did i ever tell you the one about the M-80 and the crossbow?

It seems that people are sharing crazy fireworks stories. Brni posted about rednecks and bottle rockets, and ladywind posted about her very cool grandfather and his torch. So, I hope this little entry adds to theirs.

When I was living in New Mexico, many decades ago, 1972 or 3 to be inexact, I took a job selling vacuum cleaners door to door. “Selling” is too broad a term. The job lasted a month and I made me a whole $20, but the two sales managers sure knew how to throw a 4th of July party! There was drink, smoke, loud music and fireworks. It was wild and crazy in a sales-pitchy sort of way.

And then someone brought out a bunch of M-80s. And then someone brought out a crossbow. An M-80 was attached to the business end of an arrow and the arrow was mounted on the crossbow, lit and released high into the sky.

Up, up it went. It did not go boom. Up a bit more slowly…no boom. A graceful arch and downward curve…no boom no boom.

We cringed, backing slowly away in the direction of our cars as the arrow with it’s sparking load heads straight down for the roof of the house across the street. Did I mention we were in the middle of Albuquerque and not out in the desert somewhere?

When it finally blew, it was loud, lights turned on and doors slammed, but no hole or flame marred the lucky neighbor’s rooftop.

Not one to overstay at a staff party, I made my exit as the sales managers hid evidence and sirens called in the distance.

5 thoughts on “did i ever tell you the one about the M-80 and the crossbow?

  1. ladywind says:

    ~covers eyes, chuckling~ Oh gods. ~quiet applause~
    Got to give the sales managers props, though, for covering for everyone before bolting. Job may not have paid much, but it does sound like you had interesting bosses. 😀

    1. lsaboe says:

      yeah, they were pretty ok for sales weasels, and nobody got arrested or anything.
      i did learn that i do not have what it takes to sell anybody anything. my approach was basically, knock knock knock …. you don’t want to buy this, do you?

  2. dan_ad_nauseam says:

    When Gary Anderson passed away about 10 years ago, one of the memorial stories shared on rec.arts.sf.fandom was how he and one of his friends used to take homemade rockets to the mesas outside of Los Alamos and fire them off. One time, the parachute didn’t open, so they went into town to look for the rocket.
    They came across a car with a hole in the roof. And the driver’s seat. With four fin-shaped projections from each.

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