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Sunday, July 3, 2011



It is almost the fourth of July, firecracker time.  Mrs. Cranky loves firecrackers; myself, not so much.  I like the fancy professional displays especially if I can watch without driving to, parking at, and driving from the show.  The amateur fireworks, roman candles, bottle rockets, small fire crackers and even sparklers make me nervous.

My problem with fireworks goes way back; all the way back to the age of fourteen.  In those days every fourteen year old boy had the same two things in his possession, a condom in his wallet, and a cherry bomb hidden in his sock drawer.  The condom was just for show, or maybe for a water balloon fight if needed in a pinch.  The cherry bomb was the largest firecracker of the time.  Legend had it the cherry bomb could even be exploded under water.  The cherry bomb was reserved for the Fourth of July, the grand finale of a ten minute sparkler show, or for the toilet in the Jr. High boy’s room.  The cherry bomb being flushed down the toilet of the boy’s room threat had about the same possibility for actually happening as the condom had for any use other than a water balloon.

The fourteenth summer of my life, I planned to actually light my cherry bomb as part of a Fourth of July celebration.  I had purchased my cherry bomb (and my condom) from Johnny Pear, an older friend of mine several years before.  Johnny Pear was originally from the Bronx, New York City.  Johnny Pear had ways of getting stuff.

My two best “summer” friends were Billy Hopkins and Mark Geston.  The three of us were celebrating our country’s independence on the beach at Ocean City, New Jersey.  We had lit several sparklers, a few “lady fingers”, and were about to explode my precious cherry bomb when we were interrupted.  “Hey you kids; come here!”  Two flashlights zeroed in on us and we could see the policemen outside their patrol car with the bubble gum machine on top popping away.

We did not come there.  We ran like Hell off the beach, across a dune, over a fence, through several yards and into the rear entrance of the Geston House.  Mrs. Geston covered for us.  We laid low as she pointed the officers in the opposite direction.  In payment for this protection I had to give up my cherry bomb.  I have not attempted to light a firecracker since.

I currently have in my possession $80 worth of firecrackers, sparklers and rockets.  These were purchased legally in Pennsylvania.  You can buy the fireworks legally in Pennsylvania if you are not a Pennsylvania resident.  You cannot legally shoot them off in Pennsylvania, and you cannot transport them over the border to any state where fireworks are illegal.  Fireworks are not legal in any state bordering Pennsylvania, so the only thing a non-resident can legally do with Pennsylvania fireworks is buy them, never shoot them off and never leave Pennsylvania!

We now have these legally purchased illegally transported fireworks down at the Jersey shore.  Mrs. Cranky wants to shoot them off this Fourth of July.  I am too old to jump fences and hide in Mrs. Geston’s kitchen. 

This will be my third July 4th with Mrs. Cranky.  I am afraid the real fireworks this Fourth of July will be my first argument ever with Mrs. Cranky!

P.S.  We fired off all the firecrackers and rockets and did not see any Police.  Compared to the other displays on the beach our display was like a fart in a hurricane! 
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  1. Just light the damn fireworks off.

  2. Gotta light them now Joe. You need to get rid of the evidence just to make sure you can get over any borders with out being arrested.

    Enjoy the celebrations, and don't argue - life's too short!

    Lou xxx


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