Monday, July 01, 2013

Monday Morning Stories With Mookie - Episode 75

As this week includes both the Fourth of July and my friend "Rick's(*)" birthday, I thought I'd throw this one out to you this week......

The Time Mookie and Rick Made A Run To The Border For Fireworks

This picture sums up every kid in my state
Living in a state that does not legally allow people to buy/sell/use "quality fireworks" without a permit - has got to be one of the biggest downers any "wanna-be-delinquent" can face.  Seriously, there is NOTHING fun about sparklers and snakes (the only "legal" fireworks available).  If you ask me, sparklers are WAY more dangerous than firecrackers.  Those wires can poke an eye out or give some stupid kid a nasty 3rd degree burn.

Before I totally throw them under the bus, I have to say that you CAN have some fun with sparklers.....get a WHOLE bunch of them and then crumble the sparkler material off the wires into a plastic cup.  When you have a pretty decent amount of sparkler dust in your cup, spray a "shot" of a flammable aerosol (WD-40 is nice) just down the inside of the cup so it runs down into the dust.  Light the WD-40 that you sprayed into the cup - and run like hell.  It's a nice show.  I forgot to mention that you should use a cup that you don't want anymore.  You'll see why.  ANYWAY...

One summer day after the novelty of flaming sparkler dust had run its course, my friend Rick and I decided that the time had come for us to go get some REAL fireworks.  In order to do so, we had to make a three hour drive and cross the border into our neighboring state.  There (we were told by everyone we knew), we would be greeted by more fireworks stands and shops than you can visit in one day.  Needless to say, we were quite giddy over our mission at hand.

The most exciting part about all of it to us was probably the overall element of danger.  We were crossing the border into another state, buying fireworks, and then TRANSPORTING them back into a state where they were ILLEGAL.  OHHHH LAWDY!  It would be an understatement to say that we were retarded about the whole thing - especially due our serious fear that we were going to get stopped and have our car searched by a member of the law enforcement community on our way back across the border.  In order to thwart any would-be legal issues coming back across the border, we decided to take my car (the famed Ford EXP) as the hatchback could be fashioned into a "secret" compartment.  We could hide the fireworks stash there, and in the event we did get pulled over - any nosy cop looking into the back window would see a bare hatchback.  We thought we were pretty clever about the whole thing.

Early one morning, we finally made our "run for the border."  On the way there, we devised a plan of action on what we were going to do.  We decided that we needed to "shop" several of the fireworks stores and see who had the best deals before we bought anything.  We were not going to let some over-the-border-explosives-merchant rip us off!  No no.....only premium fireworks at premium prices for us.

As we neared the border - the sense of excitement grew.  We constantly had our eyes out for any patrolmen hanging out along the highways - awaiting some poor bastards with a load of fireworks to slip into their county.  We didn't see any, but we knew they were out there.  Finally, we crossed the border and were promptly greeted by more signs than you could imagine advertising fireworks.  All of them claimed to be the "biggest" store, the "best" store, or the "cheapest" seller of anything that went "BOOM."  I think our eyes pretty much glazed over at that point.  Somehow we kept our wits about us, and decided to be discriminate in our store selection. We didn't figure we were going to get a deal - or even viable fireworks from some yahoo selling bottle rockets out of a humid shack along the highway.  Rick suggested we ONLY visit shops that appeared to be a "temperature controlled environment," which I thought was a smart move too.  We didn't drive 3 hours to get stuff that wouldn't light in a forest fire.
To me, this sign screams
"You will get raped here."

As luck would have it - one of the first stores we saw fit this description, so we pulled into the parking lot to see what they had for us.  It is safe to say that once we got into the store and saw the glory that layed before us.....our plans about going to a variety of shops went right out the window.  I had never stood before this much firepower in my life, and was willing to pay what we needed to pay to get it RIGHT NOW.  The prices were (as far as we were concerned) quite reasonable, and the dealer was cool.  Once he verified our ages, he said that if we bought a certain amount of fireworks that he'd throw in a certain amount for free.  Booyah.  This place had everything:  roman candles, bottle rockets, huge rolls of Black Cat fire crackers, mortars, and all sorts of fountains and novelty noise makers.  It. Was. Magical.
A choir sounded in my head at this sight before me

We carefully selected our stash, picked up our "bonus" items, and let the guy ring us up.  We then took care to place our bags (yes...multiple) of soon-to-be-illegal purchases within the hatchback's secret compartment, fired up the EXP, and made our way BACK across the border. Instead of being a multi-hour / multi store excursion, it had turned into a one-store, get in and get out visit.  All told - we were only over the state line maybe 30 minutes tops.

As we came back across the border we again had our eyes on the lookout for the po-po, but soon found out that there was no one waiting for us.  The feelings of tension about being arrested gradually subsided, and eventually gave way to feelings of hunger.  We decided to stop and have a nice lunch at Subway (they make a nice sandwich) before continuing the rest of the way home.

Thanks to our journey, whenever an event that summer called for an explosive display of some kind - we were able to accommodate.  In fact, we usually accommodated when an event didn't call for an explosive display.  Truth be told:  We just liked blowing stuff up and we were good at it.

Even though we were more like "Laurel and Hardy" - as opposed to the "Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid" we thought we were....I will never forget that first run to the border for fireworks.

I think we need to go back.

(*) - Names changed to protect the guilty/innocent


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