The 4th of July is not an excuse to behave like a prick


I realize that I’m preaching to the choir with this post, but I just have to get this off my chest.

The last two evenings and nights have been hellish in my neighborhood, and it’s only been the 4th for two and a half hours. Pretty much everyone expects some neighborhood fireworks, especially over a long holiday weekend like this one. We all know the keep your pets in, close the windows, turn the TV on to mask the sound, yadda yadda yadda 4th of July warnings passed around every year.

The jackasses who need to read those things never do. They’re too busy driving to South Carolina to buy fireworks that are illegal here in North Carolina.

I’ve never gotten into near-physical confrontations with neighbors or had to call the police on the 4th before this year. This year, several people were setting off M-80s. Relentlessly. In the street. It sounded like a war movie. This is a small, crowded neighborhood with young families, elderly people, and pets at almost every house. Anyone setting off fireworks that sound like car bombs is an asshole.

If anyone who thinks this behavior is cool happens to read this post . . . it’s not. And don’t assume all your neighbors are going to go inside and close the windows and turn up their TVs and let you get away with your shit. Some of them, like me, may confront you. And send the police to your house. If a neighbor comes to you and says, “Hey, you woke up my baby/my mother has a heart condition/my elderly dog pissed himself and won’t eat,” fucking knock it off. You are not entitled to be a prick because it’s the 4th of July. You are not entitled to jack shit. You are very likely breaking the law by being in possession of certain types of fireworks/violating your town’s noise ordinance, and you are endangering your neighbors’ homes and property (and your own) with sparks. Sometimes fireworks just fizzle out and fall where you don’t expect them to. If you burn down someone’s house, you’re legally and financially responsible.

If you want to see a big boisterous fireworks show, find one put on by professionals. It’s not hard. Yeah, you’ll have to skip the Budweiser until you get home. You’ll live, and your neighbors won’t hate you, and the cops won’t show up and shut down your little get drunk and blow shit up party.

What we WANTED to do tonight was watch a movie and eat the grilled chicken and potato salad that we prepared. What we did was comfort the terrified dog and call the police. My ears are still ringing. When your “party” ruins someone else’s attempt to simply live their life without explosions every five minutes, you are out of line.

I’m tired of the Founding Fathers excuse for everything that infringes on everyone else’s right to peace and safety. I’m pretty sure the Found Fathers assumed people would understand DON’T BE A PRICK. It’s too bad they didn’t write that explicitly in the Declaration of Independence.

So tomorrow night . . . don’t be a prick.


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