Friday, July 4, 2014

I Hate Fireworks

There. I said it. I hate fireworks for the same reason I hate watching sports that don't involve a ridiculous obstacle course. They're boring as fuck. No drama at all. Yes, even the professional fireworks displays.

Oh look, colorful lights in the sky. And now there are more colorful lights in the sky. And now there are colorful lights in the shape of something. Apparently that's worthy of applause. Well, isn't that interesting?

There's more drama in a rerun on The Honeymooners. Hence the holiday marathon.

I don't like watching fireworks on TV even with the dramatic music and color commentators. Watching them while sitting on a lawn somewhere while being bitten by mosquitos and no-see-ums for hours while you wait for it to start? No thanks.

One year, His Awesomeness and I were in Chicago on the 4th. We sat out in the park with hundreds of other people waiting to see the fireworks because what the hell else were we going to do. There was a storm threatening, and the flashes of everyone's cameras as they documented the exciting sitting in the park and waiting kept making me think that there was lightning, which would due an excellent reason for getting the hell out of the park. HA realized this wasn't going to work, so we went back to the hotel and watched Deep Space Nine on DVD.

(Side note: I also fucking hate people who use a flash when taking pictures on the NYC subway. The locals are still a bit jumpy and the cars are well lit enough that you don't need a flash anyway so just give it a fucking rest.)

So anyway, people's attempts to convince me that fireworks are interesting actually make me hate them even more. The fireworks, not the people. I know I'm outnumbered here - like fireworks all you want. But when someone calls from the other room, "Jen! You have to come see this!" and it's just a bunch of colored lights in the sky? You have failed to impress me.

When I was a kid, I did enjoy setting off fireworks under the appropriate adult supervision. This was back before you could buy 1/4 of a stick of dynamite for fun. I enjoyed the feeling of power that comes with creating a big noise, of making something happen. But really, there are other ways to let kids feel empowered.

I started losing interest the year that I was supervising my younger cousins setting off some little fireworks that bounce around on the ground harmlessly unless you get too close. The people across the street had a yard below street level, and started setting off bottle rockets, not realizing that they were firing at us. One just missed my face.

One of my uncles used to be really in to setting off fireworks. Until one of his co-workers died in a fire started by a bottle rocket.

And let's not forget the explosion in the Grucci factory in 1983 that killed 2 fireworks professionals.

Fireworks are a bloodsport, and let's not forget it. And they're not even that interesting! Usually stuff that could get people killed is riveting. Even car racing has the whole race thing going for it.

But big noises and flashing lights? That's nothing to lose life and limb over.

Even though most people disagree with me, I know I'm right. If fireworks displays were so interesting, there would be a video game version. (In all fairness, there is a video game where you can create a fireworks display, but since it's on the Disney UK site, it's safe to say that it's for kids and we all know how easily impressed they are.)

So while everyone else is wringing their hands over whether or not Hurricane Arthur will interfere with their local fireworks display, I'll be saving my energy for all the other things I worry about unreasonably.


  1. I would have to agree with you...they don't really impress me either. I'm over it! Great article!

  2. I used to love fireworks, but any time I watch any now, I find myself saying, "Is that it? Is it over?" It's weird, but one of my favorite things about fireworks is observing the difference in the speed of light vs sound. I'm pretty sure that makes me a nerd.


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