All the fireworks are gone. I mean at least The Neighbor Ladies husband doesn't have any more. And while its sad to know they are gone it sure was mighty fun watching them go!
Three nights of fireworks. The big kind. No whistling moon travelers or bottle rockets. We had mortar tubes with shells the size of my fist.
Kevin thought it would be OK to leave the box of shells five feet from the launch pad when he let the first one off. Sparks rained down on him and into the box as the rocket went THUMP, and left the tube at a billion miles an hour. I'm sure the entire neighborhood heard me yelling, "RUN LIKE HELL KEVIN!!! RUN LIKE HELL!!! LEAVE EM BRO!!! JUST LEAVE EM!!! GIT DA HELL OUT'A THERE!!!!"
In fact, the police were only called once on us and when they got there the officer had very little to say.
"I really can't do anything about it because tomorrow is the 4th. But someone did complain that their windows were rattling."
I was a little confused by that statement but I wasn't going to press him for specific information. I mean, was he letting us get away with something? Was he legally not able to do anything? I was so damn curious to know exactly what he meant but my experience with police has taught me that less is more and if they are happy then you should be too.
He continued, "So if you folks could just hold off on the fireworks until the 4th then you would really make my job a lot easier."
Was he telling us to wait until midnight? I just stood there and smiled at him and nodded my head, thankful that he hadn't bothered to get out of his car.
I looked at everyone and said, "Sounds good! Thanks for letting us know. We'll get this cleaned up and keep everything to a dull roar for the rest of the night."
He smiled, "Mighty kind of you."
In the distance a firework went up and cast a pale green glow on the officer and his cruiser. We had our backs to it but he was facing the direction it came from and saw it go off. Everyone was motionless. The smell of sulfur hung in the air.
I just knew that The Neighbor Lady wouldn't let it slide. Something in my mind told me to tackle her and hold her big mouth shut but I didn't want to get charged with assaulting someone directly in front of a cop.
I imagined how it would sound in court.
"Yes Your Honor. I was about to leave and that's when Mr. Gonzalez turned like this..... lowered his shoulder like this........ and just tackled The Neighbor Lady.
"By the time I got out of my cruiser he was holding her down and saying 'Shhhhh, no no no, shhhhhh, its ok just shut your mouth woman, please just shut your mouth.' So I grabbed my taser and shot him in the ass.
"He shook like a dog crapping a corn cob and rolled up under the front end of the cruiser.
I guess that's how he chipped his teeth. Probably got his mouth tangled up in the linkage or something.
"I could tell he was hurting so I let off the taser. He thanked me and just laid in the dirt and cried. He promised not to give me any sass so, I backed the cruiser off him and stood him up........
"No, Your Honor, no one said a word after that. I think everybody was pretty damn scared when Mr. Gonzalez rode the lightning. It was so quiet that you could'a heard a mouse pissin' on cotton."
I giggled a little to myself and then watched the green glow of the firework fade from the officers face. It was beautiful actually, slow motion, so soft and quiet. He had tiny fireworks reflected in his big cop eyes and it made me want to pull him close and hug him and send him safely on his way. But then, just as quickly as the green light of peace and harmony shone round about us, it was gone. The big cop eyes turned into black limpid pools as the 'pop' from the distant firework finally reached our ears.
It was all she could take. The Neighbor Lady let loose.
"WELL WHUT DA HELL YA GONNA DO BOUT DEM PEOPLE HUH? Dey shootin firewerks off too and yer tellin us we got ta quit. It ain't fair! I wanna know who called da cops on us! They got no rite doin such a thing when everwun is shootin em off."
"Ma'am, we never give out information about who placed a nuisance call."
"Well if I fine' out who dun it I'ma beat da hell out'a sumwun."
Click-click, swish, thump.
He unbuckled his seat belt, opened the door, and stepped out of the cruiser faster than greased lightening off a polecats ass in June.
The cop eyes changed, they meant business. I trotted away.
"Ma'am. Don't turn this into something it isn't. I asked you politely if you would stop the fireworks and everyone else seems agreeable. Go back to your house and enjoy the rest of your evening."
By the time he said, "Don't turn this into" I was already across the yard seated next to Dawn with my legs crossed.
Kevin stayed with his loud mouth wife.
Dawn asked me what was happening and Vincent was excited because the police were there. He's nine. Anything shiny with lots of lights will get his attention.
"Um. The Neighbor Lady is trying to become the featured incident on the next episode of World's Dumbest."
"She's arguing with the officer about the fireworks. She's cracked!"
We heard the door shut on the cruiser and the officer drove away. There was nothing more to report. Everything was fine.
The boys asked if we would let them have sparklers so I lit one for Vincent. He stood in front of us with a huge smile on his face and spun the sparkler in a big circle as fast as his little arm would go. He was living proof that you don't need heavy artillery to enjoy the fireworks on the 4th of July. We had each other and some sparklers and our independence from the British. What more could a guy ask for?
Oh, we had The Neighbor Lady too. You can't forget about The Neighbor Lady.