Happy 4th of July! I am so grateful to be an American, to own a house and to live in a neighborhood surrounded by fine, upstanding citizens. On this red, white and blue corn-eating, beer-drinking holiday, I support everyone’s right to explode fireworks and celebrate this great country’s Independence. God Bless America!
Unfortunately, some of my neighbors took remedial history and believe that the 4th of July starts on the evening of July 3rd.This may have started when city governments began holding fireworks shows on the 3rd instead of the 4th, being sensitive to the fact that people wanted to be home to exercise their constitutional right to light up and bomb their own neighborhood. I know, those of you who passed American history will question my assertion that the Constitution gives Americans the right to light fireworks. My friends, it is simply a matter of scholarly interpretation. But enough with belaboring the Constitution; it is the 4th of July, a time to celebrate! And to those neighbors who were shooting off fireworks at 1:30 a.m., I would like to say thank you for being the first in the neighborhood to wish us a happy Fourth of July. And allow us to wish you a summer filled with unrelenting mosquito bites.
It is hard to imagine how insensitive and inconsiderate one must be to live in a neighborhood and continually disturb the elderly, families with small children, and pet owners with an endless barrage of fireworks into the early hours of the morning, stopping only when our prayers have finally been answered and the big bangers fizzle out and fall into a smoke-induced stupor for a few hours or, if we are lucky, days.
Fireworks are supposed to be illegal, but the sensitive nature of our government suggests that officials should tread lightly when it comes to joyous American expressions of the sound and sights of war. This means neighborhoods must take leadership roles, to march forth and restore peace and quiet after a reasonable hour on the 4th of July and during the days leading up to and beyond the 4th of July. This must be done in the name of the elderly, families with small children, pets and those of us who are less fond of sonic booms rocking our much needed beauty sleep.
Most of us are happy to ooh and awe at fireworks on the 4th, spin a sparkler or two or light up the sky with Roman candles. And while many of us don’t really understand the value of digit-threatening firecrackers, we don’t stand in anyone’s way as they blast away, and we offer tolerance toward those who like the ear-numbing sounds of bombs and the smell of smoke. What we object to are the jokers who blast firecrackers after 11:00 p.m. and days before and after the holiday. These are the numskulls we must convince to step back from the celebration and find a shred of decency within themselves.
A few suggestions:
Do you know the offender? If you know the firecracker night owl and suspect they are just stupid but not all together unreasonable, slowly try to explain to them that some people are annoyed by loud, abrupt noises while they are trying to sleep, and ask them to stop.
If the firecracker monger throws beer cans at you or escalates their behavior, then retreat, videotape the behavior from a car window and call 311. Be sure to write down the house number for a little creative revenge at a future date.
Creative Revenge suggestions include the following: early morning games of ring the doorbell and run, standing outside their house in a black, witch-like costume the next time they have company and casting spells in their direction, telling the annoying people who leave endless flyers at your doors that your neighbors are big spenders and would appreciate extra flyers and follow-up phone calls, or take a laser pointer and shin it into their windows. Whatever. Works. Whatever you can get away with.
In conclusion, neighborhoods must declare, out of respect for every man, woman, child and pet, that the 4th of July begins and ends on the 4th of July and that no fireworks should be heard after 11:00 p.m. If this declaration doesn’t work, perhaps we can enlist the help of Jehovah’s Witnesses and offer them the opportunity to witness to these thoughtless, inconsiderate ingrates early on Sunday mornings.
Odd Loves Company,