Friday, June 30, 2006

July...

...starts in a few hours, and there are still three days to get through until the holiday, but fireworks have been going off in the neighborhood for more than a week. Not a night goes by without firecrackers and other sorts of pyrotechnic devices being lit off. Some sound suspiciously like gunfire, and may be for all I know; at least no one has been murdered around here for several months.

The fireworks are, of course, illegal. The city forbids them, even though various nearby unicorporated areas don't restrict their sale or use.

The first year I lived here, the scene on the night of the Fourth was incredible. Various kinds of unsafe and insane stuff -- smuggled in from Asia; one of the benefits of living right next to a port -- were being shot off everywhere in the neighborhood. It was better than the "legal" professional shows. From sunset on, rockets, pinwheels, M80s and God-knows-what filled the air with brilliant displays and the smell of burnt gunpowder.

That year, the police stood by and watched from a safe distance, doing nothing more than cruising the streets every half hour or so to tell people to stop. The officers were not surprised when the fun began again even before they could turn the corner....

But there were complaints. I believe most of them came from our dim-bulb City Council-person, who seems capable only of sucking up to developers, unions and people who can't stand to see their neighbors having fun. So the last three years have been quieter and quieter as fewer people wanted to risk the wrath of the newly energized police.

I'd like to think this year will see a return to the defiant explosive celebrations that are, after all, part of neighborhood tradition. But I'm not holding my breath. The police have a new division commander here, and I'm sure he wants to keep the Council-person happy.

Even so, I hope the nighttime shoot-offs are the prelude to a return to this relatively harmless one-day manifestation of lawlessness. It's Independence Day, right?

After all, July has traditionally been an unhappy month for me except for the Fourth. Memorably bad things happened in July five, six, and seventeen years ago. And mid-July will mark the fourth (month) anniversary of a really bad blow....

So I'd like to at least be able to enjoy that one night with the neighborhood pyromaniacs before I start looking for a cave to hide in until August rolls around.

12 comments:

Birdie said...

I would think the fireworks are forbidden because of the fire danger, and that would be sensible. They are forbidden over here, without that hazard being as great. You can only legally buy them 2 days before New Years and that's it! I think it's smart! Enough people get hurt then.... especially kids that manage to get inot daddies supply! We do have legal fireworks often for different events.
We had some marvelous fireworks the other night... no, wait, that was lighting! heehee
Oh, and my flight is booked... Aug 30 to Sept 13... or did I already tell you? *wink*

MrScribbler said...

Birdie, I think I received the worst injury locally on that first Fourth; I burned my thumb while lighting off a small rocket...the kids all seemed to be uninjured and happy.

Anyone who tries to keep people from shooting off fireworks is a yzuzdzd, as far as I'm concerned!

I've marked my calendar for those two weeks....

Anonymous said...

I don't know what they have been sitting off here in KC. But it is loud, and I am sure not legal. It should be wild around here the 4th just like every year. No you are not suppose to have fireworks, but KC is a big city, and the National Guard is a little busy this year.
Roz

HarpO'Fly said...

During the cocaine cowboy days what you'd hear in Miami was gunfire. On the Fourth and new years they could be seen emptying Uzi's into canals. At least not many shot them in the air to lond on someone across the city.
They are shooting each other right and left in Memphis. Mostly kids shooting kids. People seem to think it is more tragic because it's kids. I think they may be enacting some sort of Darwinian imperative, and regret that many of their parents didn't do the same at that age, although some of the victims weren't necessarily of the same ilk. I'm cruel and callous. No telling what madness this weekend will bring. It seems like last year there was a rash of people leaving infants strapped in their car or in day care vans only to die by the time the idiots realized they forgot to bring the kid in.
Memphis, another word for moron.
Am I being elitist and impolite?

MrScribbler said...

People are still offing each other regularly in other parts of the city, HarpO...just not withint a five- or six-block radius of me.

susananne said...

Mr Scrib...am sorry July is so awful for you...((( hugs )))

lovezao said...

Hi Mr S
I did not see a way to send you a private message. I wanted to thank you for your comment on my journal, somehow i had put the entry in twice and when i deleted the extra entry the comments went away.
have a fun 4th i hope they do it up right!
I remember in the book hawaii they burned the place down with fireworks!

Anonymous said...

Well, I just hope you can focus on any positive-ness you may have, and try to get through this month without too much trouble.

The fireworks show put on in St Pete down at the Pier over the Bay is awesomely wonderful!

Sunny

DAL said...

I may watch the Canada Day fireworks tonight if I feel like trying to fight the snnhix downtown. The display is set off from a barge placed in the lake.

In Kingston, the chance of a loud bang being anything else but fireworks is good as non-existant.

July is my usual month to take time off--I work 9 days this month.

MrScribbler said...

da; -- I can see five or six "legal" fireworks shows from the roof of my building...but they're just dfbfgoya compared to the illegal local show.

Wish I could take July off and be somewhere else. Maybe be someone else, too.

BDraggs said...

As much as I love fireworks, we've had a drought around here for so long that I'd be afraid to use any, and hope no one does. We had those terrible fires a few years back, and I don't want another one.

MrScribbler said...

I understand that, Ms. Draggs...lots of flammable old houses in this neighborhood, though they are slowly being replaced by ugly "modern" pads. Sadly, if there were any fires here, it's the neat old places that would burn....