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Growing Up Geek: Dad! Don't Blow My Face Off!

Growing Up Geek by Joey Paur

I love fire. I've enjoyed playing with fire and I've especially had some fun blowing things up. There's a reason why I'm kind of a pyromaniac though! I blame my dad and his attempt to make his own fireworks.

When I was three years old, the same year as my Hulk Halloween costume incident, my dad got a hold of some flash powder from a stage production of Dracula that he was starring in. He got it in his head that it would be a great idea to use it to make his own firework.

He took a long lemonade cardboard container and filled it to the top with an explosive powder that he concocted. It consisted of flash powder mixed together with ground up sparklers and a bunch of other powder from the inside of various fireworks. He used a long rolled up strand of toilet paper as a fuse.

As it started to get dark outside, he took me across the street to a school playground to light this thing off. As a little kid I couldn't be more excited. I loved fireworks!

We put the homemade firework down on the ground, and my dad lit the toilet paper fuse. We backed away from it and watched as the toilet paper slowly burned. When it finally reached the top of the box it lit up and sparks started shooting out of the top like crazy. As I was staring in awe at the beautiful light display… all of a sudden... from out of nowhere… KA-BOOM!!!!!!! It exploded right in our faces blasting out the brightest flash of light I've ever seen. It lit up the whole neighborhood and blinded me. I can still remember the heat and pulse of that explosion blowing across my face.

Needless to say it scared the shit out of us! After our ears stopped ringing and we could see again, we noticed that the box was gone. As we looked for its remains, my dad spotted it on the top of a neighbor's roof across the street and it was on fire. We just stood there staring at it hoping that their roof wouldn't catch on fire. Luckily the fire fizzled out. My dad somberly took me back in the house. My mom wasn't too happy with what went down that night.

Ever since then I've just had a fascination with fireworks, fire, and explosions. Over the years, I've attempted to make my own fireworks, turning fireworks into little bombs, and blowing up my G.I. Joe action figures. I wish I wouldn't have blown up my G.I. Joes, but it was so cool at the time to strap firecrackers on to them. I'm a little bit more responsible these days, so you won't see me blowing things up.

I gotta love the crazy things that my young parents did with me back in the day. There are more stories to come!

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