H. Neal Glanville: If it’s fun, it’s illegal
Each year at this time, the normal side starts remembering all the hunting expeditions my brother and I shared together.
Unfortunately, a particular “hunt” was under the control of the weak side and didn’t include Roy — he was working and I was kind of, no, I was just goofing off.
It all started late one afternoon with a lady complaining about the vultures and/or buzzards spending their nights in the trees surrounding her home and causing a great gooey mess for both her yard and two vehicles.
The weak side, being the great safari hunter, suggested the obvious, “Heck, I’ll just shoot the nasty things as they land in your trees.”
“Oh, no,” the lady and several of her neighbors said in chorus. “We think their protected and we’re still in the city limits. We’ll get arrested if you shoot a gun.”
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Realizing they were right, that he would indeed be arrested, the weak side, feeling dejected and fearing his great safari reputation might be a little more tarnished, fell into a lawn chair only to stare at the circling buzzards and the beautiful blue sky.
As the afternoon crept on, buzzards started teasing the weak side with their aerobatic skills doing slight rolls as they prepared for landing or dipping low enough a 7-year-old could have hit them with a short stick.
Helpless, the weak side pushed him out of the chair and headed somewhere the “stupid red necked birds” couldn’t see him.
Off in the near distance, they, he and the weak side heard their possible salvation — fireworks.
Not wanting to disturb the lady with the gooey yard, the weak side, now armed with a plan, started searching through his belongings for the humongous bottle rockets given to him to help move elk from here to there.
The normal side still remembers that treacherous giggle from the weak side as he marched forth rockets in hand. Now, know that bottle rockets fired from a bottle are very inaccurate. However, when tweaked slightly and fired through a tall chunk of electrical conduit, they become a poor safari hunter’s ground to air missile.
Marching back to the lawn chair, rockets and launching tube in hand, the weak side rammed the tube into the soft grass and started guessing the angle of flight.
As the first rocket screamed to the lofty target, the “red necked birds” did what they do to cars and front yards.
KA-BOOM went the rocket, a little high and to the left. Birds didn’t care, but the neighbors did.
“Fireworks are illegal,” someone said from across the street.
“If any firework leaves the ground, it’s illegal in Colorado,” the tree-owning lady yelled crossing the street, hands and head shaking.
Dang, the weak side thought, everything fun is becoming illegal.
“OK, ma’am, I’ll try one more into the tree, and then call it a night,” said the weak side, adjusting his firing tube.
There went the rocket straight to the buzzard’s bedroom: the stunned bird tried getting his wings back as he tumbled towards his gooey mess.
“Excuse me, sir,” a voice said as the weak side pulled the firing tube out of the grass. “You haven’t heard or seen any kids with fireworks have you?”
With tube in hand and several neighbors staring out their windows, the weak side walked toward the police car, and that “stupid red necked bird” remembered he could fly and started climbing skyward.
Yup, the weak side thought everything fun is getting illegal.
Hey, you be careful out there.
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Editor’s note: This story was updated at 6:45 p.m. to include a response from the Bureau of Land Management’s national office.