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There has to be a morning after…

It was a classic Independence Day at our house – baseball, apple pie and cat fights.

It’s a good thing we had the X10 surveillance camera on to record the whole thing – at least that’s what the police told us when they arrived.

It all began around the third inning, (or was it the fourth hot dog for Uncle Chester?) the home team was winning by a pretty large margins and things were getting kind mind-numbing. My cousin Ralph, who was visiting from down South said something that hinted that the baseball player who had just hit a ball into the stands for the home team was “juiced” on something.

“More bug juice, Uncle Ralph?” Cindy, my 8-year-old grand-daughter asked.

Ralph had apparently been imbibing something other than “bug juice” before then. He turned around, didn’t see Cindy and thought it was Charles who had taken umbrage at the “juice” remark. As he turned around kind of angrily, he stepped on Theodore’s tail. Theodore is my tabby cat.

Theodore is never very happy when someone steps on his tail. His scream could be heard two blocks down the street. Ralph’s scream could be heard even further down, as Theodore dug his claws up his legs and to a sensitive part of his body.

Ralph reacted furiously, tossing Theodore directly into the three-layer chocolate cake sitting at a nearby table. Theodore landed on his feet, taking some appreciative licks and then knocked the punch bowl directly on the electrical wires that connected to the television.

Sparks flew all over the place to the fascination of the little ones that were getting bored by the baseball action. Jimmy, Cindy’s little brother watched as one of the sparks came near the sparkler he was holding in his hand. In seconds, the sparkler was lit up and soon enough, so was the towel Ralph had just used to clean up the grease on the barbecue grill.

Meanwhile, Theodore was trying to fend off my other cat, Suzy-Q, which was attempting to lick the chocolate cake from his body. The cats were rolling in the grass before little Jimmy knew what was happening. In seconds, little Jimmy had been knocked over as well, and his lit sparkler landed on the greasy towel and a box of cherry bombs Ralph had brought us from a nearby Indian reservation.

At least some of our neighbors expressed gratitude that they didn’t have to pay the cost of gas and parking to go to the big downtown fireworks display. They just “ooohed” and “aaaahed” as the bombs went off one by one. I think I also heard a “typical” from one of them.

A couple of other neighbors spoke through their attorney, handing us some papers.

Perhaps if we promise to spend next Independence Day at the lake next year, they’ll settle down?


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