Monday, July 4, 2011

My childhood, as viewed through the 4th of July.

Today, I'd like to revisit my childhood once again. Specifically, how I evolved as a childhood through the magic and wonder of the 4th of July. I almost didn't post this one, but Jules put a comic bunny -- not to be confused with a plot bunny -- into my unsuspecting head. WAY TO GO, JULES.


I grew up during the 1980s and 1990s. You know, that wondrous time when children were allowed to play outside and scrape their knees without being rushed into intensive care and then put through years of therapy to deal with the trauma. My knees and shins are more scar than skin, bitches. We were hardasses back then. We didn't take shit from the pavement like kids today.

Sorry, where was I? Oh, right. The Fourth of July.

My earliest years were spent being innocently mesmerized by such things as sparklers and bumblebees.
It's hard to believe now that bumblebees are illegal in most places.
Especially the Pacific Northwest where I grew up. I mean, so what if a little paper bee the size of a half dollar goes careening around in the sky while it's on fire? IT'S THE NORTHWEST. Everything is WET.
Anyway, as I got older and was less entertained by sparklers and fiery insects, I developed a love for the wonderful Roman Candle. Oh, the power of holding a stick that shot fireballs up into the night sky!
Yes, I went through a great deal of my youth looking at things in slack-jawed awe. I don't generally look like a blow-up doll in real life, but my Photoshop skills aren't great, so there it is.

Anyway. It happened one fine July (or probably late June...oh, come on, we weren't the only ones who lit off fireworks early!) when I, for whatever reason, took a moment away from the afternoon's backyard pyrotechnics to do something I had never done. I mean, it seemed utterly stupid. Why would anyone do such a crazy thing? But I was a wild child, and I did it.

I read the warning label on a Roman Candle.
And the gears in my head began to turn. They turned and ground like a turning, grinding thing.
And then...

Then it hit me.
Trust me, you would've made that face too if you'd reached the conclusion I had. And when the shock wore off, I went and did what any reasonable child would do in such a situation.

I ran off to tell my brother.
And from that day forth (not to be confused with that day Fourth), fireworks had changed in our house. Well, in our yard. Mom and Dad didn't let us light stuff off in the house. Messy, noisy, etc. Wherever we were, things were different after that.


Because thanks to a warning label, we had discovered...


Because THAT is how you do childhood.

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