A friend called and asked a favor. I’m not exactly the kind to give the shirt off my back so I was immediately wary and assumed a defensive stance. But it turned out all he wanted was to borrow our cat carrier. I said yes. I figured, what the hell.
What is it to actually be considerate of a person other than yourself? And why has this become such a lost art?
Recently it was the Fourth of July. As such, I had strongly considered keeping the cat carrier handy in case the asshole neighbor(s) shot fireworks at our house and set it ablaze. I wanted to be be disaster prepared and able to whisk my kitties away to safety at a moment’s notice.
Alas, I was afflicted by inertia and never got off my lazy ass to get the damn thing. I decided to roll the dice and play the odds. After all, my house wouldn’t burn down. Probably.
We consider ourselves fairly typical Americans. It was a few nights before the Fourth of July, decidedly my least favorite night of the year. We were in our living room, sitting on our asses and watching TV. Like I said, typical.
Suddenly there was a boom. I looked out the front window and billowing smoke rose from our front yard garden. It had begun.
“Those fireworks are close,” I said. “Damn close.” The shit was literally raining down right on top of us.
On July 4th itself I went outside to see what the hell was going on. I saw one of those colorful bursts like you’d see in any major fireworks display except it was directly over my house. It went off about 20-30 feet over our roof. Two things were immediately obvious: Why don’t they do this shit above their own houses? They’re too good for that! And, wow, they are really good shots. We were being targeted.
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Word from the western front arrived early. It was going to be a “heat advisory” kind of a day. We hunkered in our bunkers and prepared for the worst. I put on a pair of clean tighty whities. Because:
To brine thine own self be true.
–Tom B. Taker
I was already looking forward to the salt water sores in my private areas. You know what they say. “Fight ’em over there or in your underwear.” Like always I choose the latter.
Sunday night the neighbor set up a table saw in his front yard. He ran that sucker until 11:36 pm. On a work night. I kid you not. I believe this is the exact storyline of the movie Saw.
Even more table saw. It was all squee … squee … squee … when the hours were wee.
What every happened to politeness? Basic manners? Please and thank you? All as dead as my peace of mind and peace and quiet.
Two nights of noise in a row. The urge to fling poo was becoming unbearable. Somehow, though, I was able to hold on.
But, little did I know it at the time, those two nights were merely flanking feints. The best was still yet to come.
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I am proud to be an American.
Whoa! What the fuck was that? And, more importantly, who’s going to help me change my diaper?
So let me get this straight. You love America, too. And to prove it you’re going to make something go boom boom. Do you mind if I get some background information? Are you the same guy from elementary school who got paper towels wet and threw them into ceiling lights until they blew up? Are you the one who was so fascinated with fire that he set his junior high school locker ablaze? Do you think shooting a gun up in the air is good clean fun? No, no, don’t tell me. Let me guess. All the same guy, right?
Just in case you doubt my cred to discuss this topic, please know that one time I visited the game store where
my son the gerbil liked to hang out. Staff regaled with me with stories of my son’s exploits in the back parking lot shooting bottle rockets using his ass as the launch platform. So I think I’m qualified!
In 2012, 60-percent of the year’s fireworks injuries occurred between June 22nd and July 22nd, sending an average of 200 people per day to the hospital. … All six fireworks-related deaths that happened last year involved illegal or homemade fireworks.
–Source: All the Amazing Facts About Your Fireworks Injury (Gizmodo)
Fireworks are a product. I know for a fact that those who make them have a profit motive. What I secretly suspect, however, is that they also hate America and are out to conquer us one body part at a time. Yes, it’s a theory, but it fits the available facts, dammit!
There’s no such thing as a zero error rate in the manufacture of products. Stay with me here. I’m building a logical proof piece by piece (if you’ll pardon the expression). That means some percentage of fireworks legally sold in this country are inherently flawed. Use of those products is, therefore, a calculated risk. Fuck that. I’ll stick with the craps table. I deem that to be an acceptable level of risk, but hey, that’s how I roll. Your mileage may vary.
Some, like me, might argue further that just the existence of the product is an intentional design flaw, but I won’t go there.
I’ll just say, like I am often wont to do, “What could possibly go wrong?” Life is dangerous enough. Why do we deliberately go out of our way to do nonsensical things that have no logical purpose that increase the odds against us? That makes absolutely no sense to me.
