​​​​Because humor is funnier when you know it's true.

The cherry bomber

As a sophomore in high school, I went on a Florida vacation with my parents.  When my friend Charley heard that I was going, he besieged me to make an illicit purchase for him on our way through the Carolinas. Charley wanted cherry bombs.  He couldn’t buy them legally anywhere in the NY Metro area, and he wasn’t old enough to drive yet, and so I was his only hope.  For the uninformed, cherry bombs are not as powerful as M80’s, but are significantly more powerful than your run-of-the-mill firecracker.   Anyway, he loaded me up with his allowance money and I dutifully provided his goods. 

A few days later, I saw Charley in class, and he was wearing sunglasses indoors.  He wasn’t the greaser type who would be trying to look cool, and so I asked him what was up.  He told me that he was pursuing his master plan to consolidate all of the gun powder into one grand cherry bomb.  He was in the process of emptying all of the powder into a dish, when the pliers he was using to pull fuses apparently caused a spark to ignite the dish!  Whooosh!  The powder flashed into a fire ball (fortunately not into an explosion), burning off his eyebrows, eye lashes, bangs, and reddening his skin. 

His parents seemed to be more furious about a kid (me) who would sell him the cherry bombs, and about the parents of said kid who would allow their son to buy them, than they were with Charley.  They insisted on meeting my parents to see just what kind of people these were.  Long story short, they became best friends, and even ended up taking a cruise together. 

Dear Charley recently passed away due to natural causes (not bombs), but I often think of him and our adventures, and the way his disaster brought our families together in a good way.

​- Anonymous