Tim Cavanaugh once observed that a people who need the government to define what barbecue actually is cannot be considered a free people in any meaningful sense, which sort of sums up the state of the Republic in the new century.
Not to be outdone by California, Arizona, apparently, has raised the fireworks pot. I'll see your patchwork bans and raise it to a full, outright, statewide ban on everything from sparklers to bottle rockets, leaving residents to privately celebrate their independence with glow worms and confetti poppers from WalMart, some of which were louder than the real McCoy.
On the outskirts of Santa Fe, The Boy and I sauntered into Pyro Mania (not making that up) which seemed to be staffed entirely by gregarious Indians (feather, not dot) who, with sly smiles and an exxagerated shrug of the shoulders told us they just didn't know if bottle rockets, fire crackers, M-1800's, fountains, roman candles (and the two foot high mortar launcher guaranteed to put Disney's finale to shame) were legal next door in the Grand Canyon State. Truth is, TWC expected gun-toting Arizona to be a bit more open minded about blowing stuff up.
Back in the day we enjoyed America's birthday celebration with Safe 'N Sane fireworks courtesy of the local Boy Scout Troop. Given that Casa de las Rocas Grandes is in a tinderbox and a complete fireworks ban is in force, The House Blond and The Boy have never once written their names in the air with a sparkler. We aimed to cure that deficit.
The Boy remained mightily disappointed about the Roman Candles but Uncle Will was firm. The HOA would likely have puppies over something so brazen and the neighbors might call The Man. Being he's a two term HOA president, it'd not look good on his resume to be sanctioning the use of contraband.
Later, I called out to the The Boy and we took a stroll. Found an ideal spot, too.
Here now, hold this thing. Point it down the road. I'll light it. Do not shoot it up in the air or off into the roadside flora.
Hadn't heard a car for two hours but you know what happened next. Got that thing lit up and a BIG 4X4 roars through the gate, whereupon we commence our Three Stooges Do Fireworks routine.
Holy Crap! (expletive deleted) car coming. Dude! Shove that thing into the remains of the monsoon mud.
Bam! Red mud, gravel, sticks, debris.....pummeling Jake, back lit by fireballs and stars exploding in every direction.
Buried the dead remains in a shallow, red mud grave and tippy toed away.
No Sir, not us.....heard all the commotion, just checking things out. The box of kitchen matches? For the barbeque.