It was July 3rd and I was returning home from a business trip. My flight was late getting in and I was beyond ready to be done with the traveling. I left the Kansas City Airport parking lot to begin my lo-o-ong drive home. But almost as soon as I hit the highway, I was slowed to a crawl by a huge traffic jam.
The sun was setting and I had just endured a delayed flight on a packed aircraft. Even without the road delays, there was still a two-hour commute home from my current location. I had not even crossed the state line from Missouri into Kansas, yet. It looked like this was shaping up to be the perfect end to the perfect trip.
As I was creeping along in bumper to bumper traffic, hoping for an off-ramp and searching the iPhone for an alternate route, I noticed a huge billboard in the distance. Fireworks! Hey, tomorrow is Independence Day! And there are many more pyrotechnics products to be had in Missouri than there are Kansas. Maybe, I could make a detour and work this to my advantage…
[Ed. Note: this post originally ran in August, 2008. We have no idea where Patrick is living now.]
I finally reached an exit and pulled into the gravel parking lot of an aging, red-painted, metal warehouse. I walked inside grinned an evil grin. It was pyrotechnic Nirvana! The selections went on forever and, lo and behold, I still had some cash money left over from my trip. So, I proceeded to fill a shopping basket with all kinds of es’plody goodness. When I check-out at the cashier, my purchases completely filled up a brown paper shopping bag, with money left over! So, of course, I had to go back for more…
Three hours later, I pull into my driveway. My daughter meets me at the door:
“What’s in the bags Daddy?” she asks.
“Fireworks, sweetie,” I answer.
“But what are those long sticks coming out of the top of the bag, Daddy?”
“Ummm, bottle-rockets, honey,” I say.
“But Daddy, aren’t bottle-rockets illegal here?”
“Why, yes honey. Yes they are.”
(Notice to the BATF: By the time this is posted, I will have relocated to another State and my children will have been placed in the Witness Protection Program. And, did I mention I am allergic to incarceration?)
Well, July 4th came around and everyone had a great time. Safety spiels were given and children were closely monitored. This was the first Independence Day that the kids were allowed to launch their own pyrotechnics, and they accepted the responsibility with great glee. In fact, the entire neighborhood was lit up with the festivities. (I was in no way the only Bad Dad in my area, as was evident by the “indiscretions” of others being launched all over town.) In any event, no children were harmed in the celebration of this holiday.
Lesson to the Children: Always obey the Law… unless Dad is there to supervise!