Yeah yeah yeah, how was everyone’s Fourth, happy birthday America, blah blah blah YOU GUYS. You guys.
I MET MYSTERY FIREWORKS JESUS!
A bit of background for those reading on their phones who wish not to follow a hyperlink:
Last year, with the Porter-Eyre household vacationing in California and their Eastlake (ahem, Gas Works Park-adjacent) abode not open for Fourth of July festivities, Graham and I invited some friends over to our new place in Ballard. We figured we’d barbecue, drink, play some ping pong on the tables at the community center, and watch some drunk hillbilly blow their fingers off down on the athletic fields.
And we mostly did that. We had pork steaks (hollaaaaaa, St. Louisans), I made two desserts like some kind of maniac, we got handily drunk, we played ping pong until it was too dark to see, and we did see one drunk hillbilly nearly blow off not their finger, but their ear. And then laugh about it. As, I suppose, drunk hillbillies will do.
Around the time we started talking about heading back to the house, someone else’s fireworks display began on the opposite side of the athletic field. It quickly became clear that this was no ordinary display purchased by a frustrated dad at a roadside fireworks stand. It didn’t belong to a drunk hillbilly. It also wasn’t sanctioned by a business or community organization, and only a handful of people were around to watch.
But it. Was. Glorious. And the man behind it soon became known as both the President of Ballard and, most fittingly, Mystery Fireworks Jesus. I went looking for information and ended up on the MyBallard forum and posted a much lengthier thank you on this blog.
This year, we declined an invitation to Eastlake due to concerns about spending 2 hours in traffic and me having been sick all week (tip: when you haven’t had a fever in years, it’s not the greatest idea to get one during the hottest week of the year because you will become convinced that your brain is cooking and you are going crazy). Instead, we stayed home with a slightly less ambitious menu and Craig, who was spending his very first 4th of July as a Seattleite. We’d talked a big game about Mystery Fireworks Jesus and I was a little worried that he might not show up this year.
But he did. And way more neighborhood people were there to watch. And Craig’s face lit up because duh, that’s what happens when you witness someone doing something out of kindness and joy.
THANKS AGAIN, MYSTERY FIREWORKS JESUS!
I’ve been trying to add a comment to the MyBallard forum for the past 20 minutes (mostly in response to someone named VeganBiker WHO IS, NOT SURPRISINGLY WITH THAT NAME, KIND OF AN ASSHOLE). Until I can to that forum, I’ll keep posting here in the hopes that the man responsible for all of the bang and none of the traffic gets his share of the credit.
Last year, someone posted a comment to my blog about Mystery Fireworks Jesus to say that the man himself had seen my post, loved the nickname, and was now the owner of a t-shirt printed with the moniker. I’ve been looking for this guy all over Ballard since then and have never seen him, so after last night’s display, Graham, Craig and I walked over to that end of the athletic fields in the hopes of meeting him.
Which was not as easy as I thought it would be. Understandably, when fireworks are illegal, anyone asking for the perpetrator is highly suspicious (although I did briefly fancy myself as a Scully type of character, so that was cool). The first few people we asked professed ignorance and because I am who I am (ahem, mostly insecure, awkward, and shy), I was ready to turn around and go home. That’s where the cake was, after all. But Graham approached a group of dudes who appeared to be the most likely suspects, and although they initially claimed they had no idea what he was talking about, I eventually heard one of them say “Wait a minute, is your old lady named Erin?”
Heh. Old lady. Terrific.
ANYWAY, I then walked over and met Mystery Fireworks Jesus – who was wearing the t-shirt! – and his friends, and not only did they seem pleased to meet me (a nice change of pace when people know my name in advance, to be honest), I was so thrilled to be able to thank him in person and learn his name. Hell no I’m not telling you what it is.
Hey, Mystery Fireworks Jesus! Don’t listen to the VeganBikers of the world! You keep doing you, buddy, and I’ll buy you a beer the next time I see you.
I followed the link to your blog, which is a good read. I looked at the forum and found the VeganBiker rants, and that shit is hilarious.
Thanks for your recognitions and hope anyone in Ballard who’s seen “the show” understands that it’s a feel-good surprise for the local community. The title of my little show by the way is 5 Minutes of Fury! Anyone wanting to relive those minutes just has to search You Tube for Mystery Fireworks Jesus. Hope your 4th was as memorable as mine. Thanks Erin!