Fireworks: Bad July Juju

Posted: July 4, 2011 in Uncategorized
Tags: , , , , , , ,

Within the next few hours, I will be locking my door and keeping things on the DL. Once the sun begins to set, the hey day of celebrations of Independence Day will commence.

No, I will not be going out to enjoy any fireworks show this year. Unfortunately for this area of the country we are in a serious drought and are ten inches behind on the average annual rainfall for this time of the year. So a majority of the fireworks displays in this area have been cancelled. Which is sad.

The temperatures are too high to be sitting out in the sun today in the first place, just waiting for the sun to disappear. And even then, its still bad enough.

Instead this year, I went out to breakfast and ate ALL YOU CAN eat Fourth of July breakfast buffet. Not to mention I ate what seemed like a ton of bacon for Lisa & Lori this morning. My cholesterol levels and clogged arteries will thank them later.

And then in the afternoon, I went to a neighbor’s and stayed cool and watched movies on demand. That dear readers, is my Independence Day celebration. Include a marathon of watching the HBO series “Band of Brothers” one episode after another in a few here. Already this weekend, I’ve watched a few and so I’m just shy of half way there.

But the sporadic explosions of fireworks will begin. That and gun fire. Fireworks to my north and guns to my south. I prefer to stay uninjured during this Independence Day weekend.

For me though, I have a love/hate relationship with fireworks. For as long as I can remember my fascination as well as my protest for these things that go BANG and BOOM in the air and then produce the pretty spectacle of colors has always been there.

When I was a child, fireworks were in fact legal. I just hated the fact that they always made loud explosions in the air. Some of the more common firecrackers I hated too. Growing up, I had a difficult time with unusually loud noises. They hurt my ears.

By the time I was a teenager, it was not so bad on my ears. And by then, my family had moved to a place where fireworks were NOT legal. So there was nothing to be bought or had. Fines and tickets were hefty if you were caught in possession of them.

Not being able to buy them or use them didn’t bother me too much, up until about fifteen years ago when I was living in a place where the county allowed them. I could not believe my eyes when I saw a woman selling fireworks from inside of her own garage.

Without parental supervision, and being in a place in life where nobody could tell me what to do, I went NUTS!

In the three years that I lived in Lane County, in the state of Kansas, whenever July rolled around I practically spent every last penny I owned on fireworks. My first time buying them, I was so ridiculous, foolish, and irresponsible that I had spent so much that I could not pay my bills for the month. Needless to say that I didn’t have a lot to eat or drink in the entire month of July.

I remember that year well. I was hanging out with a guy during the summer and every day from the 29th of June until the 5th of July, I would go to that woman’s garage and look for something to buy. Wanting the biggest, the baddest, the most awesome fireworks that I could find.

I bought so much that the woman selling them to me, gave me about $50 worth in assorted fireworks for free. And on top of that she had a drawing for the mighty mystery bag of assorted fireworks that was supposed to be valued at over $200. The buddy that I was hanging out with would end up winning it. But he and I stuck together that evening of Independence Day.

Inside that mystery bag was something called “Thunder King”. It was the most single awesome, bad ass firework with report that I have ever laid my eyes upon. Nothing has ever compared to it since. 40 shots that go flying into the air, high above the telephone wires and explode in a colorful fury that lit up a radius of about three blocks. And the report rattled the windows of everything. Even setting off car alarms.

When I went back on the morning of the 5th, I was told that it valued at $75!! And she had one more left on the shelf. She was going to sell it to me for less than 50% off, but I could not handle it because of all the other stuff that I had bought that was pathetic by comparison.

Boxed sets, assorted sets, Roman candle sets, Black Cats, fountains, missles. I could go on and on. But I could not get my hands on another “Thunder King”.

Each end of June, that woman could probably smell me coming from a mile away even though I probably did not live that far from her. She KNEW I was going to be there. From that point on, there was no more “Thunder King”. Only something that was similar that truly and honestly sucked.

Obviously it didn’t matter to her that much. She was going to get my money! So she definitely set up things to where I could reach, remembering what I liked from the year before.

But then a few years later, I would move again to another part of Kansas where the county did not allow them. So I was back to what I really knew best: celebrating without them.

Hundreds and hundreds of dollars gone up in a matter of minutes, leaving nothing but a giant low lying cloud of smoke from all of the TNT and gun powder to permeate the night air. And then its all over.

I learned my lesson: Fireworks are BAD JUJU for the Dambreaker.

Now I have bought fireworks since that time, but nothing like that before. Maybe $25 here or $50 there. Each and every time I smell that unsettled powder, I cringe and my wallet begins to shake in my pocket wondering if I am going to strip it clean of its contents.

And I understand that there are people out there that spend thousands of dollars on fireworks. I’m just not one of those kinds of people that can handle that kind of spending, financially speaking.

It sucked having to live on 89¢ fountain drinks, Macaroni & Cheese and endless packages of Ramen noodles for three weeks. All in the name of wanting a “respectable collection” of fireworks.

 It might be really cool to watch all of those awesome, vibrant colors. And yeah, it is kinda neat for you to be able to knock the socks off of people who are nearby when you are putting on your own fireworks display. Just because you didn’t want the night to end when the local fireworks display was over. I simply had lost my mind in those years after spending so much money on it all.

And to think that I hated them for making such loud noises growing up!

But for those of you who do have them and are allowed by your county and state to use them: Be safe! Keep the children away from all of it. Leave the pets inside because they are gonna hate the noises anyways. Use some common sense because they are in a wild and weird sense, a fire hazard.

Enjoy your Independence Day celebrations. And Happy 235th birthday, America!!!!!!

 

 

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