Jul 4, 2007

On Fireworks, AssHats, and Pyrotechnic Insanity

Exploding, colorful fireworks detonating in the skies above Sylvania, OH at a Fourth of July celebration Let me say from the outset that I have no problem with people celebrating holidays with a few fireworks, and as a kid I used to create my share of noise with firecrackers and bottle rockets. And I still owe an apology to Mr. and Mrs. Odom, whose front door screen was damaged by an errant bottle rocket my friends and I launched one Fourth of July.

Yet last night I was unable to go to sleep because some inebriated neighborhood asshats decided that a fireworks celeberation needs to continue until 2:30 in the morning. Moreover, the pyrotechnic capabilities of these people rivaled the impressive displays one might expect at a municipal fireworks display.

Thus I listened to several hours of explosions, shrieks, and whooshes - plus the associated drunken revelry - produced by neighbors hell bent on simulated destruction. These folks had to have spent many hundreds of dollars to produce such a sustained artillery campaign.

Where, though, do they even find these types of materials? Some of these explosions were so loud that they reverberated throught the neighborhood 4-5 seconds after detonation, and the rockets the lunatics fired reached heights of several hundred feet.

Then, too, is the issue of safety. We went to a friend's house last night to watch the Sylvania municipal fireworks (where I took the above photo), and some of their neighbors had a pre-fireworks display of their own. Several of these powerful rockets misfired and landed on the ground just a few dozen feet from where young children were playing. No harm, no foul, but what if some innocent kid was injured by an errant rocket simply sitting in his backyard, minding his own business?

Supposedly one needs a permit from the ATF to possess powerful fireworks, and federal law mandates that fireworks contain less than 50-milligrams of flash or explosive powder in order to be legally sold to consumers in the United States. I'm not sure how my asshat neighbors obtained their fireworks, but these were clearly of a caliber far beyond the 50 milligram range.

I suppose, though, that my only recourse is to fire up my old weed-whacker this morning and exact a measure of payback. Perhaps if I remove the muffler on the engine I can achieve a level of noise at a bleary-eyed 8:30 am to remind these folks about neighborliness.


Oh, and a happy Fourth of July to everyone!


Anonymous said...

Down hee-yah in San Antonio the locals fire their shotguns and pistols off. Fireworks are for sissies.


historymike said...

When I lived in Detroit that used to be a big problem, JD. I don't hear about it as much in Toledo.

Man with the Muck-rake said...

Mike- at least we have the 'law' on our side: they are illegal.

This 'holiday' is just an excuse for adults to drink and act like a teenager. Odd, isn't it, how easily that can happen to an adult male here in America.

But then, we have a president...

Anonymous said...

In my neighborhood, the guns are reserved for the New Year's celebration. People don't seem to realize the bullets they fire do land somewhere, and sometimes those landings have tragic consequences.

Fireworks in my vicinity have been much lower-key than in past years. It used to be that they started on Memorial Day and went on fairly regularly until well past the Fourth of July, then picked up again around Labor Day. And they'd be very loud. This year they're more scattered time-wise, quieter, and there are far fewer. Maybe it's a reflection of the economy, or people growing up, or old residents moving out, new ones moving in. Whatever it is, I'm grateful -- and so is my cat.

The thing I've noticed this year, though, is that there are fireworks going off during the day from time to time. In past years, it used to be only at night that I'd hear them.

No fireworks across the street from me last night, but there was loud people, loud music, and (literally) dancing in the street. They were still at it at 3am. Some days they start at noon and are still going strong in the middle of the night.

Part of me is furious because the bass in their music keeps me from being able to listen to music of my choosing in my own house, and if I want to watch TV, I have to turn it up loud to overcome the noise they're making. But another part of me recognizes it's too hot for them to stay indoors, and it is good to see a group of people get together for plain ol' fun without violence or destruction. They're all ages and seem to enjoy each other a lot.

Still, I'd prefer they'd keep their midnight football games out of my yard.

The Screaming Nutcase said...

Were you close enough to Sylvania's fireworks to pick up on the music?

The fireworks got really frequent during the 1812 Overture, and stopped with that piece. Then, just as I was thinking "what a stereotype--finale with the 1812--it wasn't even our war," they started up again.

They started back up and did the finale to Carmina Burana, though--what an odd choice.

By the way, there's a whole community of fireworks enthusiasts who make their own fireworks from mail-order components...or did, anyhow.

Mad Jack said...

A site on the web about excessive noise and generally noisy neighbors suggested talking to the neighbors and trying to work out a mutual solution. Clearly, these people have never had to deal with noisy neighbors.

So, did you call the police? Have you spoken to the neighbors since the fourth?

Historychic said...

My ghetto neighborhood didn't stop the insanity until 5am this morning. We even had the window a/c unit on, the tv tuned to CNN and still were unable to sleep due to fireworks, gun shots, glass breaking and shouting going on. I don't think people even think of others anymore, at least where I live. Hopefully tonight will be more peaceful.

Historychic said...

I decided to blog about my inconsiderate neighbors last night at nikthehistorian.blogspot.com

Thanks for the shameless plug.

historymike said...


Agrred about some adults never growing up.

historymike said...


Yes, I have noticed that fireworks deployers are working most of the day, as opposed to the traditional 1-2 hours after sunset.

historymike said...

We could hear the music, but not well, Screaming Nutcase.

I was not aware of the firworks community.

historymike said...

Mad Jack:

Nah - I didn't waste my time calling TPD. We would have just been in line behind several hundred other calls.

historymike said...

Plug away, historychic, and there are innumerable blogging topics. Glad to be an inspiration.

-Sepp said...

Bah humbug!...you forgot to say that!