I’m sure if you asked most women, what catalog is their man’s favorite they’d say “Victoria’s Secret.” I’ll admit several places I lived, with all men, the Vickies catalog showed up quite regularly. But no catalog has ever gone from mailbox to recycling pile, by my significant other’s hand, quite as quickly as The Phantom Fireworks catalog.
As if channeling my mother she took the catalog, stating matter of factually “you are not buying fireworks.” She was right, I wasn’t. Aside from being against the law in m y neck of the woods – something that doesn’t stop my neighbors – my dogs are terrified of fireworks.
Still I retrieved the catalog from the pile and flipped through it. It took me back to being a kid. There’s a good, acre sized, parking lot near my parents home that became fireworks central every fourth of July. My brother an eye would shoot bottle rockets and smoke bombs and strings of Black Cats while my mother looked nervously on. Then one local parents – who happened to be a civil war re-enactor with pyro experience – would come out and set off the mortars and other large scale fire works.
As I post this I’m flipping through the pages of the catalog. From a design standpoint it’s nothing to write home about. page after page of eye-aching, gradient blends, drop shadows and starbursts, starbursts, starbursts! I, still, can’t help but smile.
In these glossy page live my childhood favorites, jumbo smoke bombs, tank with report, jumping jacks and the two-stage out space jet! I can’t help but wonder if, at this moment, hundreds of miles away, my mother has that same, worried, look on her face she did every time we went up to light a fuse.