Wednesday, July 4, 2007

Marco Polo Discovers Fireworks

WITH APOLOGIES TO, WELL, EVERYONE

When Marco Polo first opened the trade routes to China, he was quite impressed with the people and the ingenious things they made. One invention he especially enjoyed hearing about was the rockets they created. While not quite the fireworks we know today, they did shoot into the air, explode, and make pretty patterns.

Much to Polo's chagrin, however, he could get no one to demonstrate the rockets for him, though everyone made them nearly everywhere he traveled in the country. "No, will not shoot them off here!" each person protested.

Finally, Marco traveled to a series of military bases in the beautiful city of Chu'Lai. Here fireworks were launched off every night, and on Friday evenings people would travel from great distances to launch their homemade rockets in one gigantic display.

"But why here, and nowhere else?" Marco Polo asked his guide.

"Why, honored sir," the guide replied, "everyone knows that we only set off fireworks on the forts of Chu'Lai!"

[JokeMaster, retold by Mark Raymond]
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I join Mark in wishing all Americans a "Happy 231st."

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