The Fourth of July has officially cracked open the summer season. I was thinking of barbecues and what memorable moments they generate. When I was young, I roomed with two other gals who worked at my hospital. One worked in pediatrics, one worked in the ER, and I worked in psyche. You’d think that I would have the funniest stories, but no, nobody could beat the ER gal for funny stories. Just for fun, I googled ER admissions for the Fourth of July and I am still laughing…
1. A teenage boy came into the ER with severe burns on his ears from sticking sparklers in them and then lighting them up.
2. Two young men came in with severe burns on their buttocks, a result of a contest about who can hold a Roman candle between their cheeks the longest. The attending physician also made note that he suspected alcohol use was involved. I think that alcohol use was probably involved in all these events.
3. A young man was admitted with burns to the back of his head and neck after his friend assumed that if you light fireworks in the back seat of a convertible, the rockets will go straight up and not forward.
4. A young woman was admitted with burns and severe ringing in her ears from a boy who liked her and threw cherry bombs into her sleeping bag to convey his ardor in a cool and sophisticated manner. I’m sure she’ll never forget him.
5. There was the young man who had taken a few hits with a baseball bat and now had a broken collar bone… In a state of inebriation, he thought it would be fun to light some fireworks in a little cart that he could pull with his grandfather’s ride-on lawnmower. The rockets would launch at different intervals since he used different lengths of fuses. But he scared Grandma as he rode through her flower bed. Grandma was old-school, and she chased the intruder down and introduced him to her Louisville slugger.
6. An adult male was admitted for burns on his hands and chest when his faithful dog retrieved the rockets he had lit at a safe distance. He tried to throw them away from himself, but couldn’t throw them far enough in time.
7. This one is from my own clan. Picture this: 1. Two piping hot rhubarb pies cooling on a dining room windowsill. 2. Two aunts drinking soda and chatting on the Fourth of July. 3. Two slightly drunk uncles outside with firecrackers who then set them off under the windowsill to scare the women. 4. One wife jumped up to close the window, and in the process flipped two freshly baked, piping hot, lovely rhubarb pies onto the heads of two idiots below the window, resulting in painful burns and years of humiliation in the retelling of their asinine behavior.
8. A fire call went out when two youths who lived next door to each other decided to conduct a scientific experiment by opening their living room windows and seeing if they could aim a fireworks rocket to fly horizontally through both houses. The result was one set of drapes catching fire in the first house and one entertainment center going up in flames in the second house. No human injuries reported, but the fire department soaked the rugs in both houses resulting in the probable, but unreported, subsequent beating of two young scientists.