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Another Fourth of July has come and gone. That brought back memories of fireworks as a child. Not the romantic kind.
We were like the other families who ignored the fact that fireworks were strictly prohibited in the city limits and made the trek across the river to get as many as the trunk and back seat would hold. Sometimes we even strapped them to the roof if they were on sale. After a quick stop at the drugstore to pick up extra Band-Aids and burn ointment, we were set.
We figured it was OK to ignore the law because our neighborhood police officers and firefighters were shooting them, too. They also usually had more and bigger fireworks than we did.
We followed the usual safety procedures, which meant practically no safety procedures at all.
We were careful to ignore the warnings printed in red and black such as “Danger”, “After lighting get away fast” and “Do not point Roman candle at other people.” How can you enjoy a Roman candle without pointing it at anybody?
Bottle rockets were a necessity in everyone’s arsenal — uh, I mean collection. The print was too small to be able to make out the “Do not point at other people” part and we figured they would be obliterated soon anyway, so why worry about it?
We always thought the name “bottle rocket” was a misnomer since no self-respecting person would ever use a bottle to shoot one. We found they worked much better by holding them in your hand. I had the burn marks to prove it, too.
If I could have been any inanimate object back then, I think the last thing I would have been was a mailbox. Because for some odd reason every kid thought it was a good idea to place the biggest firecrackers and smoke bombs in the nearest mailbox, light them and see what happened.
Now that I’m older, I prefer to stand back and watch other immature people do very moronic things with fireworks. And you know what? Despite all the high-tech gadgets, kids aren’t any smarter than they used to be. You don’t have to look at their grades in school. Just watch them shoot off fireworks.
Congratulations to this week’s winner, Leon Bowen. He correctly guessed that “B. of F. = U.” was “Brother of Father = Uncle.” The word “brother” was listed in last week’s column.
Here is next week’s puzzle: “D = the F. L. in the A.” As usual, at least one of the words is included somewhere in the column. If you think you know the answer, call the AdVantage News answer line at (888) 532-4441 or click here to submit your answer online before noon on Tuesday.
Winners may choose a free lube and oil change from Drake Tire, a $26 value or a $20 gift certificate to Tony’s Restaurant in downtown Alton, Gentelin’s or Jimmy the Greek’s on Broadway in Alton.
Winners will be notified by telephone on Tuesday and must pick up their prize at AdVantage News before 4 p.m.
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