Tag Archives: fireworks

Patriotic Pyromania

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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Basket Case

The other day I was planning on working out in the yard, but knew I had to change from my “good” workout pants to my outdoor gardening pants. So I ran upstairs to my room to ditch the good workout pants, knowing my other pants were downstairs.


I ran back downstairs, grabbed a piece of gum, laced up my dirty shoes and walked out my back door—without pants. While I openly admit to forgetting certain beauty tricks, I think forgetting pants is a first for me, at least accidentally.

At any rate, I’m going to blame this temporary lapse in clothing as a direct result of an interruption in my sleep as of late due to external noise disruptions.

Because along with it now being “Camping Season”, it is also apparently “let’s make tons of ridiculous noise late at night season” as well.

Let me preface this by saying that I love sleeping—especially sleeping in the summer with the windows open. What I don’t love is when I get into bed only to be jolted five minutes later by a sonic boom.

Considering my suburban neighborhood is not under attack from anything other than those damn white fuzzies from the trees, this means people are lighting off fireworks.

In June (and July, August and September.) 

At 2 am.

I’ve written about this before, so I will save you an additional rant and simply refer you to the post in which I opine with the explosiveness of 1,000 M80s being lit by groups of amateur pyromaniacs.

Let’s move on.

The pyromaniacs usually only surface on the weekends, so I can deal with it a little better. But what I have a harder time dealing with is the fact that the neighbor kids have recently started to play basketball at midnight.

On the weeknights.

Their hoop is on a parallel line from my bedroom window, so I hear every dribble, every argument, every “if you miss this shot you have to eat that dead thing we found in the garage” clear as day.

And no, I’m not making that part up.

Again, I can tolerate the noise on the weekends and during the day. But during the week when I get up at 5am, manic ball dribbling and plans for worm consumption keeping me awake are no bueno, mi amigos.

I’ve shut my window at times to try and muffle the noise, but that doesn’t always work. 

I’ve considered going over and talking to them, but I’m too lazy to get out of my bed at midnight to catch them in the act (and apparently they’re now nocturnal, as I haven’t seen them during the day as of late.)

I’ve even thought about taking up a collection to send them to a summer-long camp — not because they’re poor, but because I fear I might become the crazy neighbor that takes their basketball and deflates the bastard, leaving it on their driveway with a warning ransom note.

But instead I’ve decided that if this crap doesn’t stop, I will make a conscious effort to intentionally forget my pants the next time that I garden and streak across their lawn at midnight in the middle of their game waving sparklers and laughing maniacally.

If that doesn’t traumatize them into submission, I’m pretty sure nothing else will.

Wish me luck.

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