Boom and Bust

IMG_0361I don’t wear my patriotism on my sleeve — or car bumper for that matter — but my love for country is no less real.

I hold sacred the Constitution, and on a good day, can recite the gist of its amendments. I give to military support organizations and thank veterans for their service every chance I get. And although I enjoyed my vacation overseas last summer, I couldn’t wait to get back stateside because of the lifestyle our culture affords.

But when it comes to the celebration of this nation, forgive me. Fireworks and the Fourth of July are out of control.

I’m not talking about the public displays where the local fire department is in charge, and you can sit a safe distance away.

I’m referring to these these backyard bonanzas outside city limits where anything goes.

When did we go from smoke bombs and sparklers to commercial grade rockets whose explosions rattle your windows?  

It never stops.

People used to celebrate the Fourth on July 4. Now, Independence Day has become a week, sometimes longer. 

I can’t count the years that I’ve feared my house was going to burn because of all of the half-lit debris landing on the shingles.

Perhaps I’m biased against the private displays because I’ve seen what they can do.

A Roman candle blew up in my hand when I was 14. Years ago, my daughter almost had her eye put out by a bottle rocket. And who can forget my poor friend Jerry (not his real name and you’ll see why)?

Jerry was at a relative’s celebration when a firework tipped over and shot into the crowd, landing and exploding in his crotch, tearing a hole in his ballsack.

I like my manhood and plan to keep it.

So enjoy some hot dogs and apple pie. Toss back a brew. Remember the red, white and blue. And light up the night with fireworks.

Just not at the expense of your neighbor.



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