Thursday, August 21, 2008

Fireworks > Chances Of Domination vs Calling Ranges

Well then, today's post was going to be a good old style poker strategy piece... until I changed my mind. Instead I wanted to blog some anecdotes about fireworks.

But Why?

Well, yesterday was the national day of Hungary - where your humble Englishman-blogger is currently based - and there was a HUGE firework display as part of the celebrations over the Danube.

While watching this and listening to all the 'oooohhhh' and 'ahhhhhh' sounds from the crowds my mind wandered back to my youth and some (hopefully) amusing firework related stories (will change the names to protect the guilty and tone them down just a little as I now know my Mum is a regular reader... Hi Mum!).

The most memorable fire-work related night was one October in 1989 or 1990 (ish!) and involved a group maybe 6 friends who thought it would be a really great idea to take tons of hallucenogenic magic-mushrooms and go out to buy fireworks (!). Would have been around 19 at the time.

Having stocked up on a few reasonably large fireworks we headed to the grounds of Reading University where we had arranged to meet more friends (no mobile phones back then but somehow we organised such things). Coming up on mushrooms is always fun and in the chaos the group split up, leaving 2 of us together in the middle of a big field.

Well, what could be more amusing than letting off an air-bomb? The type of firework that spews colours for a while then fires off a projectile that makes a really loud bang. We lit it, moved back 5 meters or so and 'Bang!' it did its thing. Ha, ha, now we started to walk towards the Student Union to find the others... and "BANG!" a second one right overhead and really really f-ing loud... left the 2 of us (completely straight and rather large) guys hugging in fear, like some instinctive grab... hmmm.

It got better.

After attempting (and failing) to play video-games in the union where we had met many others we went outside once again, by this time around 10 people, and were standing around in a loose circle / group.

One guy lit a reasonably large rocket, normal right? Usually we threw them at the last minute. But, erm, 'Bill' was tripping, and somehow forgot to let go.

Well, it is almost 20 years ago (gulp) but I still recall this one in second-by-second slow motion... the shouts of "Billllll.... lllleettttt...itttttt...goooowww' and people diving for cover, that strange look on Bill's face - questioning, he did not understand what everyone was making a fuss for - as if the big rocket was not lit or something... then - fzzzzzzzz - it broke loose from his hands and flew straight at the ground, went in circles for a few seconds and then 'Boom' sprayed us all with colourful hot things!

Well.

It took everyone a few minutes to get their sight / hearing back but we laughed about it pretty soon... just a couple of minor burns between us. I recall later at someones house some smaller fireworks being lit indoors (gulp!). A fun night.

I have were several more firework anecdotes but this is already a long post... they include the 'firework fights' and 'firework wars' of the early to mid 1980's when I was 13 to 15ish and showed no respect for such dangers.

A friend who got temporarily blinded when a big rocket went off in his face from behind a catering van in Reading Festival where we had a habit of letting off fireworks (not so much security in the late 80's so we usually got in free too!)

Another friend who really liked to make his own fireworks by taking existing ones apart and recombining them... now that produced some really dangerous things!

Enough already... if you have a good firework story then drop me a comment.

Back to poker tomorrow.

GL at the firework displays, Mark

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