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Sunday, July 10, 2005

The Risks Involved in Firework Dealing

It's all over now. The large tent, the endless sitting, the fireworks sales pitch. I'm now home with a little more cash. I have one confession now that its all over. I did it. I gave in. Yes, I indulged my pyromanic nerves and lit a few fireworks while there. At first it was just a little bitty firecracker here or there. But then each night the curiosity would escalate until we had shot every single firework under 3 dollars. Yes, I know. I failed my duties. Under no circumstances was I to actually yield to the surrounding fire-crazed fever that seemed to hit that small town of Shelbyville, Tennesse by lighting a fuse. But through small, minute degrees, and that's how it always is, through small degrees, we were setting off anything that begged of our curiosities to be shot. But we had a close call while one night I was finding all the proper angles to lay a rocket down so that it could be shot through the sky in a variety of different ways. When I noticed the sheds that sat on the same property as our tent. I took notice of the way the roofs were all slanted and I couldn't help but think that such a roof would prove adequate just to lay a rocket on and watch it zip off at the very same angle that the roof was slanted. I did so with this rocket while failing to realize that I was aiming the rocket straight for the gas station next door. Or maybe I did see the gas station, I can't really remember, but i surely thought that the rocket would propel itself high above the gas station. Nathan who heavily indulged into one of the many novels he had brought took notice of the situation, when looking up from his pages, to see the rocket shot from the shed roof go zooming off into the air, but failing to remain flying upwards formed an arch pattern and began to soar down straight for the store section of the gas station. Luckily the gas station was closed. But the rocket touched down in the parking space with a throng of sparks dancing across the pavement. And finally the rocket skidded underneath a "for sale" van. And with a loud bang announced the end of this short moment of terror. I do not blame myself for this blatantly stupid move. I mean how was I to know that rockets sink down when there is a gas station below them. I blame our headquarters who placed our tent, a fireworks tent right next to a gas station! And if that wasn't enough there was another fireworks tent, our competition on the other side of the gas station. Then there was another one across the street. Ha! you think these people could curb their fireworks craze and place us next to a water tower or a fire department or something. But no, the city finds it perfectly okay to surround a gas station with 3 fireworks tents.
We had several other close calls, but of a different sort. I mentioned earlier about the very real prospect of thieves. Well, we didn't escape this prospect. But we did escape its effects. I am known to be a heavy sleeper when I do finally fall asleep. But for some reason, about 4 in the morning, I woke myself up with yelling. Now, mind you, I remember what I yelled and I do not remember that I actually woke up and decided to yell. All that I remember is that I woke up roaring in the most savage and sternest voice at the utmost top of my lungs, "YYoooouuu Geettt Oouuuttt of HERE!!!! RIGHT NNNOOOOWWW!!!" And it was with that last lion's roar that I became fully conscious and aware that I was yelling, which was followed by the quick flight of footsteps on the outside of the tent only a few yards from where I lay. The steps ended with the sounds of car doors opening and then the car speeding away. Then I laughed to myself at their retreat and by this time Nathan was awake. The thieves were trying to slip under the sides of the tent right within 2 yards of my cot. There was a table separating me from the very side they were trying to enter at. This table is where we set on display our most expensive fireworks. I think that I made the thieves soil their britches from yelling like that when they were so close and they probably thought that the tent was unoccupied.
The following night, a similiar situation occurred where once again I woke myself up, this time about 5 in the morning with yelling. What I yelled I don't remember. But I remember hearing running footsteps again, in the same location from the night before, and some voices. I didn't hear a car this time. Only rocks hitting our tent. We believe these were neighborhood kids. Nathan was wide awake and really angry. He grabbed his crow bar and I grabbed my baseball bat and we emerged outside to search for these villians. We found nothing.
The next night, I thought for sure another criminal expedition would be under way. This time Nathan and I decided to wait until the thieves entered the tent and then make our attack. The problem with that was that both nights before I had already yelled before I could actually think as to what to do . My subconscious mind is like some kind of watch dog. I can't control it. I kept telling myself, while lying there that night, trying to communicate with my unconscious brain to not yell when it detected someone, but to make me alert and to clutch my baseball bat. But instead, I began to hear something a bit early so I wouldn't have to worry about me yelling in my sleep. I heard the gravel from the outside pavement being shifted through as if someone was attempting to crawl under the tent. I froze, not wanting to make a sound. Each single movement I made with the same sound as the cars zipping down the highway. Thus using the highway noise to cloak the sound of my own moving. I slipped some shoes on using this method and crouching, ready to spring. I could hear the noise but I could not see, for the outside bunting on our display table was blocking my view of the intruder that was breaking in so slowly only a couple of feet from where I lay ready to spring. So I peered into this table cloth knowing that my adversary lay just on the other side. I was going to wait until the thief was entirely inside the tent with no escape before I was going to spring through the table cloth with a fierce barbarian yell, while wielding my baseball bat, launch my attack. But the villian never seemed to get beyond the plastic chickenwire he was trying to squeeze under. He just every now and then would make the slightest movement. I even thought that I could hear him breathe. Then the tension reached its climax. I had to go to the restroom really bad. And I was tired of waiting for this guy to finally get inside the tent. I decided to try and have a little peak at the culprit. So I began to stand straight up so that I could see over the table and that thick piece of plastic that divided him from me. And there in my lion-like stance, in my boxers with shoes on, with my racing heart, and my expanding bladder, I saw...nothing. Absolutely nothing. I stood for minutes seeing if I could see the intruder. But all that I saw was the wind every now and then shake the bottom of our tent side and drag it across the gravel making that rough gravelly sound which I mistook for a thief. I decided that my unconscious mind was the best authority on judging who was a real criminal and who was just the wind. Seeing how I never awoke unless it was a real culprit, and how my own conscious mind was so easily fooled. I went to bed. And never again was awoken by my own yelling because some thief attempted a break in.
The very last day of our stay seemed to be the worst yet which contained its own set of risks. Mingled with our tent exhaustion and our contempt for sitting in one spot for so long, the rains poured down on this day like none other. This last day we nearly got a large portion of our unsold fireworks nearly wet and would've had to pay for them but luckily only a handful were damaged and our boss told us not to worry about them. Nathan and I left with each a thousand dollars and with a more extensive knowledge of fireworks, and with many pages through novels read.


