Firecrackers and Matches

I remember as a preteen being intrigued by firecrackers. They were illegal where we lived, but we schemed and begged and plotted ways to get them. One summer we learned than an uncle was going to Nevada for some reason. We begged to go on the trip, and then begged even harder at every firecracker stand we passed. Finally they stopped, and we jumped out to spend our life’s savings. I think I bought a packet of 5000 Black Cat firecrackers. I still remember the red and yellow paper and black cat, and that smell of gun powder smoke. We could hardly wait to light them.

After arriving home we blew up every tin can within two blocks and invented a hundred ways to blow other things up. My favorite was sticking one into a small potato, lighting it and throwing it at my sister’s bedroom window late at night. I still remember what it feels like to have a potato blow up in your hand too.

It was late in the afternoon when we gave up and returned home. As we were walking, a thunder of rapid firecracker explosions began as my cousin began dancing around. He jumped out of his pants in a heartbeat and we stood there watching his pants jump and smoke as the remainder of his stash went up in smoke. The matches had rubbed together, lit and set off his firecrackers. We stomped out his burning pants and he walked home in his underpants, lamenting the loss of his treasured firecrackers more than how he was going to explain the loss of his pants to his parents.

My point? Un-Blogging about some things is just inviting explosions.

Next on the Un-Blog: The Strait and Narrow Path

Brother John

© March 2012, John M. Pontius, all rights reserved. Non-commercial reproduction permitted.

About John Pontius

I am a lover of truth.
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7 Responses to Firecrackers and Matches

  1. kenh says:

    When I lived in Oklahoma from 14-17 years of age there was a fellow member of the branch that sold firecrackers and I would buy pop bottle rockets by the gross(144) at a time. We lived 15 miles south of the stake welfare ranch and when we priest would go camping we would see a boy scout troop from another unit in the stake camping nearby and we would casually drop a group of black cat firecrackers into their fire as we said good night to them and were leaving. Seeing those twelve year old scouts jumping nearly out of their skins and screaming when those blackcats went off was priceless. We also would make a cross bow out of wood and secure a piece of cardboard to the cross piece and with the grooves of the carboard we would slide the sticks of the bottle rockets through and hang down all of the fuses in a row. With a lighter we would quickly light all of the fuses and rapid fire of those rockets at the group of campers at the bottom of a hill and we at the top would pen down those young men behind the priest quorum president’s car for fun. It was world war three for sure. We also would light the bottle rockets as we held the stick and at the right moment toss the bottle rocket into the air and as gravity caused it to fall rocket first toward the pond the rocket would fire right at the pond go underwater and explode lighting up the whole area of explosion with light under the surface of the pond at night. Those were the nights of fun as a priest. All this was perfectly legal too. Thanks John,


  2. Mark says:

    I can’t stop laughing! What a vivid verbal illustration of a childhood highlight. The story needs to become a scene in a movie! I appreciate your writing skills as well as knowledge and enjoy the truths you provide on this un-blog and the entertaining way in which you write. Please keep doing what you’re doing, in spite of the occasional explosions!


    • Thanks for the encouragement. Sometimes it’s daunting to know things you write will be read and criticized by thousands of people. It’s the two-edged sword of the Internet. You can write anything you want – but you can’t control who reads it.


  3. Adrian says:

    Hi Brother John,

    I have a sincere question that may well display my ignorance. It’s about your next post. I notice you will be writing about the “straight and narrow path.” My question is this:

    Is it “strait” or is it “straight,” or does it matter?

    “Strait” is the scriptural spelling and is defined as narrow or strict. This seems like a good definition, though “Narrow and Narrow” is a bit redundant. Of course, repetition is often a key to understanding.

    “Straight,” on the other hand, refers to an undeviating course. The shortest distance between two points. This is also an excellent definition, but is generally not spelled that way in the scriptures. (Search”Narrow” and every instance is “strait gate” or “strait” path in conjunction with narrow.)

    Anyway, I know in your books you use “straight” and maybe I’m just ignorant or straining at a gnat, but I truly am curious as to which ought to be used and whether it matters. To me, the terms convey different meanings and I tend to default to the scriptural term “Strait” meaning narrow or strict.

    I would love your thoughts if you think this is even important enough to consider. And if not, I will still relish reading your post.

    Thank you Brother John for pointing the way to Him. Someday you will know the difference you are making in countless lives.


  4. TDG says:

    Thanks John, I love the story, it brings back old memories of my own. I love the comparison you make and the moral of the story even more 🙂


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