I hold these truths to be self evident, that I love sleeping in the summer.
Well, I also love sleeping in the winter, spring and fall—I love sleeping—but I especially love sleeping in the summer. The windows open, a gentle breeze blowing through, the sounds of nature serving as a gentle lullaby. Minus the occasional manic cricket cackle, I consider summer sleeping quite possibly one of my favorite activities.
In fact, I actually think about these things mid-winter when I’m huddled in bed under blankets in the fetal position with the windows sealed shut and the humidifier/heater going full blast. The promise of summer sleeping—along with the promise of baseball season and fresh green beans— is what gets me through.
So imagine my displeasure every year around this time when my peaceful nights are no more, when I climb on top of the covers only to be jolted out of my meditative trance five minutes later by what is assumed to be either an apparent drive-by or carpet bombing.
I do not live in either a ghetto or a war zone, so that leaves one other option—pyromaniacs celebrating their independence from maturity and common sense by blowing crap up.
After all, what’s more American than purchasing illegal fireworks and lighting them off in the middle of the night—or even the middle of the day—the two weeks before and the two months after the Fourth of July?
I can answer that—just about anything.
I’m not anti-fireworks.
I’m not talking about the normal explosives people go downtown to see on the actual Fourth of July. (Although I’m not too into that either. At first I go “oooh, ahhh, pretty” then near the end when the dog is terrified and I’m tired from lack of sleep due to constant booming for two weeks prior to that day, I’m pretty much over it and feel ready for a Valium salt lick.)
I’m talking about the idiots that shoot off bottle rockets, M80s and firecrackers, the result of which could result in either the burning down of my house or torching of my sanity.
Along with the aforementioned noise pollution, pieces of the blasted things—actual litter— will be found throughout my backyard and neighboring streets for at least the next week.
Perhaps I’m missing something here, but I just don’t see the appeal of spending large amounts of money on things that go “boom” from a shady man on the side of a road in a striped tent blasting “Born in the USA” from his mobile home.
They want loud noises?
Keeping blowing crap up at 2am, causing me to wake up and hit the deck with “Gangstas Paradise” stuck in my head. If they stop over about one minute after this happens, not only will I give them loud noises, but I can guarantee that my language will be colorful as well (“oooh, ahhh, pretty” will not be included.)
I’m not suggesting people have to stick to sparklers, colored smoke bombs and those creepy snake things that completely ruin the sidewalks forever. All I’m suggesting is that they abide by normal explosive etiquette and keep the pyromania and possible arson with a sonic boom soundtrack to the weekend of the holiday.
After all, this is a holiday to celebrate certain unalienable rights—life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.
In other words, a good summer night’s sleep.
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