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Friday, July 06, 2007 

Happy 231 from Cousin Buck

I have a cousin, Buck, that is as equally dumb as he is worthless.
He is 36 years old and lives in his mother’s basement. He still has Van-Halen posters on his wall and has his high school football trophies on a shelf above his bed. He works for a construction company framing houses and stays fired more that he works. He will work for a while then show up drunk and cuss out the boss, get fired then sober up and come back begging for his job. He is a piece of work.

Aside from all the obvious he is not a bad sort, he loves my kids, and he loves fireworks. Every year he borrows against his car title and buys enough fireworks to stage a reenactment of the writing of the star spangled banner. He comes over to my house to set them off, so he can hear my kids laugh and scream.
This year is no different. He showed up with a pick up truckload of fireworks.
He had everything from snap-pops that you throw at the ground to anti aircraft batteries large as sewer pipes, and a cooler of beer that he sneaks in every year thinking we don’t know he has it.

He has that unbridled enthusiasm that only comes with 20 years of being 16 years old.
Annually the family gathers at my house for a day of fun and frivolity, which culminates mightily with Cousin Buck firing off his display. He sets up a table in the pasture and sneaks his Milwaukee’s Best all afternoon.

Well he set up yesterday and was having a grand old time prepping his fireworks. Most of my family will have nothing to do with alcohol of any type. So he kept to his self in the pasture under the guise of setting up the evening’s displays. He had this one that he carried around with him all afternoon. It was called hells bells. It was a giant tube. It looked like a basketball could have fit down into it without touching the edges. He said it was the finale. He said it cost him 92 dollars. He also said he planed to plant tomatoes in it after he fires it. I suspect that he plans to plant something in it but I doubt its tomatoes.

After everyone is fed and dusk begins to fall on quiet, historic Snagley Acres, Buck gets wild. He starts firing off small fire cracks by the hundreds. All we can see is smoke and flashing lights as they pop in the night. Occasionally we can see a glowing lighting stick. Buck is now firing off huge skyrockets they are lighting up the sky. He is about half lit himself at this point.

It was about that time that I noticed that the span between explosions started to grow. I then noticed that the light stick was shaking more that it should. So I walked down to see what was happening. Buck was not half lit as I had supposed he was completely lit. He could not keep the lighting stick still enough to light the fuse on the fireworks. He would stab the glowing stick at the fuse and by process of time and fate eventually light the fuse. I asked him if he would like some help and he said no, and then ran me off as a 36 year drunk teenager would be prone to do.

He fumbled through the rest till it came to hells bells. He stood on the table and announced its greatly anticipated arrival. The elder members of the delegation watching the display did not realize that Buck was drunk and cheered along with him. Buck then fell off the table, got up and pulled out his Zippo lighter. He lit the fuse to hells bells staggered backwards knocked the enormous firework over and promptly passed out cold.

This normally would not be a problem but hells bells was pointed directly at the Snagley delegation which could not see this new twist in the events of our fair country’s birthday.

Hells bells went off with the first of its warheads.
Dad latter exclaimed that it was much like being shelled by the Germans. We saw the flash then a quick red arch toward us. Then, well I can only describe it as being inside of a bomb. Fire streaked in all directions in a multitude of colors, then there came a deafening boom that caused my jaw teeth to rattle this was followed by deafness and blindness. There was a smell of burning rubber, I latter found out this smell was from the rubber pads being burned off of the bottom of 4 different walkers as they streaked for safety. Unfortunately there were 19 more warheads to follow.

When the smoke cleared and I found a flashlight, I also found
1. Buck drunk oblivious to the entire fiasco
2. 3 kids hiding under my bed.
3. 4 badly damaged walkers and 7 angry senior citizens

As I look back on number 231, all in all I would say it was a pretty good 4th of July.