Thursday, July 5, 2012

Scientific theories, good news and bad news and being a good neighbor....

So yesterday I had a working theory all day that since the Fourth of July fell on a Wednesday this year people wouldn't be up until midnight shooting off fireworks. It was pretty sound reasoning. In the years where the Fourth is on a Friday, Saturday or Sunday (Sunday meaning most end up taking Monday as the holiday) the celebrations tend to start early and last for a very long time so my reasoning was that unless you took a vacation day for today you were going to have to be back at work so you wouldn't be up as late.

The problem with scientific theories is that no matter how sound your reasoning appears you don't know your answer until you test it out. And when you test it out you find that you missed a crucial piece like...people like blowing shit up no matter what day of the week the holiday falls on.

The good news in this equation is that the economy seems to be picking up. Fireworks are expensive. Especially the big illegal ones. But that didn't seem to be any sort of hindrance to the neighborhood last night. The people that live to the west of us and the people that live to the south did their annual scofflaw  patriotic display and had enough to shoot them off not only at 10 but to do a second round at 11:30 just when everything was finally starting to quiet down and George had just stopped freaking out and I thought I might actually get to sleep.  Oh lucky me. More patriotism! And the even better news is all the houses in my neighborhood are still standing this morning. Another year, another year with no fires.

The bad news in all of this is of course the aforementioned cat freaking out. Anyone who has a pet (or child) that is freaked out on the Fourth knows what a special joy this is to deal with. Now George isn't as bad as some. We had a dog growing up that would pee every time she heard the boom so at least we just have crying George instead of peeing George. But it will take at least a day for him to settle back down. There has already been vomit comet action this morning, crying at doors to be let in, lap sitting, jumping at every little noise and movement,  hair licking, and on and on. When C and I leave for the gym I imagine he will freak out again. And when you add his neuroses to my lack of sleep it's going to be an awesome day.

The good neighbor part of the blog title? That's the part when I don't go stand in the middle of the street when the alarm goes off at 6 am and shout..."HAPPY FIFTH OF JULY!!!!  IT'S TIME TO GET UP AND GO TO WORK NOW!!!!!  YAY!! YAY!!! YAY!!!" and then go inside and get some pots and pans to bang on and repeat it all about 6 or 7 times.  Then do it all again at 7 and at 8. Because I'm a good neighbor. It's also the part where I don't call the cops on you. Brent and C both have told me I should. Because I can't stand it. This year has been a super wet year so the fire risk is pretty low, but growing up in a desert sitting and watching people shoot sparks over other people's houses makes me incredibly nervous. And as I mentioned, it's illegal.

But it's only illegal in Oregon, not Washington and for some reason that 15 minute drive over the border doesn't really deter people much. And as it's the only crime I can think of where you literally shoot off a flare to let the police know where you are while you are committing it and you still get away with it every year I am guessing it's not a high enough priority for the cops to do anything even if I did call. And honestly if the resources have to be split between illegal fireworks and idiots who have been drinking at their picnics all day now thinking they can drive home? Well...go for the drunk idiots and leave the firework idiots.

Now don't get me wrong, I love a good firework display. The one in New York is beautiful even on TV. Two years ago we went to Disney over the Fourth and that was spectacular. I've been to Sea World and seen theirs, awesome, Melaleuca put on one annually in Idaho Falls that was fantastic and the first one I ever went to where the music and the fireworks were coordinated (this was before C was born so over 20 years ago). But face facts, the ones that shoot up in the air that you can buy over in Washington aren't that pretty. They are kind of pathetic really.  Stick with your fountains and sparklers and leave the big in the air ones to the professionals.

And now if you'll excuse me I am off for more caffeine and another "don't go outside and wake your neighbors, that would be rude" pep talk.

Happy Fifth of July everyone!

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