Hot Potato

This is Fountain Valley, AZ, where I'm at a family reunion.

That in the distance is the worlds-biggest fountain. It's visible from my Aunt's house and apparently it erupts every hour.
That's just long enough for you to forget it exists, look out the window, and say, "Oh, yeah... the world's biggest fountain... Huh."

It's glorious.

Another thing that is also glorious, is a potato cannon.

My cousins decided to build one today. I decided to watch them.
Trust me, the idea is much more brilliant if you don't ask why.

The only problem was that the dang thing wouldn't launch.
So the two hours they spent making a potato cannon ended up as two hours making a potato-jamming-tube-hole.

But remember, these are people somewhat distantly related or married to people I am related to. They're not going to give up easy.

Not one's to be deterred, they filled the loading chamber with numerous gases and flammable substances. This included additives such as WD-40, Head and Shoulders Hair Spray, and insect repellent.
None of it worked.

But then they came across a winning combination, Propane and Pure Oxygen.
They filled the chamber and quickly closed it off.

Suddenly the potato cannon had turned into a scientific experiment, the kind from a bad science fiction movie where the idea is "just so crazy it just might work." My cousin's instruments were a rake, to hold the cannon steady, and a shovel, to hit the ignition switch.

We knew that we were only a few moments away from being both internet hero's and Darwin Award champions.

I watched as they stood a solid five feet away from the massive weapon before hitting it without a warning.

The next thing I knew, I was crouched behind a car holding my ears. The sound was similar to a mortar explosion mixed with a T-Rex-tornado-train. For a split second I felt the ground shake and my heart momentarily stop beating.

Looking back up, I noticed everyone else was in a similar situation, but thankfully unharmed.

Meanwhile, the potato cannon was a smoking wreck.
The gaseous cocktail had apparently exploded outward through the casing. This was signified by the shattered remains at the bottom of the cannon and the very end of the barrel.

It was truly amazing.

Somewhere, down the valley, I'm certain the sound of the explosion is still making it's way past houses.

The potato, on the other hand, was no where to be found. The consensus was that it was vaporized.

Frankly, I like to think it soared into the distance and now is clogging the world's biggest fountain, miles away.

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