FIREWORKS

Squattedman doesn’t even have to knock at the door of the warehouse located in an unpopulated area on the outskirts of the Bronx. The door is wide open. Above there is a sign that reads “Edison Illuminating Company.” Apart from the man with a lightbulb head and five or six more people, the gigantic warehouse is deserted and the many machines turned off. 

From the threshold, Squattedman watches with stupor the Bulb Man who is pacing up and down in a highly agitated state. He is talking alone:

“That Tesla skunk! I will electrocute him again and again until there is nothing left of him but ashes! ”

 When he recovers from the initial startled, Squattedman says aloud: “Excuse me!”

The Bulb Man quickly turns around: 

“Who are you?”

”I’m looking for Mr. Thomas Edison.” 

“What do you want from him?”

“I just want to ask him a few questions.”

“Related to the war of currents?”

“Is there a war in Currents? I am not aware. I don’t even know where Currents is.”

“Ha, ha! Do come in.”

Squattedman meets the world famous inventor. In the short distance, he notices that Edison retains the facial features but his head radiates light from the inside as if it were a light bulb. 

“Are you Mr. Edison? ”

“Yes, yes. What do you want? I have a fuckin problem right now.”

“Allow me to introduce myself. I’m François de La… ”

Edison interrupts him: “No matter!” (Squattedman feels that suddenly Edison’s eyes light up more than they already were.) “I’m going to show that scoundrel Nikola Tesla that his electricity is more dangerous than mine! ” Then he shouts at his assistant: “Hamilton, electrocute this guy!”

“Yes sir!” replies Hamilton, who rushes to grab Squattedman by the arms and take him to a chair full of electrical wires.

 Edison continues: “Bring the Kinetoscope! We are going to film everything and spread it to the nation. The people have the right to know how dangerous alternating current is! ”

They sit Squateddman in the electric chair and put on him a kind of metal helmet to which they plug cables. Meanwhile, the other guys prepare the film equipment. Squattedman takes advantage of the occasion to interrogate Edison:

“Meanwhile, I would like to ask you some questions.”

“Ahead. If that is your last will … ”

“What do you have to do with a political organization called Tammany Hall?”

“What do I have to do? Everything! It doesn’t matter if I confess it to you, because in a few minutes you will be fried. Ha, ha, ha! I contributed the initial capital and have been financing it since its creation. In return, from their positions of government, they don’t find fault in my experiments and award me all kinds of patents. Do you know that I’ve invented a thing called an Osiroscope and I still don’t know what it is for? Ha ha ha! I found out yesterday. ”

“But stealing others’ inventions is immoral.”

“In this country, we just need one inventor! Just as we just need one President.”

“So are you Cow Head?”

“In the past I was Cow Head! Because of that Tesla scoundrel, I am now Bulb Head! But he will pay for that!”

“Everything is ready, Mr. Edison.”, his assistant says.

“Turn on the Kinetoscope and record everything. Don’t miss detail. But first I want to address the nation. ”

The camera operator gestures with his hand and Edison begins his speech looking directly at the camera:

“American people! You have seen how the alternating current of that infamous Nikola Tesla has electrocuted dogs and cats and even an elephant! Now I am going to show you that it’s not only dangerous for animals but even for man. Go ahead, Hamilton. Proceed! ”

Hamilton pulls back a stick and a large electric current is transferred to Squattedman, who however does not show any disturbance signal, in view of which the session lasts almost a quarter of an hour. Finally, Hamilton, tired of holding the stick, yields and it returns to its initial position. Edison contemplates the phenomenon with bulging eyes.

“It’s not possible! He should be turned to ashes! ”

From the chair Squattedman asks:

“Can I continue with the interrogation?”

“Turn off the Kinetoscope, idiot! (Edison exclaims) Gosh! How is that possible? What could have failed?” Then he orders Hamilton: “Give him another electric shock. And increase the power to the max this time. ”

“But, boss, if we increase the power it can be dangerous.”

“That’s what it’s about, idiot! We must prove that the current of Tesla involves a serious danger! Pull back the stick! Obey! And you, switch on the Kinetoscope! ”

Despite his reluctance, Hamilton pulls back the stick and again the sparks run through Squattedman’s entire body. But it has no effect on him, who yawns. Meanwhile, the sparks are getting stronger and spread throughout the warehouse, which ends up blowing up.

From the rest of New York the spectacle is contemplated as if they were fireworks.

This is a non-profit blog whose purpose is to raise funds for children in need. So if you want to make a donation in exchange for this story, click on this link to UNICEF. I really appreciate it!

A few years before, Edison’s company had recorded and distributed a film entitled “Electrocuting an Elephant”. This is a still from that film.

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