Patriotic Pyromania

I hold these truths to be self evident, that I love sleeping in the summer.

Well, I also love sleeping in the winter, spring and fall—I love sleeping—but I especially love sleeping in the summer. The windows open, a gentle breeze blowing through, the sounds of nature serving as a gentle lullaby. Minus the occasional manic cricket cackle, I consider summer sleeping quite possibly one of my favorite activities.

In fact, I actually think about these things mid-winter when I’m huddled in bed under blankets in the fetal position with the windows sealed shut and the humidifier/heater going full blast. The promise of summer sleeping—along with the promise of baseball season and fresh green beans— is what gets me through.

So imagine my displeasure every year around this time when my peaceful nights are no more, when I climb on top of the covers only to be jolted out of my meditative trance five minutes later by what is assumed to be either an apparent drive-by or carpet bombing.

I do not live in either a ghetto or a war zone, so that leaves one other option—pyromaniacs celebrating their independence from maturity and common sense by blowing crap up.

After all, what’s more American than purchasing illegal fireworks and lighting them off in the middle of the night—or even the middle of the day—the two weeks before and the two months after the Fourth of July?

I can answer that—just about anything.


I’m not anti-fireworks.

I’m not talking about the normal explosives people go downtown to see on the actual Fourth of July. (Although I’m not too into that either. At first I go “oooh, ahhh, pretty” then near the end when the dog is terrified and I’m tired from lack of sleep due to constant booming for two weeks prior to that day, I’m pretty much over it and feel ready for a Valium salt lick.)

I’m talking about the idiots that shoot off bottle rockets, M80s and firecrackers, the result of which could result in either the burning down of my house or torching of my sanity.

Along with the aforementioned noise pollution, pieces of the blasted things—actual litter— will be found throughout my backyard and neighboring streets for at least the next week.

Perhaps I’m missing something here, but I just don’t see the appeal of spending large amounts of money on things that go “boom” from a shady man on the side of a road in a striped tent blasting “Born in the USA” from his mobile home.

They want loud noises?

Keeping blowing crap up at 2am, causing me to wake up and hit the deck with “Gangstas Paradise” stuck in my head. If they stop over about one minute after this happens, not only will I give them loud noises, but I can guarantee that my language will be colorful as well (“oooh, ahhh, pretty” will not be included.)

I’m not suggesting people have to stick to sparklers, colored smoke bombs and those creepy snake things that completely ruin the sidewalks forever. All I’m suggesting is that they abide by normal explosive etiquette and keep the pyromania and possible arson with a sonic boom soundtrack to the weekend of the holiday.

After all, this is a holiday to celebrate certain unalienable rights—life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

In other words, a good summer night’s sleep.

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12 responses to “Patriotic Pyromania

  1. There is nothing more sacred than a good night’s sleep. My children learned at a young age that whenever mommy is sleeping is mandatory quiet time.

  2. sisterhoodofthesensiblemoms

    Summer sleep is sacred. Period. Ellen

  3. We had that problem in my old neighborhood. Some little cretins delighted in setting off bottle rockets at 3am. Assholes.

  4. LOL! Cute post. It is usually a war zone where I live and I’ve learned to just go with it. Enjoy the rebellious spirit, the “boyish” delight people have in watching things go boom. Also, I’m really happy it’s not a transformer, a propane tank, or any other kind of destructive explosion. Those are the kind of wintertime “booms” that I dread.

  5. So funny and so true! We have that issue in our neighborhood too and it drives us crazy! We used to have to huddle down for the night (or a few nights) in the den with the dog who shudders like the world is coming to an end. Now she’s older and her hearing isn’t as sharp, but it still annoys the humans!

  6. Yes, ONE DAY. Not five days, not three days. ONE DAY. My kids love fireworks. Fourth of July and Halloween are my two least favorite holidays because I’m just over them. On one we stay up too late and watch people blow shit up (and I’ve never heard anyone say, “That was the most amazing fireworks display I have EVER SEEN”–instead what they say is, “Yep, just like last year”) and on the other we encourage normal adults to dress up like homeless people and toddlers and I spend the entire day slightly freaked out because I can’t tell the real homeless people and weirdoes from everyone else.

  7. Well, I agree with you of course, and you may not be surprised to know that if I’m woken in the middle of the night I have a hard job going to sleep again.

  8. oooo We have the same in our neighborhood. I have watch these people try to do improvements on their homes during the year. All they usually accomplish is injuring themselves. Now, I have to wait and watch so they do not burn down the homes around me. They never get the fire works up high enough and they always end up bouncing off it off their own roofs. Just waiting for the Boston fire to start from home to home……

  9. Agreed!!!!! I’ve been hearing a few each night for the past week. I live in the city and the houses are super close together! People need to save their illegal fireworks and bottle rockets for a wide open field for sure! I definitely feel fear that one will hit my house!

  10. chelsiekate93

    Love this! Coming from a small farming town, I can totally feel your frustration. I don’t understand the allure of setting off fireworks at 2:30 in the morning, but it happens… all the time. #freedom #merica

  11. You’ve covered all bases here, Abby. The fireworks crazies don’t care about their neighbors’ sensibilities (noise, smell of the explosives, loss of sleep, etc. The bottom line is that these people are crazy and my son is one of them. Money is tight in his bailiwick,and he’s never missed a July 4th excuse to buy loads of the stuff and shoot it up for hours. I try not to think about it and just hope that he will have a successful experience and come out of it unscathed. Oh well!

  12. Here in Southampton we are so used to it we barely register it any more. This is a port city for cruise ships and every time one goes in or out there are massive, expensive firework displays. Sometimes it feels like we are at war! In fact, if there was a war it would be weeks before we noticed!

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