Introduction to gunpowder

June 27th, 2016

Within a couple weeks some people will be parting company with some fingers, maybe a hand or possibly their eyesight due to fireworks mishaps. When I was a young boy, the days leading up to the 4th of July were an important part of the male experience. It was our introduction to gunpowder. Procuring fireworks for the 4th was on par with scoring a Playboy magazine and both could have an affect on your body, one bad, one good depending on how you handled each. When things are illegal or forbidden it just makes them more exotic and desirable in a kid’s head and of course some adult’s noggins too. My mission in mid-June, as a 10-year-old living in the West Pullman area of Chicago, was to score some firecrackers for the big day and there was always a guy in the neighborhood that knew how to get them. Firecrackers were all I wanted…cherry bombs, M-80’s or anything on that explosive level were too frightening or too expensive. I have to tell you, I love the way firecrackers are packaged in that red rice paper with the sharp corners with the cool label design on the front with all the crackers tied together inside. When I got my crackers, usually about 5 packs, I would put them in a cigar box and everyday leading up to the 4th take them out and just stare at them. The other part of the planning involved what you would blow up on that day, usually model cars or airplanes or plastic soldiers. Then on the 4th you’d gather with your buddies with their stash in hand and head to someone’s backyard to start the festivities. For the next several hours it was bang, bang, bang, destruction, destruction, destruction. Surprisingly no one in my group was hurt by flying plastic or was injured directly by the fireworks. Usually any bodily harm we hear about from fireworks is on adults. It’s odd that as dopey kids we seemed to have more sense than adults handling said explosives. Maybe because when you’re older you can afford more stuff and of course alcohol is usually part of the equation, then before you know it, voila, you’re brushing your teeth with a hook. And let’s be honest, this is a male thing, I never saw girls or women going ape over buying or setting off fireworks even though there is one called “lady fingers” which should be renamed “guy penises.”

If a company that makes perfume is looking for a scent that attracts men they might want to come up with eau de gunpowder.

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