I love the Fourth of July.
The fireworks are probably my favorite part. As anyone who knows me really well can guess, I tend to…er…modify some of them slightly. Mostly the rockets. There was one year where I attempted to rig the fuses to sent ten of them skyward at the same time. Five went up; the other five chased me across the yard. I call that a success!
Also, in years past, my family has invited others over for our celebration. The adults tend to stay indoors, the girls go out into the field and pretend to be refugees escaping from a war zone, and the boys create the war zone by playing “Clone Wars” against imaginary droids. A little excerpt from one of our squadrons (the one I was in) kinda shows how crazy it can get…
Me (Commander Cody): Fighters coming in! Load and launch!
One of my friends (Commander Flash—don’t think he was in The Clone War, but oh well): Loaded and prepped, sir!
Nemesis (Commander Rex): Scrap ‘em!
The rockets are fired, a salvo of five. All fighters are downed. Half of the refugees out in the field fall and begin their last speeches.
Commander Cody: Tanks and infantry approaching our position!
Commander Flash: Shall we prep the cannons, sir?
Commander Rex (shades his eyes even though it’s pitch-black out): Scrap ‘em!
Commander Cody (picks up a pipe and rocket): I agree with Rex. Light it!
Flash inserts a rocket and lights it. Cody puts the pipe on his shoulder and aims. The rocket arches over the field and hits a tree, exploding. Refugees drop like flies. More final speeches. Rex mutters something uncharitable about the dying. Cody smacks him and tells him that there are no refugees in The Clone Wars, for pete’s sake.
Commander Cody: They’re still coming! Fire again!
The rocket jams in the barrel, runs out of fuel, and slides back out to explode—literally—in Cody’s lap.
Commander Flash: Holy crap, Radar! Are you ok?
Commander Cody (trying to remain cool): Yeah. Apparently they have grenades.
Quiet for a moment. Then a refugee is heard to say, quite clearly, “I’ve died enough to have earned my freedom five times already!”
Commander Rex: Scrap ‘em!
This year, we shall have a new weapon. I’m thinking sparkler bombs. ;)