My husband is a self-proclaimed OCIT and proud of it. What does that mean? It stands for Old Codger In Training. When we lived in Tennessee, his goal was to be one of those old men that sat on porch in his overalls, polishing his shotgun, and yelling at kids to get off the lawn. Now we live in Canada, so he’s revised that idea a bit and his goal is to grow into an old man and sit on the porch in his fleece with his ukulele and yell at the deer not to eat the garden. Part of his training involves yelling at drivers as they speed by, “Slow down, this is a neighbourhood!”
I, on the other hand, am generally very smiley and congenial. However, every once in a while, I give the OCIT a run for his money. And one of the things that sets me off is fireworks. The simple truth is, I don’t like ’em. I know it makes me unpopular, but aside from the pretty factor (and I admit, they often are pretty and I have been known to ooooh and aaaah with the best of them), they’re noisy, cost a lot of money that I think most communities could spend in a better fashion, and the home variety tends to leave a lot of debris in the streets. So, yeah, you could say fireworks turn me into an COW (Crabby Old Writer).
Last October I was appalled to see a big “FIREWORKS FOR SALE” sign here at our village hardware store. In October? Oh, mannnnnn…. And then, of course, things started blowing up. As soon as it got dark, which in October is around 4pm, boom! Boom! Boom! I couldn’t believe the hardware store guy was going to sell fireworks for forever and make my life a living hell.
Our newspaper has a section where you can write in nice or evil things that people have done and award them a Smile or a Snarl. I fully intended to write a scathing one, blasting the owner of the hardware store for ruining our lovely island peace just to make a loonie. Fortunately for me, Sunday came around before I got to it and a bunch of our friends were over for Sunday Soup. I don’t know how we got on the subject, but I said in my best COW voice, “I’m so mad the hardware store is selling fireworks just to make some money. It really pisses me off. I can’t stand it. They freak out the deer and the cats and all those stupid explosions keep waking me up (from my nap) interrupting my writing.”
Everyone (all Canadians) stared at me for a second like I was a total idiot, and then my friend, Nathan said, “Fireworks are a Canadian tradition at Halloween. They’ll stop selling them next week.”
I’m pretty sure my face turned red like the flag. “Oh…uh…umm…okay. Yeah, I didn’t know that.” Hey, sometimes it’s tough being an immigrant!
Anyway, while Canada Day (July 1st) and The Fourth of July go by silently here, if you don’t like fireworks, make sure you have your earplugs handy in October, eh?