Rivers of silence, exploding with feathery pillows of wispy breezes and sunlight that sparkles like a mofo pyrotechnic dream, are about to come true this Fourth of July in my neighborhood. Fireworks are banned in our area, and there’s a fire ban as well because of the dry conditions. I couldn’t be happier (about the fireworks ban) but judging by the incendiary reactions of some neighbors who budgeted in a $500 fine with their purchase of fireworks so that they could let loose anyway, I think I should at least suggest some alternative, cool and fun ways to get lit:
- There is still the parade. The neighborhood puts on a fun parade for the kids in the afternoon. And, it’s still on, as far as I know. Strap those cute kids and puppies into wagons and send them as fast as you can down the steep hills—burn rubber, not fuses. Maybe, from now on, the parade could be a race? With prizes? Also, I’ve ooed and awed over the RVs, boats, and extra cars lined up all over the neighborhood for months. Now, let’s put them in motion! Why let them stay idle all year? How about decorating them, starting them up, and giving them a spin around the block?
- Have an actual 5K walk or run. If you do it at night, you can use glow sticks—turn your body into a firecracker (metaphorically speaking).
- Neighbors (who are still sober after the parade at noon) can volunteer to drive other neighbors to professional fireworks shows. So, yes, some of you can still get sh*tfaced in your backyard AND see fireworks. And nothing beats professional-grade, choreographed shows. I hate to say this, but the fireworks displays in the neighborhood are just not that good. I’ve seen better explosions from a can of punctured silly string that lets loose on an airplane. Please watch this video to find out what it takes to be an actual pyrotechnic rock star. To make things easier, here are some notes I took while watching:
–The training takes years—sometimes generations of families. In other words, one night a year, after raiding the parking lot selection of fireworks at Safeway, won’t cut it.
–The fireworks are stored in thick, heavy, concrete sheds—not the garage, in boxes.
–They use computers to light the fuses, not their bare hands, soaked in beer.
- Somewhere, in my neighborhood, there is a comedian and I think a few musicians. Can’t we pull together a comedy musical? I think there may be some cheerleaders and dancers as well? I’ve also seen the neighborhood pictures on Facebook of beer, cake, used lawnmowers, exercise equipment, cookies, savory fried pastry things, air fryers, a Black and Decker play set, and garage cabinets. That all sounds like a recipe for the biggest raffle/concert/cooking contest extravaganza the entire world has ever seen. (I get dibs on the Black and Decker play set.)
In other words, there are so many new and exciting ways to get that hung-over feeling you crave the day after the Fourth of July—with that warm glow of firecrackers and rockets blazing in your heart, but not exploding with actual ejaculated bits of char all over the yard.
Your Turn: If you have neighbors, have you met them? Does your neighborhood do anything fun together? What’s banned in your neighborhood?