Ah, the fourth of July. It’s that time of the year when we have barbecues, light things on fire, blow stuff up, and tell our British friends to GET THE FUCK OUT. If you know anyone who’s British, and living in America, you be sure to tell ‘em we don’t need ‘em and we don’t want ‘em. Tossers, all.
Last night I hiked over to the beach. I live two blocks away from Lake Michigan, and I work even nearer to the lake than that, but I visit the shore infrequently. It’s mostly become part of the scenery. But hearing various pops and explosions last night that did not sound like the usual .22 caliber gunshots, I decided to turn off my television, which had been tuned to the live downtown fireworks display on the local FOX affiliate, and venture out. As I neared the beach two teenagers blasted past me on their bikes, nearly running me over. They were screaming at the top of their lungs. The first one was yelling, “HAR! HAR! HAR! HAR!” The second was yelling, “Buh-BUH! Buh-BUH!” Kids today. Heh. After emerging from my temporary hiding spot, I wandered out to the middle of the beach. Right overhead some half-assed fireworks fizzled and pooped out. The crowds were clumped at the south end of the beach, along the pier. To the south I could see the fireworks downtown, illuminating the nearby buildings. They were small in the distance, and I couldn’t hear them, but they were clearly visible. To the north there were more fireworks going, not quite as far away, and slightly audible. I stood there in a large open area in the middle of the beach, facing the lake, turning my head to the left and to the right to look at the two displays. The display to the north lit up the clouds around it, revealing the walls of the sky. The half-assed fireworks launched from my own beach gave way to the three-quarters-assed variety, and soon I was looking at pyrotechnics occurring at three distinct locations. It was so quiet that as I turned my head about, I could hear the fluid inside my skull rush around. The whole experience was quite meditative.
Tonight I hosted a barbecue. At no time did I hear the fluid rushing around in my head, but I heard teenagers outside (possibly the ones from earlier) lighting what was apparently a thirty pound package of firecrackers all at once. I predict that there will be more pops and explosions before I go to bed tonight, and not just because my face broke out earlier. Which it did. Pop-POP!