Jul 6, 2006 | Views: 1,730
Iowa is not without its moments though, oh no. As I am travelling back to Nebraska, I am making my way though Des Moines making sure not to take any wrong turns. (I made that mistake two years ago, extending my stay at least 30 mins before getting back on track.) So, as I'm leaving Des Moines, I need to make a gas station stop. I find a gas station exit on the west end of town and pull off I-80 onto a six-lane divided street. However, I am unable to find a gas station nearby, so I end up travelling about a mile down the road before I find a Kum-and-Go gas station. On the left side of the road are a bunch of blockades and people with flashlights signaling cars not to enter. I'm not exactly sure what is going on, but the gas station is off to the right so no worries for me.
So here I am, 10:30 PM on July 2nd in Des Moines Iowa pumping fuel into my car. And you won't believe what begins to happen next. A fireworks display across the street begins to go off, maybe 60 yards from where I stood. And this isn't some backyard display either, it is a major event display with some high-dollar mortar shells. Almost immediately, pieces of mortar shell start falling all around me, sounding like plastic beads bouncing off the pavement. Is this happening? What if a burning ember comes down? What if a mortar shell doesn't reach its altitude, and sprays sparks into the fumes coming from my gas pump? I wasn't interested in finding out. I stopped pumping and got away from that station as soon as I could, in fear for my life. What also surprised me was the other people pumping gas. They had no worries, they just stood by their cars and watched the pretty fireworks.
All kinds of things came to mind. How could they get a permit to put a display right next to such a busy street, let alone a gas station? Only in Iowa, was my only guess.
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