Gather ’round, gather ’round, kiddies… it’s time for another one of Uncle Sean’s drunk stories… this time it’s about what makes this country so great… especially Detroit…
Independence Day (the holiday, not the movie) is a time for celebrating our right to blow things up and be American! One particular Fourth of July, we showed our dedication the best way we could… by buying illegal fireworks from Ohio.
Now, you youngsters might be wondering, “Isn’t that illegal to buy things that are illegal, Uncle Sean?”
And that’s my point – it’s American to do just that very thing!
As we sat on my front porch which is on a main road in Detroit, cars drove by while mortars and missiles and fountains rained down colored flames. No one paid a mind, and a great time was had by all… especially because we had a couple of 24 packs inside that dwindled down faster than a sparkler.
SIDENOTE: I used to have three lawn chairs. They were the old aluminum frame ones with cross-hatched plastic strips. They were pretty crappy, but still comfortable. One by one they were eventually stolen off my porch, but on this day I still had all three. Viva America!
One of my friends slash your uncles either didn’t know how to sit in these chairs, or he was the straw that broke the camels back, so to speak, but the cross-hatching gave way under his weight and he fell and bent the frame. We all had a good laugh (he may not have), and I pushed it further by tossing it over the bushes onto my front lawn as the show continued, courtesy of Uncle Rich.
Some neighborhood kids came down to see if they could buy some fireworks off us. We weren’t selling, so they stole some. Viva America!
Your Uncle Jay and Uncle Rob decided to pretend they were in G.I. Joe, so they each grabbed a Roman candle and had a battle in the front yard, roadway, and across the street shooting at each other. I suggested that Jay use the downed chair as a shield (Rob was the one who broke it). Viva America!
SIDENOTE: The people across the street from me were evicted. A big dumpster full of their belongings was parked out front. There were boxes, furniture, mattresses. You’ll need to know about this later.
After the battle used up all the ammo, I thought it would be funny to suggest that Uncle Rob throw a mortar into the dumpster to see what would happen. As if he was in Mission Impossible, he scurried to the trash heaps steel base. With his back pressed to it, he lit the firework and chucked it in. He ran back across the street to us. And we waited. And we waited. No flurry of sparks. No explosion. We deduced that it must have need its launch tube.
As the supply of fireworks winded down (the beverage supply was getting low too), your Aunt Sue readied to put the last mortar into the launch tube. She stood over it as she prepared to light it. This was her first for the night. We shouted at her to stop… pointed out how dangerous that was. On cue, a tiny flame flickered out of the dumpster.
Everyone leaped into action. Sue and Rob scrambled to pick up all the debris littering the front yard. Rich, Jay, and I hurried inside to grab bowls to fill with water to put the fire out. From my kitchen, through the front door, I could see that the flames were out of control. Jay pulled out a colander.
“We need a hose and some trash cans,” Rich said.
Outside, we filled and carried trash can after trash can and ran across the road. A pair of women walking down the street laughed at our efforts. Viva America!
The fire truck eventually arrived. I carried the last dose of water. I nodded as they took over. We all hid inside as they finished the job, which took quite awhile. They even had to pull out the charred remains to make sure it was extinguished. That’s when we realized the cases were empty.
MORAL OF THE STORY: We should have ran to the store well before the Roman candle fight.