The Fourth of July is our celebration as Americans. of not being all British and stuff. As one of our multiple national holidays devoted to blowing explosives up, Independence Day proves to be the sizable number of times of year when I can hear a terrible Earth-shattering blast like someone’s dropped an atomic bomb on my quiet suburban town. Strangely enough, it feels completely normal to hear sounds of exploding chemicals and gunpowder in a scene more characteristic of Beirut, because on July 4th, it is our solemn patriotic duty to set off bombs of fire in our backyards.
Not that it needs to be Independence Day itself to hear people detonating fireworks haphazardly, for the past few nights the sounds of cracking blasts have reverberated across Brentwood in what seems to be a week long celebration of pyrotechnic finesse. Sitting on the deck with my ridiculously fluffy dog Boca who barks in terror at each blast, I am taken by the sudden realization that Boca has no earthy idea what a fourth of July celebration entails, and that the horrifying sounds of pops and loud bursts of noise are not the unholy armies of bicyclists, deer, and veterinarians, whom Boca suspects are the Axis of Evil, trying to murder us all with thunder-fire.”Its OK, Bokie,” I say reassuringly as I stroke his soft ears as he whimpers and whines with each blast. “It’s all intentional, I promise.”
How exactly did we Americans decide that fireworks and hamburgers were the best way to celebrate the signing of a document that cut us off from our British overlords? Its strange how these customs evolve over time, so why do we spend our Fourths picnicking and terrifying small children and/or animals with snapper crackers rather than say… putting on tricorn hats and powdered wigs and having reenactment parties where everyone signs a Declaration in the heat of summer with the air conditioning off (realism people, realism), like how some people dress up like Jesus, Mary, and Joseph at Christmas… Say… If anyone’s planning an Independence Day reenactment party, I totally call being John Adams (“Vote for Independence, YES!” too many flies, too many flies!).
We are a strange people, us Americans, but I have to say I’m uber-excited! There is nothing more wonderfully patriotic to me then eating watermelon while watching fireworks on fourth of July. I hope everyone has a wonderful holiday!