I consider myself a pretty good sport. I never sit poolside and yell at kids for inadvertently splashing me. My neighbors have loud parties a couple of times a year that go into the wee hours of the morning and you’ll never hear me complain. When the ball belonging to our neighbor’s visiting grandchildren flew into our yard four times I happily retrieved it and thanked them for asking me, rather than climbing over the fence into my yard. I might have told them the story, as my eyes filled with tears, about another sweet child who came into my yard uninvited, and then sighed as I reached down to pick up a bone. However, my story was in their best interest!
Despite the fact that I run a bed-and-biscuit inn, we live a quiet existence. The last ruckus party we had was Joe’s memorial. My pups and guest campers are never left outside to bark, or allowed on the bark line (visiting with other neighbor pups) for more than a few minutes in the late morning or early evening.
In Chicago, “calling the city” or “calling the police” when someone does something even mildly disagreeable in your neighborhood is common. My Texas roots go deep; if someone annoyed me to that extent, I would probably just ask my sweet mom to come up and shoot out all the tires on their cars. I’m not a tattletale.
The fireworks in my neck of the woods have been relentless this year. They started with the Blackhawks winning the Stanley Cup (YEAH BLACKHAWKS!) and haven’t stopped. I’m not talking about the pretty fireworks that light up the sky; we are being treated to a sonic boom band that makes me jump and my pups miserable until two o’clock in the morning.
I like fireworks; it’s a fun tradition. Some of my fondest memories are of standing in my grandparents’ yard watching my uncles light up the sky on the Fourth of July. The womenfolk, certain the guys would lose a finger called out warnings and hid their eyes, Mom’s admonish the young ‘uns to at least put on shoes before lighting sparklers that were hot enough to melt metal. Cole and dearly departed Joe were part of our neighborhood fun in the alley on July 4th. As soon as it was dark enough, they would head out to the alley with an exorbitantly expensive assortment of carefully chosen fireworks while I would follow with my lawn chair and a bucket of water. The show would last for about an hour as I ohhhed, awwwed and clapped my hands over my ears as I watched their fireworks show alongside the neighbors’ show. Of course, I made sure everyone stood back, collected sparklers, and firmly insisted they only light “dead” fireworks once. I stood firm for the preservation of limbs, digits and eyes. It was fun. By 10 p.m., we were laughing our way safely back inside for Fourth of July dessert. Done: that is the key. Fireworks should start on the fourth of July and be over by midnight. The end.
Last night, standing in my yard at 1:00 a.m. watching my cross-legged pups try to get in a poop or pee between firework blasts, I came up with a solution. After I put my pups up, I took a neighborhood drive and isolated some of the offenders. No, I did not confront them; it’s not wise to confront oversized adults holding explosives in one hand and beer cans in the other hand at 1:00 in the morning. Common sense prevailed, but I do have a plan.
Today, I am heading over to the party store to buy an air horn. The fireworks may be over (let us pray) and my air horn may have to wait until next year…but either way I’ll be prepared. Tonight, if we are forced to attend another performance of the boom band, I will identify the houses, and tomorrow at 5:00 a.m. I will do an alley drive-by with my horn. I will blast it in bursts over about 30 seconds and then drive on. Unfortunately, I will have to ask for forgiveness from the neighborhood innocents, but sometimes you must suffer for the greater good: my revenge. Or our revenge, if they choose to applaud me.
Sweet Mama always said you have to stand for something or you’ll fall for anything. Enough is enough
How was your 4th of July?
Odd Loves Company!