fireworksI sometimes wonder about myself.

Here’s something that happened years ago that made me laugh then and makes me laugh now.

I’m at the LA zoo. There is a child sitting and swinging back and forth on a heavy chain link fence that is part of the barrier around a cactus garden. There are signs that say do not do this. It is dangerous. The child’s parents are trying to get her to get off the chain. The child is being a total brat. When her parents tell her no, she does that fake crying thing that anyone who has been around kids knows. This child is so pleased with herself.

And then…

She makes a big swing and goes right over backwards into the cactus garden.

Yay karma.

One hardly ever gets to see it come around, but when it does …. ahhhhh.

Now to the present.

Fourth of July in San Jose can be a bit like being in a war zone. (I know, not really, I’m just using exaggeration to make a point, okay?)

Fireworks are illegal in San Jose. There are reasons for this:

(a) Fireworks are made to explode people. If you do not know what you are doing, they are really dangerous. They are little (and sometimes not so little) bombs. And …

(b) Fires.

Much of California is actually a desert – we use water that be buy, beg, borrow and steal from many other places to feed our illusion that it is not a desert – but it is. We are called the Golden State, not because of the gold that was discovered here, but because for a great portion of the year our hills are golden – because they are covered with wild grasses and shrubs that are tinder dry. We should be called the kindling state.

Sadly, fireworks are available in parts of our county. Sadly, people go to these areas and buy lots and lots of fireworks and bring them back to San Jose.

This makes me crazy. Every boom and bang and siren I hear over the 4th holidays, I think to myself, “I hope you blow your hands off.”

Sunday of the 4th weekend, I open Yahoo and first story – man in San Jose blows both hands off when illegal fireworks explode prematurely.

And I laughed.

I’m sorry you lost your hands dude, but you were warned (fireworks blowing off body parts is part of everyone’s childhood lessons – like putting your eye out with a stick, or running with scissors), you were doing something illegal (and not stupid illegal – something illegal for good reasons), and you were putting others at risk.

Sucks to be a lesson for others, doesn’t it?

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