Blogger Britt said...

I wish you could have seen your face afer depositing that "one thousand big ones, one thousand smackeroos," it was an amazing, proud face. Congratulations, now you can talk fireworks among the greatest--those mullet-wearing, toothless heros.

9:28 PM  
Blogger папа said...

I was just wondering...is it only MY mind that thinks ahead of the present and into the very possible future? Once allowed into the privacy and secrecy of the tent, a mortal thief could have shot you with his cold $15.00 Saturday night special, or sliced into your private and very personal blood supply with his impersonal machette. Did it also occur to you that traveling, all current experiences, writing, loving, ect all end with this option?

4:35 PM  
Blogger Brian Harrison said...

Of course, Papa, the only other option to life is death. In fact, even when we brace our safe lives fearing every possible danger that could ever happen, we still are guranteed a 6 foot drop in a box. And there's no amount of precautions that can rid ourselves of this final trip. I just live, so that when that last boarding call sounds, I will know that from what I called life, "all the traveling, writing, loving, etc." will be worth the price of my final ticket.

2:26 PM  
Blogger папа said...

Interesting reply, however this view of life and death seems to travel those very rusty, worn, rails of predetermination. It is true that one day we will all hear the long lonesome whistle call our names, however, I am afraid you are lottering around the train station with your bags packed! You, of course realize that we CAN rush this inevitable meeting via a careless life. The world would greatly miss your future writings and you would greatly miss what lies in store for you.

7:10 PM  
Blogger Brian Harrison said...

If what life has in store for me..is only to twiddle my thumbs, worrying about this or that, making sure I do not step on any dangerous lines, calculating everything so as to avoid risk....then I do not see the reason that such a life coming to an abrupt end can be so tragic.

2:05 PM  

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