I used to love the 4th of July and fireworks when I was a kid. I can still picture me as a little 11-year-old boy, who looked like a 7-year-old boy, peddling my bike for a few miles to the outskirts of our little town. Over the viaduct and down to the fireworks stand that was run by those sketchy people. For weeks leading up to July 4, I would go out there nearly every day with whatever change I could scrounge, and I’d buy as many fireworks as I could. After all, this was 1970s Kansas, and if you think they don’t have any regulations on anything these days, well… it was the same back then.
So I’d peddle my daily small bag of fireworks back home. But I couldn’t wait until July 4, I lit them all right away. I tried to be really inventive too. So inventive, that one day I nearly blew my hand off holding a firecracker a little too long in my hand. My hand smelled like a Walmart for weeks.
I think that little episode put me off of fireworks for the most part. Fireworks and guns, I don’t like either one of those things.
Another reason that I’m not that fond of fireworks as an adult is that the noise always scares the living crap out of all the dogs I’ve had over the years. They’re terrified.
And a third reason I can do completely without fireworks is climate change. It’s just made everything out here in the western United States so dry. This whole half of the country is basically just fuel for wildfires. And that really scares me.
So with all that said, I don’t know why anybody feels like they need fireworks anymore on this holiday. Why not replace that tradition with others? Right off the top of my head, I can think of 5 things that would be much better, and more exciting, than fireworks.
Soul Train Dance Line
Look, if you feel the need to get together with a bunch of friends and family on July 4, I only ask two things.
(1) Make sure everyone is vaccinated.
(2) Form a Soul Train dance line. If everyone in the world took time to do this, it would be a better planet. What better way to say “Freedom” and “Mattresses are 15% Off This Weekend” than this?
Putting Cheese on Your Burger… From the Second Story
I mean, I’ve NEVER seen any fireworks that got people this excited. If only the founding fathers had instituted this tradition from the very beginning (that, AND actually give equal freedom to everyone, not just to a select few). Can you imagine?
Seems like you should have at least one dog down around the grill though to help with clean-up.
Playing With a Ball Without Actually Touching It
And speaking of dogs, leave it to them to show us how to really celebrate. These creatures are so much more advanced in the ways of joy than us humans that they’ve refined how to find pleasure in a simple ball, and they don’t even always have to touch it. So much more explosive than fireworks, and I’ve never seen a rubber ball burn down a forest or a town.
Dizzy Bat Races
If you’ve never participated in, or at least watched, dizzy bat races live, I just don’t know what you’ve been doing with your life. Gotta show two of these.
First, a regular dizzy bat race…
But the piesta de resistance is of course the extreme redneck version…
That’s right. Just sit around and laugh like an idiot. It might freak out the dog, but not as bad as firecrackers.
Laughter is contagious, and it’s not hard to do. But if you need some help to get started, watch this. And happy 4th of July.