I've always loved the Fourth of July - the family softball game, BBQ, swimming, endless card games, watching fireworks...
Notice: in CA, you WATCH fireworks.
From a distance, lit by licensed professionals, synchronized to a lovely musical program on the radio.
In Utah, the 4th is different.
You light your OWN fireworks.
Which you have to PAY for (WHAT?!?!?!)
Like, with blow torches and stuff.
In the street.
With minors in the vicinity.
It kinda freaks me out.
Not to mention, this year aerials were made legal in Utah.
Yes, those big, exploding, goodness-gracious-great-balls-of-fire.
I knew our neighborhood of adorable young children was destined to catch on fire.
For example: Monday.
The annual Street of Fire.
In the Bishop's cul-de-sac, we all circle around on the sidewalk and watch the fireworks in the middle of the street.
The Bishop always sets up a ladder and assembles a mass of "boom-booms" to go off at the same time, creating a tower of light.
This year, one of the "minors", a wise-beyond-his-years teenage boy, thought it would be smart to give one of the aerials a 4-foot head start and lit it off the ladder.
Because "he knows what he's doing".
Once it ignited, it fell over, on the ground, tipped to its side, facing...
Well, us. Phil was there.
First one shot off, went backwards into a group of teenage boys, second went STRAIGHT AT US, stopped a foot from out feet, and exploded. I can't remember the last time I screamed so loudly. I just thought "This is it. This is how people die on the 4th. I'm going to die. I hate this holiday."
I was screaming too loud to hear the other teenage girls' screams, since apparently the third went right at them.
We didn't die. But that boy is no longer my friend.
And I'm not sure what we're going to do next year.
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