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Thursday, July 4, 2013

FIRECRACKERS - a Cranky re-run

FIRECRACKERS - another cranky re-run

Still on "change of venue" here is a re-run from last July 4th and also the year before.  Not the best, but hey it's topical.

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 $180 worth of firecrackers, sparklers and rockets.  These were purchased legally in Pennsylvania by Mrs. Cranky.  You can buy the fireworks legally in Pennsylvania but you can not legally transport them to or fire them in New Jersey.  The Pennsylvania fireworks dealers are on the first exit in Pennsylvania about 100 yards from the New Jersey border.

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!       


  1. Since this is a 2-time rerun, and since your post shows no sign of being censured by the New Jersey Department of Corrections, I'm guessing you got away with it, right? ;)

    Here's hoping you and your family have a happy, safe, and jail-free July 4th, 2013.


  2. damn cherry bombs were awful! they did quit making those, didn't they? hope so.

    Guys loved putting 'em down the school toilets ... when caught? they got the board... don't use boards any more either. paddled was what a lot of boys in my generation got.

    haha.... forget what happened to us girls... slapped on the hand with a ruler? I had that happen by my piano teacher. I really hated that.

    I did the same thing today ... posted from the last two years. interesting, I think so. My third Fourth in the last two years. I've only been blogging two years and this is your third with your Mrs. … isn't that interesting. you are a newlywed... how sweet

    French toast this morning... I feel the need to google to see if French toast is really French .. oh good grief... too many origins... Germany? Rome? says ... created by medieval European cooks...

    well? I'll have it with some Jimmy Dean sausage ... that's American or Petit Jean Bacon... that's Arkansas.

    in spirit only though because I don't eat either of those any longer.

    don't know why I think you care... but I'm waiting on the French Toast... gonna be gooood

  3. One of the rituals of summer, in our neighborhood of Boston, was for us littler kids (let's say 9 or 10 years old) to search out which teenagers were selling the "Black Cat" firecrackers, then handing over a precious quarter for a pack. The young hoodlum probably paid ten cents for them originally, so it was a capitalistic enterprise and thus correct for the 4th.

    The smell of gunpowder, and the feel of the tissue-like paper of the package, are still fresh in my mind. The fact that the packaging had all sorts of Chinese on it made the deal exotic as hell.

    I was scared witless to light the things. I had heard far too many stories of boys who supposedly had their hands blown off via a short fuse or other catastrophe, so I usually let a friend light my firecrackers while I watched from a safe distance.

  4. You never said if you actually lighted them!!

  5. made me laugh. happy independence day to you, cranky!

  6. Hey, with all due respect for Mrs. Cranky, if SHE wants to light the fireworks let her. Is she a fast runner?

  7. We used to unroll our Black Cat firecrackers, make a pile of silvery powder, line up a crooked length of wicks, and light up a big flash. It wasn't noisy, and we considered it much more ladylike than blowing up anthills. Or toilets.


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