July 4th Escapades

I love the Fourth of July! Grilling hamburgers and hot dogs, playing volleyball with my friends and family, then enjoying the beautiful fireworks display that my hometown of Pauls Valley puts on every year is something to look forward to annually. Also, Independence Day is one of my paid holidays!
Every year we celebrate our freedom that we enjoy as Americans. I get those patriotic tingles when I hear our National Anthem. I’m very thankful for all we have in this blessed land of plenty. God has richly blessed our nation!
Now, enough of the feel-good stuff. That’s not what you flip to the back page of the magazine for, now is it? Let me tell you a little story about a Fourth of July prank that happened a couple years back at our plant.
I’m not one to spend a lot of money on fireworks. As I mentioned above, our town puts on a pretty impressive display at the local football field. The park is packed full of sweaty citizens as local crooners belt out tunes for a couple hours before dark. It seems that most of our 6,000 residents find their way into Wacker Park to enjoy the show. Our church is just right across a field from the park, so we gather at our church to watch the show without fighting the crowd. So, I very seldom spend much at all on any fireworks.
However, this year I stopped by one of the many firework stands to see what I could find. I bought a couple little fountains, and a few other small items. Then, I saw a huge roll of Black Cats. You know what happened next. Into the little bag they went!
Now is a good time to explain a little more about our shop. When you come in the entry door on the south end of our shop, the bathroom is right there on the left. The bathroom door is a standard interior door. Not much you can do to prank someone, other than the standard leaning something on the door to fall when they open it.
The neat thing about the bathroom, though, is that the top of it doubles as a storage area. So, above the bathroom is a dusty area with old stuff that we’ll probably never use, and our children will wonder what to do with it when we die. Also above the bathroom is the vent pipe for the water heater. Now, our water heater is a gas water heater. Or, at least it was. It quit working quite a while ago and we have just never put forth the effort to fix it. Instead, there is a 5-gallon bucket sitting on the pedestal where the water heater was before.
I got to work early on July 5th and climbed up to the storage area. I stowed away my roll of Black Cats and a lighter. Later in the day, a coworker of mine made his way to the bathroom. I don’t know if you work with anyone who lives in the bathroom, but I do. I knew I had time to climb up to the top and tiptoe over to the vent pipe.
I lit those Black Cats, and quickly dropped them down the pipe into the bucket below. They went off like crazy, the sound magnified by the bucket. You should have heard the commotion! Not only were the fireworks making racket, but my fellow shed builder made some noise himself! We don’t have a camera in the bathroom (thankfully), but I’m convinced it would have been a sight to see. Just another day in the life of a shed builder.