Monday, November 30, 2020

Buzz Bomb

At a Polar Bear tennis tournament in Dallas, so called because it was in January, even though it was held indoors on wood in a long warehouse like building with many courts that doubled as basketball courts, many with a set of bleachers. Wood is a fast surface. I drew Cliff Richie first round, by far the best in the 13 and under in the state. He'd just turned 12 and I'd soon turn 14. His sister Nancy swept her older category too. Mainly they played national tourneys. Their father was tennis coach at Rice University. I was out and doubles would be later. I had time to kill. I hung with older kids watching matches, going out to eat, absorbing their coolness. One of them showed me his fireworks stash in the trunk of his car. Powerful cherry bombs, TNTs, and M-80s. He sold me a buzz bomb from a bag of them. They were fun. Once the fuse burned down they'd let out a loud high whirling sound, rapidly spiral straight up and explode with a loud report reminiscent of an M-80.  I found a cigarette in an ashtray that had been barely smoked and a matchbook with a few left. There was one security guard who'd hang out near the center of row of courts - near the stand that sold soft drinks, coffee, and sandwiches I went behind between two bleachers, lit the cigarette. I didn't smoke yet so that was no fun. Tore off the filter and pushed the buzz bomb fuse into that end of the burning cigarette, set the buzz bomb on its rear aimed straight up, and sneaked out the far end of the bleachers, walked way down to the far court and back around in front. Walked up to the security guard and struck up a conversation. Then the darndest thing happened.

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