Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Hilarious 4th of July

On the 4th of July many years ago (when I was 11), I nearly blew up my mother with an M-80.  Like many kids that age I was obsessed with figuring out how to get some firecrackers.  I would scour the ground with anxious hopes of finding a once-lit (yet unexploded) firecracker.  All my friends were like me with the same alert eyes.

We made a pact that year to combine all the firecrackers we found to make the mother of all explosives.  We figured we could take the gun powder and make our own bomb.  Eeek!

Now that’s not something I knew 
my mother would approve of, 

but that’s exactly what my three pre-teen friends and I were doing.  We intended to make an M-80.  However, we were selfish firebugs and couldn’t resist blowing up firecrackers as fast as we found them.  Our method was to break the firecracker in half, light the powder and then stomp on it. Ka Boom!  Worked every time.

But that particular year it rained all night and dampened our explosive spirits.  Still with hope, early the next morning we searched and searched only to find wet duds.  Then, my search paid off and the object of my illegal desire appeared before me.  I just couldn't believe the blind luck of my situation.

An unexploded M-80 was laying
on the ground at my feet.

It was in a paper wrapping that had been water-soaked but it still looked good.  Everyone was EXCITED and our young hoodlum eyes were shifty with mischief as we ran to my house to explode it.

Since I'd found it, it was only fitting that I should be the one to light it.  I laid it down in the middle of our driveway that ran alongside the house.  Everybody was huddled around and -with my heart beating out my chest- I lit the wick and we all RAN!  We hid behind rocks and trees to shelter us from the blast. . . but it didn’t come.

Slowly, we we walked back up to it 
and realized the wick went out. 

There was still plenty of wick left and we just chalked it off to the rain factor.  Again, I lit the wick and we scattered like roaches only to peer out again Deja vu, nothing!  Gingerly, we returned to discover a much shorter wick (but still long enough to try it again).  

I was a little scared as I lit the last match.  I bent down, lit the wick for the last time and dallied for a moment just to be sure it was going.  As I started to run away, I saw my mother come around the back corner of the house.

She was heading straight for it! 

I stopped and turned, waving my arms and yelling for her to "Get back!"  My friends were yelling too.  It was going to be bad because Mom didn’t understand what was going on.  As she neared the upcoming blast, she stopped directly above it and looked down.  I don’t think she could have been more surprised or puzzled as she bent down and PICKED IT UP. 

“What are you boys doing with this tampon?” she asked and walking away, nonchalantly tossed it in the trash can.


That’s a true story and I enjoy the opportunity to tell it to you on Independence Day.  Have a fun and safe holiday!

© 2011 Keyed Up Inc


  1. An absolute classic! Now tell the crackerball story.