They weren't American, just setting off fireworks for Independence Day as a rehearsal for Scottish Independence Day. Hamish's home-made superpowered rocket – powered by cordite, haggis and Irn-Bru – was ready for testing, strapped to his back.
Despite the rain, they lit roman candles, catherine wheels and sparklers, then Hamish's girlfriend Morag lit the rocket's fuse. Hamish rose just six feet, then fell unceremoniously on his rear.
"Blame the rain, Hamish. You got airborne at least," said Morag, "I saw what you were wearing under your kilt. Or weren't. Bit of a damp squib, though, wasn't it?"
Hamish laughed: one-nil to Morag.