Ameeeeeerica!

Yesterday was the 4th of July. For most of my readers, that probably meant eating hotdogs or something, setting off sparklers and singing patriotic songs. If I’m lucky enough to have readers who don’t live in the U.S., you may have spent yesterday doing nothing particularly interesting. (To any Canadians out there, happy late Canada Day!) For me, it meant driving out to the Hooper residence (located in the middle of nowhere) and setting off fireworks until there was nothing left to set fire to.

The celebration got off to a good start when Atsuko’s dad introduced us to an overgrown version of those little popper things that you throw on the ground. I recorded a video of Finn demonstrating their use with the intention of of showing it to my dad. You can find said video here.

They seemed charming and fun until Atsuko’s dad stuffed his pockets with them and threw them at our feet without warning for the rest of the day.

We spent most of the day doing fun things that weren’t particularly noteworthy. Shooting off bottle rockets, throwing fire crackers into puddles, and chasing children away from explosives at the last minute seemed to be the general themes. During this intermission, Atsuko’s dad discovered the metal trash can sitting in the middle of the Hooper’s yard.

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This spelled the beginning of the end for us all, especially when Finn joined in the fun.

We then took a break to eat and talk with each other without the explosive intermediates that had facilitated our social interactions for the past hour or so. We sat and enjoyed the taste of lovely home-cooked food, the smell of spent fireworks, and the melodious tones of some kind of mariachi music carried to us on the wind.

As a point of reference for future events, here is a picture of what I ate for dinner.

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(Muuuurca!)

This picture only becomes significant in the face of the events that followed. If you haven’t already guessed, we set fire to my leftover hamburger.

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The thing was surprisingly hard to burn, but with the tireless efforts of Atsuko and Pinky, we finally managed to give it a proper viking funeral.

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This, however, was not the most interesting event of the evening. No, this was reserved for when it grew dark and rainy, and Finn and I had the brilliant idea of strapping Eric’s waifu (I mean, favorite character), Labrys, to a bottle rocket.

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It seemed like a flawless plan to destroy the blasted thing, but fate would have it that our efforts were sorely wasted. We watched her sail into the sky in a graceful arc of explosives and sparks, and then witnessed her float unharmed back to Earth. We tried again to destroy her. You can find a video of our failure here.

After another failed attempt or so, Finn and I decided to bring out the big guns.

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The artillery shell, thankfully, did not disappoint.

The rest of the night was spent in highly entertaining ways. The Hoopers brought out the big fireworks, and for a while we watched (and set off) huge explosions that left our ears ringing. After all was said and done, though, we dragged ourselves, exhausted, to Steak n’ Shake, where we met Eric Hooper.

Rather than recounting anything interesting that occurred at this meeting of the sleep-deprived, I will simply leave you with an i-spy of our own creation.

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Yeah, yeah, I know we probably shouldn’t have stolen the children’s pens to deface a menu-thingy.

Whatever. We were tired, and we do what we want.