Dorothy Harris

July 4th: When people watch their money go up in smoke

Happy Fourth of July! Chances are I've seen some of you at the Firecracker 5K this morning as I sleepily cheered on my teen. Still rehabbing my sciatica and IT band issues, I'm not able to participate, which only frustrates me halfway to a sour mood. What really starts me feeling exasperated is the exhaustion I'll be feeling as Independence week rolls on. I can't help but wonder as I type this column if this Fourth of July will be different. From the pops, booms and explosions already occurring several days prior to the festive event, I suspect I can predict the outcome the same as all the years before. It's hard to feel festive when you have a sense of foreboding hanging in the air like the smoke from so many neighborly explosions. I'm not a kill joy, really I'm not. I think it's just swell if you'd like to blow your money on stuff that blows up and creates a neighborhood noise nuisance. Heck, buy the beer too and make it one loud, raucous event with all your rowdy friends in attendance. Go all out this year. Rev up the trucks, blast the nasty-lyric music and scream your fool head off. After all, it's Fourth of July and that means it's time to explode some stuff in the front yard. Just please get it all done before you pass out at three in the morning, okay? My point of contention is some folks either don't have one of those handy things called a day planner or calendar and seem not to realize that it's the Fourth of July, not the Fourth, Fifth, Sixth and Seventh of July with a June 30th prologue. I'm tired folks, really I am.
I want to be a good neighbor and turn my head as all those nuisance bird spooking pyrotechnics keep the suburban crops from predation. It's just that after five or six days of the commotion, I get a bit tired of the whole thing. Watching the family pets cower and bolt around the house in a cloud of fur loses its humor after a few evenings. We try and stay up late, aware that it's important for y'all to practice your lighting techniques ahead of time, but honestly, we get real tired. Mr. Harris and I have even attempted to make it a festive occasion with a glass of wine out on the deck, but after experiencing a few close calls we think it best to remain indoors now. I have to admit it is fun to sit and watch all the pretty colors of your paycheck blossoming across the sky. When we get to listen to your family react in fear as one goes off too soon, gosh, that's always really exciting for us. As we wait for all the screaming to subside, we comfort ourselves with the knowledge that EMS has a pretty quick response time. We only hope they can figure out which house they are heading to what with all the folks out in the street lighting off at the same time. This afternoon we'll be grilling early so as to get back inside before dark falls. Before dining we will give thanks for the recent heavy rains, knowing it will prevent you from setting the neighborhood on fire. Later as we lay in bed jerking from the near constant explosions, we'll pray for your safety. Happy Fourth of July neighbor and may your bombs always burst in the air, as your rockets glare.