Dorothy Harris

Happy Third of July

Tomorrow’s Fourth of July, but if your neighborhood is anything like mine, you’ve already been celebrating whether you want to or not. This year it seems there are fireworks on every corner, so I’m expecting a banner year of boom.

Call me a killjoy and you wouldn’t be wrong. I absolutely detest night after night of noise from folks who can’t wait until the fourth. If they would just hold off and blow it all up, all night long, on the Fourth of July, I’d be very sleepy, but in better spirits about the whole thing. I’d pour myself sangria, sit by the fire pit and chill as the neighborhood exploded until the wee hours. Once the smoke cleared at dawn, I’d go for a nice walk and then prepare breakfast.

Instead, I expect to be on my third or fourth night of no sleep, dodging stressed cats and a timid dingo. Sadie Girl will be all worked up and fearful of taking her evening walk due to ongoing screams and pops of the continuous pre-show leading up to the big night. Also irritating are the intermittent rounds of test fires. Why some folks have to light off two or three screamers and then wait an hour to do three more, drives me crazy. I’m lying in bed, assuming it’s finally over for the night and am just about to drop off to sleep, but blast it, here we go again. It stops and I’m thinking; okay, now they are done. Once again an hour goes by and here come two or three more. Are you actually trying to make me crazy?

I’m not an anti-fireworks fanatic; it’s just a pet peeve of mine how people don’t use them all up on the Fourth. Please blow up every last stinking firework you’ve bought before the end of the night. Go ahead and make it feel like a war zone. Scream, yell, blow stuff up, clean up and then go to sleep. After you’ve kept me up for hours and hours, the last thing I need is a repeat of commotion the following night. Please people, folks got to get some sleep around here eventually.

Considering how fireworks are technically illegal, something about nuisance birds and all, you’d think people would be a bit more discreet, or at least concerned about neighbors fussing. In my area, the show goes on and on. I have to admit for the first few hours, it’s a blast to watch. My neighbors splurge and get really pretty, aerial poppers.

Sitting in the dark, swatting mosquitoes while I sip a glass of wine, the ash falls down all around me, making it feel quite festive, even if I gripe about the extended noise. I do enjoy seeing sprays of color, even if my critters go looney about the racket. The cats are especially annoying as they slam around the house, desperate to escape those high-pitched wails. Our poor dog is desperate to stay right with us, but is definitely not okay with being outside. She paces most of the night, further interrupting my brief naps between the explosions.

I am quite thankful the Fourth of July is on Friday this year. I can sleep in after celebrating with the neighborhood all night long. How about we agree on it then? You blow up everything on Friday night and then we’ll all sleep in on Saturday morning? This would make it a very Happy Fourth of July.