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Cops and Firework

About four years ago, I was working as a still-photographer on a movie shoot in the mountains of southeastern Tennessee.

About four years ago, I was working as a still-photographer on a movie shoot in the mountains of southeastern Tennessee. It was one of those historical movies that took place in the 1600's and was full of Indians (American) and guys clanking around in Elizabethan armor. It was a real "trip" to say the least and lasted about a month and a half there on location.

One night, when there wasn't anything going on for me to photograph, I got really bored with sitting around the hotel and decided to go out to where all the extras were camped out at a state park and started hanging out with about a dozen or so of the "English" who were set up in tents for the duration. A group of four freaks from Minnesota had found a tremendous patch of some sort of 'shroom and were daring each other to eat 'em !

One if the local Indians who had been hired as an extra knew what they were and we all decided to see what they could do! After about an hour or so, we were all pretty well on the way to la-la land! This is where the fire-works come in...

In Tennessee, there are places as huge as Wal-Mart that sell fireworks by the wheelbarrow load! You can get things that are as big around as your arm and almost as long for three bucks that will rocket into outer space and then explode like a mother! They sell bottle-rockets by the gross for about four bucks! And then there are these sticks of dynamite that they make just for the kiddies... Anyhow, some of the guys had bought about a hundred bucks worth of stuff (it filled the back of a jeep to the top of the tailgate) and figured that the trails would be awesome from this shit!

We each filled a paper shopping bag with bottle-rockets, fountains and fire-crackers as big as Vienna sausages and picked sides for the "war" that was about to break out. It was around 11PM and we headed out onto this stretch of road that went past the entrance to the state park...

By this time, we were all really tripping and the perma-grin had long since set in I found it impossible to keep my mind on what I was doing and almost forgot to throw one of those huge fire-crackers away after I had lit the fuse... it was so pretty, just sparkling in my hand! All hell was breaking loose and rockets were flying in all directions! We had set up in the ditches on either side of the road and were pummeling each other with such a show of explosives that Speilberg could have used it for one of his movies!

Then the Cops showed up! Have you ever seen "Heat of the Night" with Carol O'Conner? Well, "Bubba" was driving the car! And his partner was just as big! They slowed down and stopped while we all tried to become one with the beer cans in the ditches. Then they got out... BIG sons of bitches with even BIGGER guns on their hips! I knew right then and there we were all gonna go to jail!

The cop driving the car said in this thunderous voice, "Y'all git over here so's I kin see yuh"... shit! We're dead! We all got up from our "trenches" and slinked toward the car with our tails between our legs. A late bloomer of a bottle rocket launched itself down the road as the last guy crawled out of his ditch...

The first thing that "Bubba" said to one of the guys who had bought the fireworks (and who now was standing in the headlights of the patrol car) was "whut's wrong with yo' eyes, boy?"... Suddenly, one of the guys blurted out that we all had put these drops in our eyes so that we could see better in the dark... now if that wasn't a winner, I don't know what was! "Bubba" told all of us to line up and proceeded to shine his flashlight in our eyes... "Whudya' know? Hey, Bobby-Jo, ya gotta' see this!" Big ol' Bobby-Jo came over and shined his flashlight in our eyes too... Someone said that we were part of the movie crew and we had these drops for low-light shooting so we could see what we were doing without tripping over the movie equipment, or something like that. Well, these rocket scientists in blue bought it!

"Y'all staying over there in the State Park, ain't ya?" Bubba asked. "Yes, that's right" someone in the dark replied... "Well then, I need to tell ya boys a thing or two. Ya needs ta quiet it down about three o'clock or so cuz' they's folks 'round here what need to get up in the mornin'". It was 11:45... SHIT! I couldn't believe my ears! We weren't going to jail! And the county police had just given us permission to rage on for another three hours!

Well, those two "Good ol' Boys" climbed back into their car and drove off into the darkness. We all just stood there in a daze watching the trails of the tail-lights fade away into the swirling visuals of the mushroom induced fractals in our heads… Someone started to laugh and then we all joined in!!! We laughed all the way back to the state park and then just laid around a fire that someone had built and enjoyed the trip!

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