Classic Dishes...

Here Comes The Boom

Here’s hoping The Four Of You enjoyed your Fourth, and that everyone still has all of their fingers and toes.

I was rescued from a day of sitting at home and watching the wall when some friends invited me to a Fourth Of July block party their culdesac holds every year. Quite the impressive setup…two grills were rolling, and there was a host of salads and chips and desserts and whatnot, but the Real Show was that one of their neighbors is apparently a licensed pyrotechnecian, and another was on the City Council or something and therefore able to ramrod through the necessary permits, and so the Blowing Shit Up portion of the evening was truly spectacular by neighborhood standards. We’re talking commercial quality shells (including some homemade mortars by said pyro guy), and a two-foot-across coil of firecrackers.

The firecracker thing is still kinda new to me. They have been most illegal in CA for as long as I can remember, so when my dad was able to score some down on the Wharf, they were both treasured and carefully rationed. One at a time. Always.

Well, here in Washington we have Indian reservations, which means illicit fireworks are readily available. One such place on the I-think-it’s-the-Tulalip reservation is a ginormous flea market of gunpowder and accellerants known colloqially as “Boom City”. And apparently you can get it ALL there. So blowing off firecrackers by the pack (or the bandolier, or the brick) is SOP here.

So they dropped this huge spool of exploding death, and lit it. And it went, steady at first, and then picking up an incredible amount of steam. And when the smoke cleared, there was a pile of debris fully a foot high that had to be swept to the side. Never have I seen such an example of combustible largesse.

Anyhow, it being unincorporated King County, apparently the standard Safe And Sane fare is okay. And in addition to the Main Event, many of the neighbors had the usual assortment of fountains and sparkers and otherwise.

Which brings me to the most ridiculous of all fireworks, the Piccolo Pete.

You remember these? About six inches tall, half an inch across, standing on a little base. Light the top, and it emits an angry little flame and an ear-piercing shriek for about fifteen seconds. Whee. That’s a peach, hon. Fire another one.

Piccolo Petes are the leftovers, the table scraps. They remind me of the bin of chocolate Ice Cubes by the register at the convenience store – you only buy them when you’ve already bought the good stuff and you still have a few bucks worth of your fireworks budget left over, and it’s not enough to actually buy something, you know, good.

“Hmm. Three bucks left. Aw, hell, gimme a box of Piccolo Petes.”

They are, in fact, the Ceramic Dalmatians of fireworks.

2 comments to Here Comes The Boom

  • Travis Eberle

    I think just about ANYTHING would be a better purchase than $3 of Piccolo Petes. Gucci gift certificate, maybe? Service Merchandise gift card? Or just put the three bones on account…

    While I’d love to keep the running joke running, I will chime in and say that people are STILL lighting off fireworks in this area.

  • Random Dude

    Even worse than piccolo petes are those crappy sooty snakes… I don’t remember what they are called but it’s a colorful tube that opens up and a tube of carbon particles oozes out, and then promtly disintegrates into a mess on the ground.

Leave a Reply




You can use these HTML tags

<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>