In hindsight, maybe there’s a reason fireworks are illegal in most states. New Hampshire is not one of these of course, a fact evidenced by how you can see several being shot off all over the countryside when flying in on 4th of July weekend, and our parents got me and my brother some to shoot off. GOOD fireworks mind, the kind with several rounds and put us in great competition with those also on our lake! So neighbors and relatives were invited, boats were moved away from our little point, and excitement and mosquitoes mounted in the humid air.
The first ones took off without detrimental incident and mounting excitement- we even had some passing boats pause to anchor in the water and enjoy the show, and positive comments were shouted around the lake in our direction. Sweet! But then around the sixth bundle of fireworks something happened- maybe it just got bounced around too much on the grass, maybe the person who lit the fuse with his cigarette accidentally knocked it, we won’t know. What I do know is around the fifth or six rocket instead of going up in the air to explode like the rest it shot way to the right into the water, and I was vaguely thinking that wasn’t right for a few seconds until another rocket shot off in the distinctly wrong direction. Over the heads of our invited audience. Starting little fires behind where they were sitting in the forest.
Now let me tell you, when uncontrolled explosives are still being fired you run first and think of others later. (I figured I could always say I was running to extinguish the little fires in the forest, which I did successfully after some stomping.) And then later downplay things and claim the divebombing mosquitoes are the reason we’re cutting things short, feeling sorry for the passing boaters who shouted “are you ok?!” and we never responded to- in hindsight a much more interesting story! And then try to convince the neighbors you’re normal by playing a game of Ticket to Ride, a board game where you try to build railroads across the country, well normal as we get anyway-
As an epilogue to this bit of excitement, a friend pointed out there’s a joke in which a physicist, an engineer, and a mathematician go into a room and see a fire in it. In such a situation, the physicist grabs a hose of water and douses the room quickly- everything’s soaked, but the fire’s out. The engineer on the other hand looks at the size of the fire and calculates exactly how much water is needed to douse the fire, measures it out, and the fire is extinguished with minimum mess. Lastly, the mathematician goes in and scribbles on paper, determines that it’s possible to extinguish fire with water, and leaves the room. Guess we know which one I am!