Explode-y Things

Here in the US, we like to celebrate special occasions by lighting things on fire.  A prime example would be birthdays.   It’s traditional to present the honoree with a beautifully decorated cake…then promptly set a match to it and watch to see if all the flames can be blown out.  For the birthday of our nation, mere candles aren’t enough.  We feel the need to celebrate with fireworks so everyone can marvel at their  flaming beauty.  

Now, as you may know, I grew up in Southern California…the very dry Southern California.  Fireworks outside of the professional shows were highly illegal.  Of course there were always some fools that would zip across the border to smuggle back some illicit pyrotechnics every year.  Let’s just blame them for the wild fires that rage across the area nearly every summer.  Needless to say, nearly every July 4th was spent battling the crowds to see the public firework displays. 

Our first year in Washington, we noticed that a multitude of little shacks had sprung up near the end of June.  We were amazed to find that they were all selling fireworks.  Not being sure if this was really allowed or not, we guiltily went ahead and purchased a box of sparklers and some “poppers” just for fun.  

The next year, we knew better.  We (meaning Shaun) purchased a huge box of fireworks and joined the rest of the neighborhood in shooting off rockets the middle of the street.  It turned out that what we thought of as  a  huge box was really nothing but peanuts compared to everyone else had.   Apparently, all the cool kids snub their noses at the little shacks jumping out all over the place.   The real place to go is called “Boom Town”.  This is a little city that springs up overnight each year near the Tulalip Reservation

Rumor has it that for the right price, you can get nearly any type of firework you want out there.  We’ve never been to Boom Town (are you crazy, let Shaun loose in a whole mini-town of exploding things??!!) but we have reaped the benefits. 

One of my best friends has been hosting a blow out fourth of July party for the past few years.  They live on a small, slightly competitive, lake community.  As soon as it gets dark, which is a little after ten, we all head down to the beach.  All the men folk get the kids (pretty much all but mine) and start blowing things up.  A couple other groups across the lake start blowing things up too.  Each group showing off to the others.  The results go on for at least an hour and are magnificent.  

I’m not exactly sure why we, as a nation, choose to celebrate with fireworks.  Perhaps it has something to do with Sir Frances Scott Key’s words “and the rockets red glare, the bombs bursting in air….”

Then again, it probably has a lot to do with the fact that we just like setting fire to things….

Happy Birthday to US.  I hope you had a great Fourth.


Bit O Life


Grandpa…being a pest.

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17 Responses to Explode-y Things

  1. Where I grew up, we would always light fireworks on New Year’s Eve… the following day will always be filled with news of casualties and people losing limbs from the explosions. It has become illegal now… though there are still underground sellers of fireworks. I count myself as lucky for being able to hold sparkling fountains in my young hands… and I count myself even more lucky for still possessing my hands. Enjoy them, love 🙂 I’ve always loved fireworks… belated happy 4th!

  2. Jay says:

    Yeah, I think we just like to blow things up and set things on fire. Like when a team wins a championship and the fans take to the streets to celebrate and set a police car on fire. Stuff like that.

  3. Happy 4th of July, Susan…!

  4. Coffespaz says:

    Sounds like you had a good 4th!! They like expoding things here. For three nights my poor kitty hid while we heard big and little booms. Thankfully, only one night featured a show very close to us…so close we (meaning me since Grady was hiding under the covers) could smell the sulfer from the larger rockets. Still, there’s nothing like feeling that big boom in your chest and seeing the world lit up in wonderful colors and shapes!

  5. Cazzie says:

    My mum was a pyreomaniac..lovewd setting things alight..even our fence that fell over due to a heavy creeper growing on it. We pulled it down aqnd made a bon fire out of it, LOL

  6. One of the most memorable fireworks displays I ever witnessed was at Colonial Williamsburg at a pre-holiday event in December called The Grand Illumination. As we watched the historically accurate ‘bombs bursting in air’, it began to snow. It was a magical evening!

  7. Dan says:

    yes, it’s always nice to have a day off from work. I just wish they’d make it a 3-day weekend. But in two years it will be on Friday and we’ll get a 3-day weekend.

    I guess I’m missing the whole point of the day, huh? 🙂

  8. J-Funk says:

    I also grew up where fireworks are illegal – but people would buy them in the next state over and shoot them off anyway. I think it’s so funny that here every city has a different rule.

    I saw the Amazing KT’s blog and tried to comment but was swayed by having to sign in. She has an awesome blog! I go to another KT blog, unclekt.blogspot.com, and your KT is right: KT’s have high standards (and good blogs!).

  9. MikeM says:

    Great post!!

    Have a great week!!

  10. Kell says:

    You know, I never thought about it, but we do look for any excuse to set things on fire, don’t we. You’re brilliant!

    We had a nice, quiet 4th at a hotel outside of Kansas City. I’ve become such a party pooper.

  11. Peace says:

    Yes, we have the Indian Reservatin fireworks throughout Las Vegas. I have to admit that I am one of those who drives out there and buys the “good” stuff! I remember one year when one of the ‘new’ items I had purchased and wasn’t really sure what it was going to do, fell over and started shoot projectile shots at all of us watching in our lawn chairs. We all fell over backwards at the same time…no one got hurt in the process!

    This all ended when I married, of all things, a pyrotechnician (talk about fireworks!) who would lose his license if caught anywhere near the proximity of the illegal goods and just about has a seisure when I mention my previous explosive adventures. Ahhh, the good old days!

  12. tommiea says:

    When I was in high school our cheer squad had a fireworks shack for a fundraiser every summer. It was amazing the amount of cash we could make in a short amount of time!

  13. Pavel says:

    ROFL!!! Yep, setting things on fire IS fun, isn’t it? Never thought about it that way before. Thanks for pointing it out.

  14. Keshi says:

    right now I wanna set my mobile on fire! 🙂

    Seems like u had a good 4th. Terrific!


  15. Michelle says:

    I liked this post and think you’ve hit the nail on the head.

    And can I just say the title is what really makes this post perfect. Explode-y. Ha!

  16. Mojokat says:

    Glad that you had a nice holiday, and everyone made it out alive! =-) You’re completely correct…we do have an infatuation with “explod-y” things, don’t we!

  17. Pingback: 4th of July Fireworks Fundraising : Big Bear Blogs

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