There’s a line between honest, revealing even, and confrontational, combative, preachy. I try not to cross that line, especially here. I try not to let that line cause standoffs and judgments that maim and end friendships. I’m about to say something controversial however, on this day of patriotic unity when picnics create brotherhood and anthems stir our collective desire to wear red, white and rhinestones. I may cross that divisive line on this of all holidays, but it’s not called Independence Day for nothing. Here goes. Deep breath. These may be the boldest fighting words I’ve ever uttered and the proof I’ve never wanted that I am in fact of another species.
I hate fireworks. I wish they were illegal.
I wish they were dead.
They’re loud, smoky, scary, and obnoxious. I know they make people say ooo but they make animals tremble and they make me mad. I know, let’s replicate bombs and gunfire and war. For fun. Let’s sacrifice eyes, fingers, wildlife, wildfires, peace and quiet, and sanity to shoot things at and above each other. Let’s celebrate a new year, an anniversary of our freedom, heck a birthday – or ANY day if you live in a state like Mississippi or Montana where fireworks are as important to a party as what’s in the cooler and what’s on the grill. For crying out loud. Can’t we wave a flag, go to a parade, wear the rhinestones, and maybe join in a Pledge of Allegiance with our hands over our hearts and call it good? Have a hot dog and a piece of pie and call it better. Do we have to blow things up just to feel patriotic? Can’t we say ooo about the impressive thunderstorm last night? It was plenty loud and flashy.
I feel like I’ve ranted about this before. Call me pig-headed. I drove by the fireworks stand this morning on my way into town, and not only was I offended that they exist, I had to confront the discarded pile of empty cardboard boxes BIGGER THAN MY HOUSE. What is wrong with people? How much money, trash, smoke, and noise is generated, WASTED, by this absurd aspect of 4th of July hoopla? It is bananas! I would spare the sparklers but the rest? I wish they were all duds, disappointments, impotent. Silent and flattened like the dead snake on my road. Not even a fizzle. Never even BORN if I’m telling it like it is, and it seems today that I am.
I am an empathetic soul. I try to get where people are coming from, often to a fault. I can hear you now, with your fond stories of bottle rocket wars growing up, family traditions of Roman Candles and smoke bombs, that time the giant display at the baseball game or Disneyworld brought tears to your eyes. I understand this is part of Americana, tradition, patriotism. JOY. I understand I am raining death on your joy. I don’t care. I’m crossing the line. Possibly for the first time, or at least the first time on purpose. Pardon the mud-slinging – it’s about to get messy and I’m feeling fine:
Go away fireworks. And never come back.