At ease, people. Blow ’em up if you got ’em.
BTW, the fireworks we give to youngsters make a lot more sense. Sparklers. So pretty. And what are they? Pieces of metal burning at temperatures up to 2,000 degrees or about as hot as a blow torch.
What could possibly go wrong? (Oops. There I go again.) I can’t understand how sparklers are responsible for 12 percent of reported fireworks-related injuries.
Stella! Another one of these damn awards jumped in front of my blog! Come out here! Help me take it in the house!
Well, I’ll be hornswoggled! I just won yet another award. We are now in danger of my trophy case generating a gravity field strong enough to implode upon itself and create a quantum singularity that sucks us all off. Oh, what the hell. I’m willing to risk it.
Today’s Blogging Fireworks Award comes to us from sunglasses model and long time bloggy friend Blogdramedy.
Someone told her once that the award exists “to honor the blogs that shock us, inspire us, touch us, or make us laugh.” And she fell for it!
You’re all invited to the After Party. Of course, here in the Abyss, we take the word “after” rather literally, if you know what I mean. So don’t be late for this date with destiny!
Note: This paragraph will end with an exclamation point. No real reason, really. I just want to do that three times in a row!
Now it is my solemn duty, as prescribed the official award rules, to tell you five “meaningful” things about myself and pay it forward to five other bloggers. Oh yes, you’ll very much want to stay tuned for that.
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Yesterday, on July 4th, I tried my hand at a little experiment. Most everywhere we went, when we bumped into folks, I’d offer up a typical social greeting that was germane for the occasion. “Have a great Fourth,” I’d say. Or, “Happy Fourth of July to you.” This was a departure for me. Normally when I’m out and about I keep my mouth shut and scowl a lot at everyone I see.
The results are in and they are a bit eye-opening for me. In each instance my greetings were warmly received and usually resulted in something similar being said back at me in friendly fashion. I found it quite odd.
For example, we had gone to the park. We arrived before noon and the park was less than half full. When we returned to our car about an hour later the lot was full. My wife was predicting that we’d have problems because our car would be blocked. Sure enough, we arrived and found some kayaks and gear behind our car. I eyeballed the unruly lot of ruffians, a lot that I normally wouldn’t speak to. This situation had classic Abyss confrontation written all over it, possibly ending with yours truly keeled over from a heart attack caused by anger. Instead I tried a different tack. As nicely as I possibly could, I said, “We’re taking off. Could I get you to move your gear, please?” And then I added, “Happy Fourth of July!”
The stuff was moved in no time and we received a hearty “Happy Fourth of July to you, too!” in return.
In our town this year there was no officially sanctioned fireworks display. Apparently there wasn’t money in the budget or it had something to do with insurance or something. Out of the blue we also realized that our town doesn’t even have an escalator. We have to drive 30 miles to a bigger town and visit “The Mall” for that. Yeah, this is a bit of a small town.
Most fireworks are also illegal here, too. But that doesn’t stop all the fireworks vendors from setting up shop right outside of the city limit boundaries. Bastards. I hate fireworks. Dangerous and noisy, fireworks are decidedly not one of my favorite things.
Most of my neighbors, however, are little closet pyros and demolition nuts. They really seem to get off on showing their love of country by making things go boom. Personally I’ve never understood the attraction.
July 3rd was a Saturday night and the fireworks started early. My wife and I were minding our own business. We were inside our home and watching a movie. Suddenly we heard something hitting our windows and house. I sprinted out the front door like John Wayne ready to kick some ass but I couldn’t find anything there.
Then, on July 4th, we got a lot more of the same, and we realized that what sounded like something hitting our house was actually the impact of sound waves caused by fireworks. Illegal ones, it turns out, in this case. Argh.
It freaked out my kitties and was extremely irritating. The night of July 4th ranks very low for me every year. It is not one of my favorite nights.
I’m now about to head to work. (My wife has the day off but my company, of course, refuses to recognize this holiday. Profits are more important than patriotism.) I’m sure I’ll see the garbage and burned out debris scattered across parking lots around this town like I do every year that these amateur pyro-bug criminals left behind. They never seem to be able to pick up their own mess. And thus they unwittingly demonstrate the grand principles behind our great country which has become a society of assholes…