I'll try to have more posts about poker since that is what this blog is for, but I thought some of you may enjoy this...
There were only two things that entered my mind after watching my front yard become illuminated with 2,000 bottle rockets on the Fourth of July. The first was that we were going to do this again. After all, such an amazing visual display couldn’t just be put into memory. I felt we had to relive it. The second thing that entered my mind was that we needed even more bottle rockets to ensure that this is something that we would never forget.
As the next Fourth of July rolled around, the hype spread wildly through Facebook. People couldn’t believe that someone would do such a thing. Interestingly, everyone who doubted this great objective were all people who did not watch it the year before. Even the people that did experience it couldn’t believe how big it was going to be. The faces of the firework owners explained it all. Box by box I purchased 16,000 bottle rockets… enough gun powder for an entire battalion of soldiers, and it was all going to explode in mere minutes.
The night of the fourth rolled around and the word had spread. That night I received a phone call from my mother, begging me not to go through with it. She insisted it wasn’t safe and made sure to note every possible thing that could go wrong. It didn’t help my cause that someone from our town lost an eye due to a bottle rocket just a few years ago which my mom hastily pointed out… It was too late though, we had to go through with the initial plans of lighting up the sky like no small budget display ever has!
As eleven o’clock rolled around, my stomach sunk as I realized that it was time. I set all 16,000 bottle rockets in a 10 square foot area. I grabbed a jug of gasoline and poured it on the fireworks. In preparation, we were worried that only one or two areas of the fireworks would go off, but let me be the first to say that when that flame hit the gasoline, a 25 foot tall blazing inferno instantly appeared…
For the next ten minutes, it sounded like a musician beating away at a snare drum. There were constant explosions, followed by faint screams of terror (from my not so brave friends). I could only imagine what it looked like from many miles away, but up close, it was epic. For my annual Fourth of July party, we seemed to inherit a tradition of having the cops drive by inspecting our activities. Ironically, this was the first year in which that did not happen and perhaps the first year in which it should have happened. It was truly more impressive than any professional fire work display I have ever seen.
After the bottle rockets had died down, putting the flame out proved to be difficult… but not as difficult as telling my father why there was a big patch of dirt where grass used to be. Most importantly, to my mom’s delight, we were all safe. When asked by friends and family why I would risk poking an eye out just for a few minutes of fun, I simply responded with … “In life, there is no point to having eye sight if you never see anything memorable.” The launching of 16,000 bottle rockets was many things, but at the very least it was memorable.