Around the ninth century AD, the Chinese discovered how to make gunpowder. Shortly after that, someone packed a charge of gunpowder into a wooden tube, attached it to a stick, and rocketed someone in the crotch from fifty yards away.
I wrote this then, but am finally posting it now because the police finally have stopped asking questions around my neighborhood. On July 3rd, 2010, I went out and spent a few bucks on cheap fireworks, because I didn't have any more of the "good" ones. A crappy plastic rocket, a MLRS system aka brick bristling with little nosecones, (Boldly proclaiming that it would fire one hundred whistling reports) and 288 bottle rockets. Oh, and there's those cherry bombs that they package as "M-1000s," they're good to drop in buckets of water for a little rain shower. I also have some fireworks "augmentation" material, otherwise known as blackpowder and cannon fuse, in addition to a shoulder mounted bottle rocket launcher made out of Monster Energy screw-top cans.
On the fourth, my beginning shots with the launcher mostly blew up in the grass, sending a little curl of smoke skyward after a muffled pop. That's still OK, because every bit of collateral damage my lawn suffers just means less yardwork later.
Bottle rockets can be fired about as accurately as you can train a cat to fetch; it isn't possible and trying just leads to someone getting hurt. Fun for the whole family! I discovered that my stone house, the hill it is on, and the local topology add up to one thing: fireworks I set off will sound at LEAST twice as loud than anyone else, and the echo will go around the whole side of town.
Even the wimpy bottle rockets sound like a shotgun going off. So very cool. The downside is that everyone else tries to compete, and they get aggressive.
The frat guy next door thinks that mortar shells are hand grenades. He's been drinking. He has crappy throwing aim. Something blows up on my roof and I'm pelted by little pieces of shingle. FUCK. That's going to be expensive. I check to make sure that nothing is on fire, then snap back out of first person narrative mode.
The next one just makes it over the tall privacy hedge that I created by totally ignoring anything that grew on the property line, charring one of my yuccas.
I launched a tri-burst of rockets straight at the "Bro" and his "Bros," and someone shrieked like a little girl. The rockets never actually made it to where I wanted them to blow up (directly above their stupid flat billed ball caps) but I made some good tries.
My position was then battered by a volley of screaming shells, and I returned fire with an improvised flashbang, created by shaking some Pyrodex into a popcan and stuffing a crappy cherry bomb into the opening.
That's another two foot wide circle of black dirt that I won't have to bother mowing next week.
I tried to create some cover, but smoke bombs are worthless crap, even the big quarter stick sized cardboard roll only created enough smoke to give myself lung cancer, but not enough to hide in.
My next shot went wild. A dud, it spiraled onto the driveway of the house across the street from me. Jose and his exceptionally large family of questionable immigration status were outside. I felt icy latin daggers being stared in my direction. Ash from earlier explosions fell on my head like snow.
The Bro Army was too inebriated to present a threat, but my new adversary was going to be a challenge. Unsurprisingly, they have a metric ass-load of illegal Mexican fireworks, which were now being turned on ME. They quickly learned that anything that blows up over my yard sounds even louder. Dammit. I had to defend my property!
I swiftly packed the launcher and lit it one handed, aiming over the street. There was an earth shattering KABOOM, except it was two feet away from me. My cheapo lighter went AWOL at this point.
Wait, Glock makes Monster bottles? Yes, the firing chamber can had ruptured.
Fortunately, the hole acted as a cool underside 'porting' which dropped an impressive shower of sparks out the bottom each time I fired subsequent shots.
Using a trail of black powder, I set up a system to ignite my improvised Katyusha made from pipes hammered into the rim of planter dirt along my porch, a morale-boosting salute of cherry bombs AND the properly angled MLRS, while I aimed the Light Anti-Tonk Weapon.
With moments to spare before they lit the fuse on the toddler-sized cardboard tube aimed at my porch, I dropped my zippo onto the powder and pulled the ripcord on my magnesium fire starting device, swinging my LAW up into a firing stance.
Pause for a second. I almost have my energy drink-built launcher shouldered. Jose has the barbecue lighter out, almost touching the half inch thick rope sticking out of his "My Lil' First Weapon of Mass Destruction". We have intense eye contact. Somewhere, a fish hawk screamed in the night.
Everything worked perfectly. The katyusha bottle rockets sputtered into the air and illuminated the night above my target, while the non-stop squealing launches and explosions from the MLRS - worth every penny of the 5.49 even though the shots were more widespread than Herpes - demoralized the enemy, even as he lit the fuse on his own Uber Fuehrwork. In the final seconds before needing to dive into the bushes for cover, my LAW ignited and gracefully arced over the street, airbursting five feet above the hood of a passing cop cap.
The officer at the wheel locked the brakes and slid sideways, ending with the wheels kissing the curb in front of Jose and, thank god, facing away from me.
The world slowed down. I grabbed my LAW and box of goodies and dove off my porch into the boxwoods. The MLRS still was going, probably with a good fifty ear-splitting shrieks and pops to go.
Jose turned away and threw his arms up in front of his face, saying something that probably translated to "Oh shit, oh SHIT, fire in the hole!" moments before a pillar of white fire erupted in front of him. It was so bright, I saw lens flare. Flaming balls flew out, directly at the officer's car. One of them hit the windshield and went vertical, spitting and fizzing like Hillary Clinton being confronted with a cross and garlic.
The cop threw their car in reverse and went nowhere in spectacular fashion, smoke streaming from the tires. The siren blooped on and started to wail, then was drowned out by what can only be described as a pyrotechnical roar. Jose started to run. I proned out under a bush and considered tactically wetting myself. There were more sirens from different directions and a tree was now on fire with a flaming ball dripping out of it. Patches of flame dotted Jose's yard and there was something smoldering in the street, then more explosions.
The frat boys next door were cheering enthusiastically. I stumbled through my lawn, popped my collar, stole a visor from a passed out "Bro" and put it on upside down+backwards, and blended in as hard as I could. I don't like X-Box Halo or those "really, really funny" Chuck Norris gags, so it was a tense time. I found their stash of fireworks and stole all of the large ones which might damage my house. Don't worry, I didn't take them off their property. I left them safely concealed in at least five different "aftermarket mufflers" on ugly ricer cars and one (domesti-riced) mustang. I then stealthily evacced into my back yard.
Eventually, the cops went away. I don't know where Jose is, but nothing is on fire anymore, I'm out of fireworks except for a few dozen bottle rockets. My thumb hurts where it got repeatedly scorched. The cop was female, possibly hot. Further updates to follow.
(There were no further updates except our street got triple the usual police patrols for a solid month. I still have the Monster can rocket launcher. The End- maybe.)