Across the country, many counties are canceling their Fourth of July firework displays for money reasons.
Of course, this is a huge victory for skittish dogs. I can remember as a child, watching my miniature schnauzer, Chipper, run in circles as loud noises and flashing lights punctuated the night. It got worse when the fireworks started.
But who cares? I'm more broken up about the emasculation of home fireworks — the eradication of big thunder artillery balls, finned missiles, barrel bombs, red lanterns, multi-tube fountains and flash crackers. In my neighborhood, the Fourth of July always meant four words for some unfortunate chap: "He lost an eye."
Instead, we get sparklers and snakes. You can't subtract a finger from either of them. That's a tragedy.
The best part of growing up is knowing that growing up might not happen at all because you tried to shoot a bottle rocket out of your butt and instead it unraveled your intestines. Childhood now exists in a full body helmet and Roman candles seem as far removed as Roman Polanski's roaming hands.
Oh how I miss my hidden stash of M-80s and those glorious stacks of panda firecrackers in their smelly red packages, reeking of gunpowder. More important, I yearn for the stench of a dead bottle rocket floating in a bucket of water.
Alas, now we must look to the sky for our thrills. Or simply make our own. I, for example, just constructed a blockbuster out of a Duraflame log and a cat.
And if you don't believe me, may you give birth to a gnome.