone of Death. . .

It being July 4th, I figured what better lessons could I teach my sons in Being An American than these:
  • Ignoring laws you don't agree with;
  • Buying stuff from the Chinese.
Apart from the big spectacular firework shows we'd piled in the car to see on various Fourth of Julys, the dudes have had little experience with fireworks close up and personal. Until this year, being off work the evening of the 4th was a pretty rare treat, so it seemed like the right time to be a Right-Thinking American dad and load up on some "safe and sane" fireworks for a little evening pyrotechnical display. Nothing too extreme--sparklers, a pack of Roman Candles, a few firecrackers, and some Black Snakes.

I drove over the county line into Parker County--since fireworks aren't legal in Tarrant County--to a big steel building in the country jammed with fireworks and presumably Tarrant County residents loading up for the big day. They were doing a. . .wait for it. . .bang up business. I was curious to see a Tarrant County sheriff's deputy directing traffic. . .surely he had to know that pretty much everyone leaving the parking lot with their booty was headed south, back into Tarrant County!

It's our right as Americans, I guess, to just ignore the laws we don't agree with. And I found nothing wrong with setting off a few blasts before loading the family off to the Trinity River in Fort Worth to watch the evening firework displays. But first: let's light off a sort of double-ended rocket around 5" in length that would spin around, rise "around five feet" off the ground (according to the girl at the fireworks store) and spew sparks, smoke and noise. The kids were enthralled--it looked like a damned UFO. But then it kept rising, still belching fire--15, 20, 30 feet. . even 50 feet, and it headed right off our property to land on the neighbor's roof. Hopefully, their roof was fireproof!

This wierded the kids out. On one had, I. felt the display was "way awesome!" but E. was a bit concerned about dad ending up in jail for not only torching the neighbor's home, but for violating the anti-fireworks ordinance.

Saw the fireworks downtown. It was about average as firework shows go. I promised the boys we'd light off some stuff when we got home, but it was pushing on 11pm and they were sleepy, and E., well, he was now deadset against my breaking the law and suggested we throw away what was left of the $20.96 in fireworks I purchased earlier that day.

His demeanor changed when I broke out a few sparklers. Now he had a big grin and he and brother spun and twirled around the back yard spewing multi-colored sparks. Sprinklers aren't as I remembered them--now they're bamboo instead of galvanized wire you'd be sure to either step on in the lawn or burn yourself with afterwards. And, like everything else fireworky, made in China.

But they were still fun. Even though E. won't sleep easy tonight, dreaming of a father behind bars.

I. lays out a trail of fire. . .and he's lovin' it!

The ever-serious E. takes a more traditional approach to sparkler handling.


Mary DK said...

Thank you for getting them B, they had so much fun with those sparklers!!

Nick Fotis said...

Hey, are you still behind the bars?

And who'll run all these trains with all these Chinese stuff for the boys?
Santa depends on you! *grin*


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