Joan versus crackers

I was walking home from work along a main road when a bus roaring up beside me erupted into flashes and smoke.

I stopped and so did the the two people ahead. The bus, unharmed, continued on.

Another explosion. This time it was a rocket with a trail of white smoke behind it. BANG!

Tentatively, I started to walk again. Behind me, there was another RAT-TAT-TAT of machine gun fire sounds and yellow bursts of light appeared in the corner of my eye.

I turned to watch the group of six or seven kids throwing orange sticks in front of cars. The sticks exploded.

I watched for a minute, hoping to intimidate them into stopping. But another firework launched, again one of those rocket-type ones.

So I pulled out my phone and pushed 9. Then 9. Then 9.

‘Hello? What’s the emergency?’ asked the voice.

‘There are some kids throwing firecrackers into the traffic,’ I heard myself say. ‘It’s a really busy road.’

‘Police, then? You want the police?’


I waited two dial tones, then: ‘Police, what’s the situation?’

I told them where I was and what was happening.

‘Are they fireworks or crackers?’

‘Crackers, I think. They throw these sticks and it takes a while to explode into sparks. There are loud cracking sounds. I think they’re crackers.’

‘Okay, we’ll investigate,’ said the phone voice. ‘Do you want to leave your name?’

‘Ah, no,’ I said. ‘I won’t be in the area.’

I hung up, then went on to the gym, then home to cook dinner and fold my laundry.

I wonder if the police came.

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