Thursday, June 30, 2005

Blast It!

Dangnation, the fireworks stands opened yesterday. Highway 71 is littered with the things. I just don't get it.

For a week prior to every July 4th, my worry mode kicks into high gear. I live in a pine forest. And I live in Texas, which is usually dry as a bone this time of year. My yard has years' worth of mounded up pine needles around it. The grass in my yard is brittle and brown. One spark and it's poof. Surrounding counties have already issued burn bans. Grass fire burns are visible on the side of the road every few miles between Bastrop and Austin. And yet I know, come July 4th, that there will be idiots all around setting off fireworks. There oughta be a law.

Yes, the cities of Bastrop and Austin do have laws against fireworks. Not that it does any good. God forbid that our independent Texas spirit be forbidden to fire a bottle rocket whenever we damn well feel like it. So what if we lose several hundred acres of forest or a few homes. It's our God given right to buy and use fireworks.

How I wish that fireworks would be outlawed to the average American. I enjoy a municipal display, presented by professionals, as much as anybody. I can ooh and aah with the best of them. But to strike pure terror in my heart, all it takes is the moron down the street to light up a bottle rocket and aim it for the top of a pine tree. The first year I lived in the woods, I watched a guy down the road do exactly that insane thing for about an hour.

Yes, I live within the city limits. Yes, I could have called the cops. No, I didn't. I figured by the time they got out there, the ignoramus would have gotten his fill of it and I would have gotten that "yes, ma'am" followed by an eye-roll from the cop. And as soon as the cop left, someone else would start up on the next street. Believe you me, they don't like getting a second call in the same night from the same little old lady.

So I stay up late and keep an eye on the trees. My insides clench every time I hear a *bang*. I cannot believe that people are so stupid as to keep buying the things, let alone set them off. It's sheer stupidity and I'll say it to your face. Fireworks are dangerous. You can blow off a finger, blow out an eye, set a whole subdivision on fire. All for a snap, crackle, and pop. Big damn deal.

As many things that our government worries about protecting us from (can we say cheap Canadian prescriptions?), they don't seem to give a rat's patootie about really dangerous stuff like guns and fireworks. I'll take my chance with a Canadian pharmacist anyday if they'll run the fireworks manufacturers out of the country.

Now ask me what I really think.

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