It all began a few eves ago around sundown. As the glow along the hazy, northwesterly horizon dimmed and the deep purple hues of twilight gave way to the inky darkness, folks from near and far, came roaring into my lifelong hometown. With them came the pervasive, sickly stench of vehicular exhaust… sufficiently pungent to make the already unpleasant, sweltering, muggy conditions even more so.
Once their countless vehicles were all neatly parallel parked up and down the labyrinth of my subdivision’s asphalt streets, the drivers and passengers began emerging and slamming car doors shut. With a sense of urgency, they began marching forth to converge upon… to noisily congregate at… what was about to become ground zero.
My residing in the direct path of the expected onslaught, I needed to figure out my next move, expeditiously. Either staying far from the madding crowd or?
Well… after a moment of deliberation, I surrendered to the inevitable. I’d make my stand on my side of the chainlink fence, which cordoned off my backyard… which separated me from my countless compatriots standing on the opposite side.
The final moments leading up to the expected Zero Hour just kept on ticking down… rapidly.
Then… all the sudden… the barrage began! Even though I had been through a similar siege back in the fall of ‘16, nonetheless, this startled me, anew. Then came the launch of the subsequent missiles and projectiles… numbering in the hundreds… their smoky, streaky, chemical contrails scarring the starlit skies… contaminating the sweet air. This could not possibly be harmless to any of our Creator’s creatures. As for the accompanying, relentless, thunderous explosions and whizzing, whistling din… well… long sigh…
For the vast majority of us, taking all of this in stride was doable. BUT, could the same be said for the sensitive souls, who experience life from differing perspectives? They’d likely be hunkering down within their nearby homes, YET, still be within earshot. Folks such as…
America’s valiant war veterans haunted by horrifying flashbacks… the disturbing sights, smells and sounds associated with their tours of duty upon the battlefields of Afghanistan and Iraq. Civilians trying their very best to cope with autism would not be exempt, either. Ditto goes for the crying children and infants too young and frightened to ever fully comprehend.
Even household felines and canines as well as other domesticated and feral creatures could wind up getting spooked.
OK folks, full disclosure time. All the news isn’t bad, after all. You see, nobody had actually declared war and attacked my hometown. What you’ve just been reading is my account of a 4th of July fireworks show.
So, does my fact based, fictional treatment of this topic make me out to be a grumpy old man who sucks the joy of life out of everything? Is it unpatriotic for me to “malign” a “harmless” fireworks show?
BUT, what about how the BOOM BOOM BOOM of fireworks needlessly terrifies some folks? Wouldn’t you say that sucks the joy out of their lives? There’s nothing harmless about that! If fireworks explosions upset even one person in any way, that would be one person too many! And what if that one person turned out to be a war veteran?
I mean… is it not bad enough for any nation to deploy selfless soldiers into war zones? Must we also force war survivors (now suffering from PTSD), to relive the hell of war just so some selfish civilians, who romanticize war, can experience the “ooh and ahh” of a fireworks display?
And btw… there weren’t all that many fireworks attendees who did go, “ooh and ahh”… in fact I actually witnessed some of them leaving that 20 minute show long before it ended.
I could go on, but I think I’ve made my point. About all that’s left is the epilogue to my story… and believe me… once the nasty dust of the fireworks settled… things did not go smoothly.
It took a couple of hours for the local cops to clear the massive traffic jam. And included in their traffic management was the need to report to the scene of a nearby head-on collision, which resulted in the head injury of one of the victims.
Indeed, the wailing ambulance siren added a few more decibels to the sounds of idling and idled SUVs. And it’s tough to go “nose-blind” when the pervasive, sickly stench of vehicular exhaust is sufficiently pungent to make the already unpleasant, sweltering, muggy conditions even more so.
I would hope that people would concur with my conclusion… namely… that fireworks displays have little to offer. They glorify war, give folks a shallow sense of patriotism, pollute our environment and… last but not least… needlessly disturb the peace of mind of war veterans, autistic folks, youngsters / infants, house pets and wildlife.