OPINION: In Praise of BOOM
by Nate Gaddis
They’re like a noisy status symbol.
Nothing says “I’m done with Christmas shopping and still have disposable income” like a hundred thousand miniature dynamite sticks exploding their way up a bamboo pole.
If you’re new to town, and moved here for the peace and quiet, then we’ve got some bad news. In a couple of hours, things are going to get so loud, you will assume your neighbors are all insane.
But if you can get over your shock and bravely venture out into the smoke, you’ll discover something beautiful. Beer, poke, and happy faces abound (in that particular order.)
It’s best you acclimate quickly too. If you think 9 p.m. is noisy, just wait 2 hours and 58 minutes. That’s when some trigger-happy explosives enthusiast will light several thousand firecrackers two minutes before the customary midnight bonanza.
As a rule, once a household commits a premature detonation, the entire neighborhood must join in. On New Year’s Eve, dead air is unacceptable.
In a world of smoking bans, gluten allergies, and liability release-forms, holidays like New Year’s Eve and the Fourth of July stand out as proud tributes to America’s past tomfoolery.
There aren’t many occasions left where alcohol, tobacco and gunpowder can all show up at the same party without getting judged. Your cigar smoking uncle may not be welcome indoors, but as soon as those dinky little mosquito punks and other lighting devices run out, guess who gets to be a hero?
Sure, your rowdy neighbor with a four-beer-buzz may hold onto that firebomb just a little too long. But that’s okay. He’s guaranteed to have some company over at the ER, and you’ll always have the memories.
The family dog may need some post-traumatic stress counseling in the morning, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t enjoy yourself.
It’s true that fireworks come with risks. Breathing problems, brush fires, and beer goggles can all create potentially life-changing hazards.
But that doesn’t justify extinguishing a proud American tradition, or at least a tradition ripped-off from the Chinese, only to later be bought directly from the Chinese with funds leant to Americans by said-Chinese.
Instead of nuking New Year’s, lets help to lower the risks it brings. Raise the price of permits if you must to help staff our hospitals and fire stations. But for the love of god (and gunpowder) don’t take away our pop-pops.
Happy New Year!