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It's the Fourth of July, and Max and Freak get to go to the fireworks without any adult supervision. Fancy.
Gram is worried people are going to step on Freak because he's so little, but it turns out the real trouble comes from the "beer swillers" (6.6). Also known as Tony D and his gang.
Tony D, who everyone calls Blade, stops Max and Freak on their way to the fireworks. The best way to deal with this guy is to avoid him in the first place, so Max and Freak are definitely in trouble.
He starts asking if they have any fireworks, but Freak just keeps walking and tells Max to "avoid the cretin" (6.15).
Tony steps in front of Freak and asks him what he called him. Freak just looks right up into his face and says, "Cretin. C-R-E-T-I-N. Defined as one who suffers from a mental deficiency" (6.17). This kid has some serious nerve.
Max just can't help himself, and he starts laughing. Big mistake.
Repeat: big mistake.
Blade eyes Max up and down, as if he's deciding whether to fight him or simply kill him.
Thankfully, Max hears a siren, and a cop car pulls up. Blade takes off running.
Freak asks Max if he thinks he could have taken him, and Max answers with a big fat no. You don't just fight Blade; you have to fight his gang, too.
Freak starts laughing so hard he falls down. Max picks him up and can't believe how light he is.
Later, when they're watching the fireworks and Freak can't see, Max picks him up and puts him on his shoulders. Aw.
Freak is happy to be able to see and he names each of the chemicals and elements that create the colors in the fireworks.