Thursday, July 7, 2016

Writer’s Workshop: Stupid Guy Tricks

Every once in a while, I’ll be in my office, and will hear Mary laughing like a loony downstairs. If it’s something she found on Facebook, she’ll repost it and tag me. Well, the other day she started laughing, but wouldn’t repost what she found so funny, so we had to go looking for it. Naturally, I practically laughed myself to the point of incontinence when I saw what it was.

Why did I find this so funny? Because I was the kind of person who would be crazy enough to stick a fireworks fountain down his pants and the kind who would be unlucky enough to have something like this happen. And I knew guys who would do this, and some of them would probably still be crazy enough to try it and have the same thing happen.

You might call it The Darwin Award. I call it being a guy. It’s like the old joke: What words most often precede trips to the Emergency Room? “Hold my beer and watch THIS!” Most of the guys I know have tied a bath sheet around their neck and attempted to fly like Superman. I know I did.

In seventh grade, I learned that if you sprayed a lit candle with Lemon Pledge you could duplicate the effect of a flame thrower. I stopped doing it briefly when someone tattled on me and my mother just about had a stroke. After we moved to the suburbs, I had a metal container that was full of matchbooks. One day, when a couple of friends were over and Mom wasn’t home, we set the matchbooks on fire and sprayed the container with Lemon Pledge. The resulting fireball could no doubt be seen all over the neighborhood. I managed to get rid of the evidence before Mom got home.

When I was really young, there was a Chinese family who lived down the street who made their own fireworks in their basement. Now, from that description, you know that it was the guys in the family who came up with that idea. They would shoot off a bottle rocket every night, and one Fourth of July emptied their current inventory. Were fireworks illegal in Chicago? Yes. Did they (or for that matter anyone else) care? No, of course not!

One of my favorite parts of the drive from Atlanta to Chicago was passing the gas station on Interstate 24 in Tennessee that sold, according to their sign, gasoline, cigarettes, cold beer and fireworks. Talk about your recipe for destruction. What was worse was that this was up in the mountains, where an explosion of any size could cause a rock slide sufficient to close the Interstate for at least a day. Some guy came up with that bright idea, and no doubt some bureaucrat in Nashville approved it. Fortunately, nothing has happened… yet.


One of Mama Kat’s prompts for the week was “The last thing that made you laugh.”

from The Sound of One Hand Typing

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