05 July 2008

Damn yankees

With the flash of the fireworks, I can see rows of piers and their reflections in the water, and on each one, a set of puppet-theater silhouettes of people, sitting quietly and watching the colorful explosions in awe. On one pier, a doberman-shaped shadow moves back and forth on the pier, nervous with each explosion.

At the pier where we're roosting, a dark-skinned man in a wife-beater jumps into our conversation with broken English. He and his big group of friends are here from Austin, Texas with $5K in fireworks, he says. Do we need anything, he asks us. We thought he was trying to sell us some boom-booms. "I have to go get yankees out of water," says Austin, who says he's originally from Cuba. "We have three yankees in water, I have to get out."

Yankees in the water? Was this some vague waterboarding threat, some wondered. Then I put it together. Not yankees. Jet-skis.

Austin comes back with a giant box of Black Cat fireworks, and he gives them to us. "Free!" he says. "Enjoy!" So he wasn't trying to sell us stuff. He was trying to give us some of his extras. We shot them off. They were awesome, and totally illegal.

Thanks, Austin.

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