Our kids are old enough now that they want to stay up and party. Luckily, they don’t yet want to go somewhere else to do it. So, we had Mel’s sister and family over and stayed up late watching our new DVD movies in order to keep ourselves awake long enough to squirt each other with silly string and wear silly hats at the stroke of midnight.

I waited until way too late to think of the potato cannon as a means to enhance the celebrations. Many people had fireworks but I could have added some real bang. I can’t believe I forgot about it. I almost pulled it off. I ran into the garage and began looking at aerosol can labels until I found one that said “Caution! Contains are extremely flammable.”


For your own future reference, ScotchGuard is propelled by propane apparently so you may have had a gun propellant in your home and not known it.

Anyway, I loaded, I sparked, and … no bang. My igniter’s flint had finally worn out and at 11:55 on New Year’s Eve, there’s not enough time to run to WalMart and find replacements. We had to rely on Silly String alone for our celebration.

Still, no one was complaining so it was no great loss. Indeed, the grouchy lady across the street probably would have called the authorities on me. As it was, she was out screeching at her son to get back into the house. It was advice, by the way, that he completely ignored because the folks down the street had some fireworks. No real boy will ever be able to take his eyes off of fireworks so that screeching was all for naught. She might as well have saved her energy to screech at me for shooting potato chunks over her house. And I would have too; and I’m sure she would have.

We kept the dogs in the house so they wouldn’t freak out from all the noise and they slept as late as we did the next day. And so a good time was had by all.