All in all, this was the best Fourth I’ve had since moving to Portland. Not only did I get paid to have the day off for the first time in years, but my neighbors — the ones who started setting off fireworks last year around June 26th — were mostly quiet (barring a few early M80s) until about 8:30 last night, when about four or five cars rolled up from wherever they’d had their family picnic, and I swear they must have all had lighters in their hands as they got out of the cars, ’cause the explosions started immediately…and lasted until about 12:30. But I’ll take a concentrated burst of four-hour mayhem over the two-week version anytime.
Though the same few things go through my head as the neighborhood lights up around me every year:
- How much money is spent on four hours’ worth of fireworks — and we’re talking some of the big guns, not just little poppers? I just can’t imagine how that’s worthwhile. Though to each their own; I’m sure a number of things I enjoy would be easily dismissed as frivolous spending by many people. But somehow I wonder if one year it might be more fun to take the hundreds of dollars you’re going to spend on fireworks, get them converted to $1 bills, soak ‘em in gasoline, and then set them on fire one by one.
- I am so, so glad I’ve never been to war or lived in any kind of war zone. All the booming and crashing must drive some people batty, even more so than people’s pets (though my dog is hardly phased by the things, thankfully).
- If ever you find yourself wanting to shoot someone or maybe blow up a safe in a bank, try to hold off until the evening of the fourth of july… since the cops aren’t responding to any of the fireworks complaints, at the very least, you’ll get a good head start on your escape.*
*obviously, I’m not condoning any crime, I’m just saying…