Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Fireworks and young boys

Fireworks on Okinawa were no big deal. Anyone could go to the market and purchase them. In fact, most of the Mullins boys spent our allowance money (and birthday money and Christmas money) on fireworks. Nothing was more fun than finding new and interesting ways to use what we bought.

One firework that we just loved to pop was called a 2B bomb. This one was way cool! There was no need for a match. The firework struck on a match box. It would smoke white and then smoke yellow before popping. We learned that if you waited for the yellow smoke you could toss it in water and it would still pop. There was a creek that ran through the boonies and it was full of these eel looking fish. They would act like Koi, if you tossed something in the water they would school around it. We would spend a lot of time down there tossing in the 2B bombs and disorienting the eels. Oh what fun for boys with nothing better to do!

Models were very cheap over there as well. We would put the models together and spend hours blowing them up with just about any firework we had available. Sometimes we would open up the firecrackers and spill the contents to another container in an attempt to make a larger impact on the object of our “affection”. We tried to make a small cannon once. Our first attempt used aluminum arrow shafts. All they did was mushroom out on us after the fuse was lit. Something sturdier was necessary if we were to make this work. We took an empty CO2 cartridge and packed it with the powder from firecrackers. We used the fuses twisted together to make a long fuse and when we lit it we ran! It turned out to be more like a rocket than a cannon! It shot off in one direction while the projectile went the other. A few minutes later there was a small grass fire that was in the general direction the projectile went. Oops!

Perhaps the worst thing we ever did involved the use of bottle rockets. We would use them to send messages up. Not that we would ever find them, it was just fun, for awhile. Then we had this hair brained idea to launch a lizard. Why not, they were all over the place. We caught several lizards and tried several methods of tying them to the bottle rocket. We had them tethered with a sling, tied directly to the stick, what ever way we could attach them. Sadly, looking back, I don’t believe that any of the poor creatures survived.

I highly recommend that if you have boys mixed with fireworks you keep a close eye on them so they don’t try these themselves. Model rockets have a compartment for sending up a payload safely!

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