30 June 2006

Washington: The Pyro State

Welcome to Fourth of July in the Pyro State....a little place we like to call Washington State. The land of Starbucks, possibly Big Foot, and pyros.

The Fourth has been one of my favorite holidays. There is nothing like a day at the lake, fried chicken and cold sandwich picnics. Top that off with apple pie dessert and homemade ice cream w/ a snuggle from your main squeeze?

The outcome is a yummy and lazy holiday with reenactments of "Stupid People Gone Wild: 4th of July Edition" Our neighbors have a 'few' people over to celebrate in our typically serene neighborhood. I've never seen so many adult men eagerly waiting around to blow stuff up. Just don't forget to water the lawn with your roof and put the General Lee in the garage.

One of my favorite parts of the Fourth is the Velvet Elvis culture. Every Fourth of July, these flag-flying tent displays adorn every other major intersection. And right next to them is the carnie gone Velvet Elvis carpet guy. He's every. where. and he wants to give you a velvet tapestry with every $100 fireworks purchase. I bet Bill Gates has a velvet Elvis in his living room. So classy.

But really, this is their time to shine. Why? Because Washington has the best fireworks. It's no secret. Even Oregonians know this. They drive up here with cash in their clenched fists like some pyro crackhead, dreaming about how they can out-do the neighbor's fireworks display, Griswold style. The catch is not to get caught by the fire Marshall when you burn down your neighbor's utility shed.

That was a TUFF Shed? I don't think so.

Up here, anyone can shoot off these Disneyland type mortars that come complete with launch tube. A great number of Washingtonians have launch displays from the comfort of their own bottle-rocket-littered yards. Add beer and stupidity and you have a nice house bonfire in front of the inlaws. Woohoo!

Last year the neighbors filled up the animal shelter by setting off M80s every night for a week. Each time they'd incur the wrath of every car alarm in a 4 block radius. I however, wanted to run them over with my van when I was jolted out of bed at 3am.

Now, on to sparklers. I'm weird about sparklers. Let's take a minute and think about it. These are a blistering, steel-warping 1800 degrees. Do YOU give your kids hot burning things and say, "Go play"? Well, Fourth of July a lot of parents do.

You smile down on the kids' excited faces and willingly hand over sparklers to your gleeful children. Your kids then turn around and and wave these white hot pokers in each other's faces, like Darth Vader's going out of style.

Cause that's safe.

I may be a stick in the mud at the pyrotecnics here in Washington but Independence Day is more than that. It's family. It's freedom. It's celebrating our hearing and both thumbs. Enjoy the holiday and time with your family. Just make sure you save some apple pie for the nurse in the ER.

~Bee is a closet pyro

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"One ought, every day at least, to hear a little song, read a good poem, see a fine picture, and if it were possible, to speak a few reasonable words."

~Johann Wolfgang von Goethe