Friday, July 01, 2011

Canada Day 2011 - out with a bang!

This year we got to avoid the extra large crowds on Parliament Hill because of the prince and princesses in attendance. Royal watchers can be as rough as soccer hooligans if you get in their way, understandable considering they haven't been able to go to the bathroom since 2:00am lest they lose their spot).We spent this Canada Day at "Da Hung Monkey", a backyard cabana bar in Riverside South created by friends of ours. The kids had a great time in and out of the pool, snatching hotdogs from this neat steamer device they had going (I think I ate 4 of them). There was a pizza cook-off between some of the guys but I wasn't able to vote because I forgot who made what. It was all good! I voted for the Hawaiian pizza (of which there was none).

I brought the bullwhips and spend some time edjmumacatin' the folks on how to toss them and apart from the odd strap mark, everyone managed to leave with their eyeballs and skin unflayed. The snowbirds screamed by overhead twice in perfect formation as always. Forget all that talk of those new billion dollar fighter jets, we need to get these guys some new planes! They've been using those ones for ages! The bar-owner had some sort of AOOGA horn connected to a stuffed monkey in the cabana that he pulls when he serves shooters. The neighbors must LOVE that!

We ended the eats of with a Canada Day cake from Costco. The only way to get more Canadian than that would be to slather the top of the cake with poutine (it's been done).

When it got dark we decked out the kids with glow sticks and lights and headed off to the nearby ball field to launch some fireworks. We dug in a series of holes to hold them at about 2nd base line in the infield and things were going well until we noticed another group of people setting up some fireworks at home plate. In hindsight, the fact that they had no flashlight and were using their BBQ lighter to read the instructions on the back of the firecrackers should have been a dead giveaway. They were a bit close but it should be ok. We set ours up with the fuses all pointing to the same side and lit them 3 at a time.

We were lighting the 2nd or 3rd series when a Roman candle whizzed right by my head from the direction of home plate. We looked over and one from the other group had fallen over and firebombing us. We all scattered, looking for our kids and I felt a THWACK! as the next firecracker hit me square in the back of the head. I was wearing a Tilly Hat with a headlamp attached to it and it saved my hair from catching on fire. I took it off and shook off the burning firecracker and put it back on and ducked the next 3 or 4 that came our way and it was after they stopped that my wife told me my hat was still on fire.

I thought it was my headlamp light but no, there was a burning firecracker ember smoking away happily in my prized Tilly Hat I've had since 1991. I was putting it out with gravel from the infield when the 2nd roman candle from the same group at home plate fell over and showered us with burning embers. That's when it became a good time to go introduce myself with who was trying to set us on fire. It was either someone clueless or a group of mean spirited idiots doing it on purpose. Turns out it was option #1. I came up on two 10 year old something kids who immediately apologized for letting the firecrackers get away from them and their parents appeared out of the dark with three more firecrackers ready to go!

Turns out they were new to Canada Day celebrations (maybe they don't shoot off firecrackers in India?) and just setting the Roman candles on the ground, balancing them upright and lighting them up, thinking that they would just stay put as they belched forth gobs of Pyrotechnic stars. It being Canada day and all the diplomatic solution turned out to be to go get our shovel, dig three small holes beside home plate, show them how to bury at least 3 to 4 inches of it into the ground pointing upright and shining my light for them as they lit them up.

BOOYA! No more potential accidents.

I was thinking of getting a new hat....

No comments: