Published July 8, 2008
I know we have this don't-ask-don't-tell policy in place with the fireworks around here, but enough is enough. I kept quiet through the weekend while you had your fun disrupting my evenings. But can't we call a truce?
You made it nearly impossible to hear the dialog in really important parts on Back to the Future Friday night, and it was the first time my kids had seen it. Actually, that was okay because I forgot how much they curse in it. After it was over, when I told my son we don't talk like that, he said, "You mean 'Hello in there McFly. Is anybody home?'" My wife didn't miss a beat, "You're right, honey. That's not a nice thing to say."
It's bad enough that the random neighborhood fireworks exuberating stretched into the prior two weekends and throughout the week leading up to the Fourth. But now it's over. You can put everything away and take a break. We'll have another fabulous fireworks-filled Fourth next year, I promise.
Now, I don't want to be the grumpy, old man who tells you to get off his lawn or the annoying passerby who reminds you that smoking is bad for you, but did you ever consider that you could blow your hand off with those things? I mean, there's probably a reason they're illegal in our state. Or maybe it's time we dropped the silly ruse and re-examined the legal status.
I know fireworks contribute to the local economy, so I'm not trying to rock the boat or anything, but your little explosions all around my house are a damn nuisance for practically a month each year. I'm not going to sit here and suggest the police step up their pursuit of your illegal fireworks displays. I know they don't have the resources, and everyone knows this is a job for the fire department when you idiots destroy your garages.
I'm also not so foolish to believe that if we stopped selling fireworks here you couldn't get them from your cousin across the state line in Pennsylvania or from some jackass on the side of the road.
Maybe the solution isn't in how they're sold but in how they're detonated. We could have a fireworks park. You and all your friends who are so anxious to lose a digit could assemble at designated expert-assisted fireworks-staging arenas and put on a tidy, little show.
I could think of several places off the top of my head. Hell, this is Youngstown 2010, we've got space! How about the big, empty former K-Mart lot on Belmont? That's nice and big. There are probably some former industrial spaces that have acreage to burn (I mean, spare). I'm sure we could create a fireworks park dedicated to the purpose. And, when it's not fireworks season it could function as a skate park.
I'm not against fireworks, per se. We saw a lovely display at Blossom on Saturday night which was very impressive. Fireworks are something we look forward to every year. Just not day after day after day after day while I'm trying to relax at home. I feel like I'm under siege. My dogs howl. They wake my children. And then I dislike you. I don't want to dislike you. I just wrote a post two weeks ago about the importance of befriending your neighbors. So, please, if you want to keep gorging on beer and hot dogs, you're only hurting yourself. But the fireworks are affecting us all. It's got to stop.