Saturday, July 05, 2008

"Light fuse, get away"

A pre-prandial thunderstorm assuaged my burning-down-the-cul with fireworks fears last night. So yessss, the Annual Show was on. Young Master Matthew, Young Miss Amber,associated beloved in-laws, and the Missus got comfortable as I resumed the tradition of expending some snappy fireworks.

The trouble with pyro is they are made in China by schoolkids; very little QC on THAT line. This was proved again last night.

FIRST round from Young Master's newly acquired artillery shell pyro shattered its mortar tube in a thunderous explosion. It's feet do yo' stuff after lighting the fuse: once bit, twice shy so to speak. I was o, about 12 feet away. Instead of whooshing up 100 ft. or so, the round just exploded in the tube. It was not a cook-off;it was the first one in the tube. I have heard plenty of frags and seen flash bang grenades go off: this sucker was louder. My left ear still is not right.

"Field expedient methods, gentlemen" came to mind; I grabbed the trusty Black Cat tube;the thicker tube took the pressure swell.

When I stepped off the smoke-filled launch area of the cul an hour and a half later, my face black like Boelcke's after a successful freijagd, I left a tradition restored and strengthened for future generations.

The best pyro show I have seen, bar none, even better than our "mad minutes" in the tanks, was a performance of the "Royal Fireworks Musick" by the Boston Symphony, with computer controlled fireworks show. Natch, the bursts low and high were over Boston Harbor. That's the great thing about doing a show over water, there is the reflectance factor, like flares over snow. We sat near the USS Constitution. It was great sight and sound with the ghosts of tars swirling overhead in the night.

Background Reading Suggestions:

Fireworks, by George Plimpton.
"Lud Kissel and the Dago Bomb that Struck Back", by Jean Shepherd.

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