Glorious Days Abound.
Getting the potato cannon out was a really good idea. We had been drinking for a couple of hours and had like 15 extra potatoes, and besides it was still too early to go to the bar. The first few hit the fence with a huge bang, frankly I’m surprised they didn’t break through those helpless little planks. By the fifth or sixth potato the twist-flint had kind of malfunctioned and wasn’t working that well, probably gummed up from all the hairspray, so we just took it out. Flounder thought that sparking it with his lighter was a good idea, and who am I to argue. We stuffed the potato in and filled the back chamber with hairspray to the predetermined count of five, and I braced myself for the forthcoming kick. A few seconds passed with no audible pop so I opened my eyes and loosened my grip and asked Flounder what the hold up was.
“Can’t seem to get the flame in the hole.” he said.
This was a real issue. As I reflected on this query my arms started to relax, and my body de-tensed, leaning backward slowly, the barrel of the potato cannon was ever more pointing sky-ward. Aiming off into the great expanse of space. Then there was the pop. Flounder, it seemed, had gotten the flame in the hole. The potato was projectile.
Normally this was cause for celebration, clanking of beer cans and congratulatory pats about the neck and upper back. But in the here and now we had problems.
The potato was headed up and over our safety fence to a location unknown. Seeing as how I lived in a populated neighborhood this was cause for concern. My fellow city-dwellers had glass windows that could be broken, and cars that could be dented, and dispositions that could be ill-tempered. While their property damage and probable lack of understanding worried me, it was the prospective monetary loss I was to undoubtedly incur that set my nerves flaring.
Problem two: Flounder’s burns. The flame, as previously purported, went in the hole, the flame then came back out of the hole, with gusto. The blast of heat sent Flounder tumbling to his back-side screaming something about “third degree burn, my god, I think I lost an eye.” The thought of these ghastly wounds was some what alarming. Should I call 911 now, or inspect the carnage first, then call to be better prepared to explain our current emergency. I chose to inspect first, and in turn, the right decision. My dear friend had in fact not lost an eye, but only half an eyebrow, and his “third degree burns” were merely second degree burns and when the smoke cleared I could barely even smell the stink of charred flesh.
To settle his oncoming post traumatic stress I cracked him a fresh can of beer and talked in soft tones. I spent a minute or two gently wiping the tears from his eyes and remarking that his new look of one and a half total eyebrows was possibly trend-setting. This calmed him and brought him back to the reality in which he was going to be OK.
At this juncture we heard no sirens and I was not face to face with a displeased near-by resident and Flounder had regained his typical fervor, so we continued on with two things that put smiles on our faces; we shot-gunned another beer and we loaded the potato cannon. It was Flounder’s turn to shoot.by