I spent the evening of that holiday with Paul, Deenster, Chris, Josh and Lisa at Trinity Bellwoods Park,
a large common situated a short jaunt west of the downtown core. Paul,
who loves fireworks, had brought along a Manhattan Project’s worth of
them, but what we had couldn’t possibly hope to rival what the Hardcore
The Hardcore Dudes had whole filing boxes’ worth of Roman candles,
bombes, barrages, screamers, pinwheels, cherry bombs and all sorts of
other stuff designed to explode with satisfying puro-flourishes and
exhilarating ka-booms. They also preferred to plant their fireworks
ridiculously close to each other and often couldn’t wait for one
firework to finish discharging before lighting the next one, which was
usually the one beside it.
The Hardcore Dudes were crazy and giggling like mad scientists, but
hey, they put on a killer show that everyone in the park loved.
Here’s a video that I shot featuring the Hardcore Dudes at the height
of their show [3 MB QuickTime]. I shot it from about four or five large paces
away, close enough to feel the ashes from the discharge falling on me.
It’s got fantastic explosions, including a couple where one of
the Hardcore Dudes gets slightly singed thanks to his overeagerness to
keep the explosions going.
I expect to read about the Hardcore Dudes someday. I suspect it will be
in an article covering speaking engagements at high schools: “Back when
I had eyebrows and all ten of my fingers, I used to be careless with