Editor's Note: The title of this post does not, in any way, reflect the content of the post. It was inserted at the last minute in order to increase search hits. And it is pretty friggin' funny.
Before I launch into a particularly poignant and, if I might add, well written blog post about fireworks, youth, and a mangled toad, let me just say that the reason I am writing this post is because of the fine work of Greg Miller from Cleveland, OH. His 4th of July post is a must read. Go to "Nurse the Hate" and read it. Now. The link is just there, on the right hand side of the screen, under "Other Douchebags". Then come back and read the rest of this post. It's OK, I can wait.
(Humming the Star Spangled Banner....)
I grew up in the great state of Massachusetts, where fireworks were clandestine on a par with Playboy and heroin. I was a kid when I was growing up, so I cannot remember the murky details of how we were able to get our hands on these precious pieces of packaged gunpowder, but when we got them, they were pure gold. The regular old firecracker was good. Bottle rockets were guarded like nuke-u-ler missles. M-80's were, well, let's just say that Tom Cruise in MI-2 would not be able to wring them from our grasp. Even if he had Ving Rhames working secretly behind the scenes. Because back when I grew up, you could not locate stuff on a laptop PC while traveling on a high speed train. You could only locate stuff using a CB radio. Sometimes. If you could get past the Smokeys.
In any event, we had to use our ammunition intelligently and productively. Not like Mr. Greg Miller, who appears to have had a connection to the fireworks kingpin. I can just picture him placing the order on the phone like Joan Cusack in Grosse Point Blanke - "No Goddammit, I said FIVE thousand M-80's".
One day we decided that the best use of our stash would be to blow up a frog. Yes! That would be the coolest thing ever! Imagine frog guts flying everywhere! We were sure that it would go down in kiddom as one of the best explosions ever.
Frogs were not that easy to come by. It took time and guile. But, after we got the blowing up a frog idea into our young craniums, we were not willing to waste time actually catching a frog. The expected results were too phantasmagorical. We had to act now. So we found a toad in the backyard. A rather small toad. Poor bastard.
Well this toad was not going to be able to swallow an M-80. So we stuffed a regular old firecracker down it's throat. I am pretty sure that this killed him. It was pretty gross. Then we lit the fuse and waited for the greatest backyard kid explosion ever. As you have probably already guessed, the results were disappointing. I still, to this day, feel bad for that toad.
But I got over it quickly back then. As Greg states in his post, and I am paraphrasing, kids back then were mentally retarded. We did the stupidest stuff, and we did it without plastic helmets. The fact that there is still human civilization is a testament to how hard it is for kids to kill themselves.
So give your kids fireworks. They rock! Let them go out by themselves on bicycles and try to jump that ditch. It's important! Let them throw rocks at each other. Let them ruin the neighbors new patio by walking in the wet cement because it feels weird. Don't get angry when they set the field behind the house on fire. Oops. Getting a little autobiographical.
As I have said before, the kids are alright.