There was a moment this weekend, as I was walking with my wife and 3 kids to find a spot to view the local 4th of July Fireworks display, where I felt like I was living in downtown Beirut. We were literally dodging through bottle rockets and other Chinese made explosives on our way through a very nice neighborhood to get to the viewing area.
Look, I’m no fireworks prude–As a teenager, my friends and I regularly menaced each other with firecrackers. Back then, everyone had a friend who knew someone who could score the coolest fireworks from “some place down south off of 44..”
I like watching them as much as anyone…watching being the operative word here.
It felt almost surreal walking through this beautifully manicured neighborhood. I was amazed yet fascinated by how much fun people living in the area seemed to be having.
But the parent in me couldn’t help being slightly concerned that one of the kids could get hurt. I mean, these are actual explosive devices with dangerous sounding names like “Saturn Missiles”, “Magnum Artillery Shells” and most disturbingly, “Angry Black Cats!”.
As we got to the viewing area, my wife said something about forgetting one of our lawn chairs.
“Can you go back to the car and grab it?”
“Huh?…You want me to walk through that again?”
She cut me off, knowing full well what she was about to say would result in my immediate departure.
“OK…fine, I’LL GO GET THEM…”
“Fine”, I said getting up, “I’ll be right back…”
And off I went, back through the gamut.
Even though there are laws about people shooting off fireworks on their own, that didn’t seem to stop anyone this year. And it wasn’t restricted to any particular area–I’ve heard people say that they were dodging firecrackers walking back to their cars after the Fair St. Louis fireworks downtown.
Then again, we didn’t have anything like this happen:
“GRAB THE PICNIC GEAR HONEY…WE’RE OUTTA HERE!”