Fireworks… how awesome are they really?

A lot of people will tell you that the 4th of July is one of the most underrated holidays. That will probably even be their Facebook status on Wednesday afternoon. And then they’ll post a picture of themselves drinking a beer at 2 p.m.

There’s not much to hate about 4th of July. For one, it is federally mandated that we get the day off. It’s not like Presidents’ Day or Martin Luther King Jr. Day, where companies have the discretion as to whether they award their employees with the day off or not.

On the 4th of July, everybody is off.

Something that just occurred to me is how unfortunate it is that the 4th of July lies on a Wednesday this year. The past three years, the holiday has been on a Saturday, Sunday and Monday, and then the leap year pushed it up to Wednesday this year.

It’s unfortunate because a lot of people — like myself — choose to go away for the 4th of July weekend. The past three years, we had 3-day weekends for the holiday. And if Independence Day fell on a Tuesday or Thursday, then I would take either the Monday or Friday off, giving me a 4-day weekend and plenty of time to go away.

But since it’s on a Wednesday, we only get the day off in the middle of the week, and it’s much more difficult to take two days off. So Wednesday kind of sucks. But I digress.

Other things to like about this holiday is that heavy drinking is encouraged, barbecues are encouraged (and who doesn’t like a good barbecue?), and fireworks are encouraged. Yes, fireworks are illegal in New York, but there are still illustrious fireworks shows in every sporting event, town park and beach. So yeah, they’re encouraged.

Fireworks are, without question, a spectacle to behold. If you buy the right ones, then they are awesome to witness. The loud pop, the various colors and the synchronized dispersal of said colors makes for a great show.

But the keyword is that fireworks are awesome to see.

Of course, every year, you have the idiots who start lighting off fireworks a week before the holiday. So when I am sitting in my room trying to read or watch television, I can hear these loud explosions. Since I can’t actually see them, then the fireworks offer absolutely nothing to me. It’s just a loud nuisance.

Also, fireworks are dangerous. I know that everyone knows that — but I don’t think people realize how dangerous fireworks are. It’s so easy for something to go wrong. Pretty much every year when I light fireworks with my friends, there is always — without fail — one person who lights a firework incorrectly. The typical mistake is to put it upside down, so that it explodes downward into the container. It makes for a very, very loud occurrence.

Plus there’s always the one person who hovers around the firework too long while it is lit. Or sometimes you light two at once, and one person lights theirs faster than the other. And I didn’t even mention how easy it is to start a fire when lighting fireworks, especially since most people do them in wooded areas.

Also, and everyone’s drunk when they’re lighting them! It’s amazing how many things can go wrong.

You always laugh about it after when somebody does something stupid with fireworks, but considering the possibilities, it never fails to amaze me that you never hear more horror stories involving fireworks. Don’t get me wrong, I’m enormously relieved that it is the case, but again, it still surprises me.

It’s always funny how differently guys and girls view fireworks. Guys are all about them. Shit, they’ll drive all the way to Pennsylvania just to buy them. And then they’ll light firework after firework after firework and never become bored. Honestly though, for me, I get bored with fireworks after five minutes. Every pack is the freaking same. And they all have like 20 in them.

Girls, meanwhile, just can’t wait for them to be over. In my experiences, they’ll preach caution with every firework, yell at their significant others incessantly for not taking proper precautions, and then end up going inside because they can’t take it anymore.

In theory, fireworks are pretty damn cool. I can’t take that away. However, I think people get a bit carried away with them. I mean, it’s not like you made the fireworks yourself. All you did was push a button on a lighter and then put it near a fuse. It doesn’t really take much skill.

So I’m just throwing all of that out there. I’ll let everyone else make their own judgments on how awesome fireworks actually are.

And now that I’ve officially rained on everybody’s parade, have a very happy 4th of July everybody. Stay safe!

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