Linux, musical road-dogging, and daily life by Paul W. Frields
Sure, just keep Cruise on your side of the pond.

Sure, just keep Cruise on your side of the pond.

I hate the Fourth of July.

Wait, let me explain. I don’t hate Independence, or the idea of celebrating the birth of our nation. I don’t hate flags, or Uncle Sam hats, or family picnics, or parades with or without marching bands. I especially don’t hate the nice frisson of quiet, non-partisan patriotism that passes through our still somewhat small hometown. Heck, I don’t even hate the Tom Cruise film, although I am glad I got to enjoy it before all the Scientology and couch-leaping.

What I do hate is the God. Blasted. Noise.

I hate that every year, not just on the Glorious Fourth, but for about a week before and a week after, I have to suffer every single night through about two hours of bottle rockets and M80’s set off by our Australopithecine, redneck neighbors, who apparently don’t understand this particular holiday is not like Hannukah, Kwanzaa, or Ramadan, but rather is meant to be enjoyed for one single night. That’s the point — you set off the fireworks on the Fourth. Instead, they’re busy even as I write this, scaring off the earthbound spirits of any unfortunate redcoats who haven’t yet found their way to the bright white light.

During this couple of weeks, without fail, I get closer to premeditated homicide than the entire rest of the year combined. (That includes when the stores start decorating for Christmas at Halloween, and whenever Andy Rooney opens his mouth.) Look, if it was just on the Fourth — just the one night, mind you — I’d have no problem with it. Heck, let ’em rip until midnight. But when I have to endure twenty or thirty hours of this crap over weeks, it’s time to break out the heavy weaponry.

Is it too late for the Brits to take us back, Brangelina and all?


  1. Your neighbors apparently have relatives living near us in Hanover county. We are not amused.

    Went so far as to go on a little hunt the other day, about a week before the 4th, after what must have been 200 firecrackers went off together. My disdain for the noise had given way to genuine concern for the perp. We searched for remnants of fireworks — and fingers — none to be found.

    Discovered that other than sparklers, fireworks are illegal in Hanover. Yet the police are loathe to investigate. I reported the 200 ‘cracker incident. Conversation went like this:

    me: Hi. I’d like to report some really loud fireworks going off just now near my house.

    police: Do you know where it happened?

    me: Judging by the direction and volume of the noise, close and to the rear, perhaps in the cul-de-sac.

    police: But you don’t know where exactly?

    me: No.

    police: Well, we can’t do anything if we show up and nothings going on then.

    me: Hmm. I understand. But this was really loud – and about 200 firecrackers I’d guess. So I’m concerned the person might be injured.

    police: When did this happen?

    me: about 10 minutes ago.

    police: Well, he would have called emergency services by now.

    me: Not if he doesn’t have any fingers, he wouldn’t.


    police: We’ll send someone out to take a look.

  2. Pingback: The Grand Fallacy » It’s that time of year again.

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