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Firecrackers and Cow Crap

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This is a post from last Fourth of July. This was one of my more popular posts, presumably because it details an act of irrevocable stupidity on my part. Enjoy.

When we were about twelve years old, my friend and I got our hands on a cache of fireworks. We had everything from firecrackers to the really big stuff. Our potential ranged from slight burns, to watching as the fireman hosed down the side of the house.

We gleefully spent our summer blowing things up and creating a general state of mayhem.

At one point we thought that it would be a clever idea to set off a firecracker in my grandfather’s barn, with the noble goal of making the cows crap.

We had a huge string of firecrackers that we took into the barn. We removed one firecracker from the string and set the string on a barrel. We lit the lone firecracker and threw on the floor in the middle of the barn. We were already chuckling and basking in the glow of our brilliance.

The firecracker went off, leapt into the air, did a strange turn in mid-air, as if it were a guided missile, and landed on the barrel next to the string of firecrackers.

We both tried to grab it, but it was too late. That string of firecrackers took off like a bat out of Hell. We chased it from one end of the barn to the other, yelling, banging into each other, and having no success in corralling it. If I’m not mistaken, it was using evasive tactics.

The cows were in a complete state of panic. They were jumping up and down and trying to break out of their stalls. They were also crapping in a nonstop torrent.

When the string of firecrackers had finally extinguished itself, the air was thick with smoke and the pungent odor of spent gunpowder and cow crap. The lone bull in the barn, had broken loose from its stall, and was glaring at us with a look of unfriendly intent. He was in a state of slight agitation. A bull in a state of slight agitation, closely resembles any other animal in a total rage. 

A solitary thought went through my mind: there may have been unforeseen flaws in our brilliant idea.

Moments later another thought took its place: that bull is going to mangle us.

We learned a valuable lesson that day: you can corral an angry bull without being trampled and gored, or you can corral an angry bull without getting yourself covered with cow crap, but you cannot do both. 

We chose not to be trampled and gored.

Note: We also learned that the stench of cow feces is a stench that lingers.

Through a series brilliant tactical maneuvers, we were able to calm the bull down and eventually return him to his stall.

Note: It’s amazing what fear and panicked fueled frenzy can inspire.

Then we had to clean up the cow crap, and it was everywhere: on the floor, on the cows, on walls, on surrounding beams, dripping from the ceilings above the stalls, and on us.  After that we had to hunt down every vestige of former firecracker, to insure that my grandfather didn’t find out what had happened.

All of this took hours to accomplish.

That night, my grandfather walked into the barn, walked out five seconds later and said, “who set off the firecrackers in the barn?”

We told him the entire messy story. He laughed at us, for what seemed like a longer time than was necessary.

Years later, we were still finding bits of used firecrackers in that barn, continual reminders of our idiocy.

They don’t like firecrackers.
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42 thoughts on “Firecrackers and Cow Crap

  1. MOL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! MOL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    *(LAUGHING SO HARD, I FEEL A HAIRBALL COMING ON)! *……… MOL!!! MOL!!!!!!!!…… UH OH….. *(Gagggggg) *!!


  2. longchaps2 on said:

    And so the term “Holy Shit” was coined. Lol! Hilarious. Boys and explosives, what is it with that?

    Liked by 1 person

  3. We should all live long lives if we can just survive ourselves.


  4. A.PROMPTreply on said:

    This is a riot. I can’t say anything to add to this one bit. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Geez, don’t remind me.

    During the week leading up to and including the Fourth of July, my somewhat respectable neighborhood turns into the White Trash Olympics. A thousand horrifying YouTube videos are created every night until the bastards run out of ammo. Then, they head to those red, white, and blue tents in the parking lots the next day to restock.

    Previous winners of the Parental Guidance Event: the drunk couple sitting on their porch, shouting slurred instructions to their small children on how to properly light an illegal fireworks rocket in the middle of a busy street.


  6. I feel for the poor animals. That was a story about animal cruelty. That you got yourself into some shit was nothing against what the poor animals felt. Children are cruel – it’s true …


    • If you want a story about animal cruelty you will have to look elsewhere. These animals couldn’t have been treated better other than one unfortunate incident involving two dumb kids. Panicked is not cruelty. The next time you eat a steak, ask yourself what cow had a bolt stuck through his brain to allow it.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Ha! Great story. Thanks for the giggle.


  8. Good, gentle humorous writing….a delight.


  9. Pingback: Family & Fireworks, The Fourth of July I’ll Never Forget! | awriterchoice

  10. Wanna see cow crap? Bring then firecrackers up to Wash DC m House and Senate.


  11. This was hilarious! My eight year old daughter wanted to know why I was laughing like a lunatic. I gave her the short version of this story. Now she wants a cow and some firecrackers. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Oh wow!! I bet you didn’t light any more firecrackers in the barn. That must have been a lovely smell, too. Firecrackers and crap! Unforgettable.


  13. Hah amazing! If you were to repeat the whole sorry incident and film it, you could probably get yourself a few thousand million hits on YouTube. IMAGINE THE FAME.


  14. You are hilarious. The parent in me was very concerned and a bit puzzled as to how you didn’t set the barn on fire.


  15. Ha, great. Cows just have a way of bringing out the best in people. But considering that the world’s bovines and the volatile methane they produce is believed to be a primary cause for global warming, you’re lucky to have lived to tell this tale.


  16. For most of the post, my mind was continuously asking ‘BUT DID THEY CRAP!?’ and then I got to the end and was pleased to discover that yes, they did.


  17. I am laughing so hard, I cannot come up with anything sensible. Too funny 🙂


  18. You’re a better person than I am. I would’ve just fled the crap holocaust. Come to think of it, that’s still my strategy when confronted by a crap holocaust…


  19. “They were also crapping in a nonstop torrent.”–It appears you accomplished your goal.


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