Friday, July 04, 2008

(Goin' Down in A) Blaze of Glory

Alas, I'm not talking about Bon Jovi. Today is July 4th. All across this great nation, people will celebrate our country's rebellion against tyranny with fried chicken, sales at the Chevy dealership, explosives and beer. Can't forget the beer. Its what goes best with explosives, you know...

I have to say this is not my favorite holiday. Sure, hanging out with friends and grilling, maybe swimming, is fine and dandy, but I can do that any day. Over the years, I've come to associate Independence Day with some really terrible sunburns, a trip to the ER with nasty food poisoning, and when some kid caught my shoe on fire with sparklers. Oh, and I can't forget the time that bouncy firework thing (the one that looks like a green marshmellow with spider legs that spins and hops around) chased me around the yard. Good times. Have I mentioned my pyrophobia?

Sure, I'm jaded by a friend who is blind in one eye because a teenager mishandled a bottle rocket and it exploded in her face. I may be in the minority, but the idea of everyone huddling around incendiary devices isn't my idea of fun. For the most part, I'd rather spend the night hiding behind the toilet with my beagle. She doesn't like thunder or fireworks and for whatever reason, that's where she chooses to hide. I think she shares my general distrust of my neighbors and their ability to safely manage a sparkly display without sending a bottle rocket onto my roof. I'm sure they think I'm in my front yard to bear witness to their awesomeness, but really, I'm just trying to make sure my house doesn't burn down.

I will say that I do really enjoy the professionally managed fireworks shows. I saw them in Vegas for the Millennium Celebration, Manhattan on July 4th after 9-11...good stuff. Thunder Over Louisville is inarguably the best display ever (you really do have to see it to understand). It is a ground-shaking 30 minute show with perfectly timed and synchronized displays on each side of the bridge crossing the Ohio River. We're talking 60,000 shells - over 2200 a minute! It has ruined me for most other shows, but I still like to go. One of my fantasies is to have fireworks when I get married. Unfortunately, its a small fortune, so that probably won't happen. I've just been watching too many episodes of Platinum Weddings on WE.

Ooh...I love You Tube! Here's a video clip of Thunder that covers the entire 2007 show in 4 minutes. You don't get the added bonus of the music that the fireworks go off to, but you also don't get a shaky camcorder and some guy screaming "woo hoo" the whole time either. There are plenty of those on You Tube if you're interested.

Do you like Independence Day? What's your favorite part? Or are you one of the people sitting around with a hose waiting for their house to burn to the ground?



Angel said...

I love fireworks, as long as I don't have to light them. ;) Seems my children don't like the loud noises, so for the past 8 years I've had one crying child or another in my lap while we watched.

My husband owns a BBQ restaurant, so forth of July for our family is about work. I'm actually supposed to be getting myself and the kids ready now to go down there. :(

Luckily I don't have to work as long as the hubby does.

Hope everyone has a great celebration today and may none of your houses catch fire. ;)


Barbara Vey said...

I just love being with family and friends. I hate the at home fireworks, but love the professional ones.

Enjoy the day everyone!

Maven LJ said...

I live in a neighborhood filled with trees, and with the drought we've been having, we also feel the need to guard the house.

Today I'm going to read and we'll cook out. The family is spread in all directions for this holiday, so we're going to kick back and relax and guard the trees.

LJ -- who spent the first 4th she remembers hunkered down in the back seat of the family car with her hands over her ears. Ah, fond memories.

Problem Child said...

If I'm not allowed sharp things, do you really think I should handle explosives?

Sherry W. said...

I am so over the fireworks right now. Our neighborhood is at the very edge of the city limits and the little kiddies around here have been popping them for over a week. Did I mention my dogs HATE loud noises? Yesterday I was going to call the vet to find out what was safe to give them for a calming effect. I forgot. Now I will have a 100 lb. German Shepherd and a 10 lb. Shih Tzu climbing all over me.

I'm with you SP on the home variety of fireworks display. Some things are much better left to professionals; this being one of them.

My plans for the day are to float around in the pool for awhile then have a family BBQ in the late afternoon. My hubby has different plans for us - he wants to work on the garage. Urgh!

Happy a fun and safe day!

Playground Monitor said...

My oral surgeon is the reason fireworks are illegal in the city limits. His teenage son and friends were riding around in a van with a bunch of fireworks they'd just purchased. Someone one got lit, the whole lot went off and the doctor's son was killed. He lobbied for and got a ban on them in the city.

The DH's sister and her family have sold fireworks for years in another state. Apparently there's a HUGE mark-up on them and they sell them twice a year and make a bunch of money. One year, we were visiting them on the 4th and they gave the boys a bunch of stuff. We took them out by the edge of the lake in their backyard and started shooting them. A bottle rocket went astray, headed for the backyard of the house a couple acres away and started a fire. DH and his sister hop in her car with an empty trash can in the trunk and proceed to drag lake water up to put out the fire. Meanwhile I'm watching the flames grow while they're driving over and thinking "If I have to call 911, I have no idea what the address is here much less where those flames are climbing up a pine tree." Luckily they got it put out and our fireworks show was over. And it's been over ever since. I'll leave the pyrotechnics to the professionals.

The best I ever saw was in New Orleans. They shot stuff off from a barge in the middle of the Mississippi River and it was accompanied by a local radio broadcast of patriotic music. When Whitney Houston sang about the rockets' red glare, red fireworks went off. When she sang of bombs bursting midair, bombs burst midair. It was awesome.

My favorite 4th is one that falls on Friday or Monday so that the DH has a 4-day weekend.

Have a safe weekend everyone. Keep your mayonnaise-based food refrigerated, use sunblock and insect repellent and don't drink and drive. :-)


Angel said...

Yes, ma'am.... ;)


Instigator said...

You know, I like the 4th but it happens around so many other things in my life it's almost like another day...just with fireworks at the end.

I will say that most every year we have a fireworks display of our own. That's the way I grew up. My daddy really enjoyed setting the pretty things off for us. He was very careful though. The one time there was a problem (whirly bird came up under my chair in the yard) we were at my uncle's neighbor's house and weren't the ones setting off the fireworks. If we had been I don't think there would have been a problem.


Kathy said...

But without fireworks, what tales would we have to tell? LOL.

I remember burning my hand waving a sparkler around. (I let it burn too far down before getting rid of it.)

I remember watching the firework display in NYC on TV, then turning the sound down on our TV we opened our back door and listened to the sound affects coming from NYC. (We were 30 minutes away as the crow flies.) Cool memories!

I'm a little sad this 4th because our main fireworks lighter is at WP undergoing who knows what kind of training today. So there will be no fireworks here at home this year, and I suppose for years to come. Instead, we're going to go into town and watch the display.

I love the 4th of July! It's one of my favorite holidays. Independence. Freedom. Liberty. Justice. Ah, the works.

Oh, and I do understand about the neighbors. Our neighbor's kid has been firing off some kind of popping explosive thingies for 3 days. He stands on his porch and aims them at my house. The idiot!

On a side note: #4's boyfriend almost got his face blown off in a bottle rocket mishap. Glad he didn't! He's a cutie!!