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Fireworks in the neighborhood, so I called the cops

Okay, so I’m a killjoy. But laws are laws and I’ve about stroked out this evening with all the fireworks being shot off all over my neighborhood. There are laws against fireworks within the city limits, but you wouldn’t know it if you lived on my street.

I finally lost it tonight. Something was shot off in the street in front of my house that was big enough to rattle the front windows. Some kids had been setting off firecrackers earlier, but I managed to keep quiet. When the windows shook, however, I snapped. I bolted for the front door, stepped onto the porch, and yelled into the shadows, “Knock off the fireworks or I’m calling the cops!” Voices came out of the dark. Mumbles. A kid’s voice, “Do it!” and then an adult voice, “Oh, dear.” Adults! Oh, dear.

Great, I thought. Now I’ll be known as “that grumpy old lady across the street” by neighbors I haven’t even met yet. My yard will probably get trenched next week. The radios will get louder when they drive past my house.

Still, I was so angry that as soon as I came back in I picked up the phone and called the cops. Yes, I did it. I’ve never in my life called the cops on my neighbors. Till now. I vented. I feel better. I feel bad.

What are these people thinking? Yards are so dry they’re turning brown despite all the watering. Structures are even drier. In my old hometown, the same conditions were a given on the Fourth of July. And you never heard fireworks in residential areas. Certainly nothing more than a few isolated firecrackers. People knew the danger and respected the law.

Some years ago a very well-to-do subdivision there nearly went up in flames when a single bottle rocket started a roof fire that jumped to almost a dozen homes before it was brought under control. The roofs there were all bone-dry wooden shake shingles.

They don’t allow shake roofs anymore, and they are vicious about enforcing fireworks ordinances. There are fireworks stands outside the city limits, but the cops will watch you buy them and follow you back toward town. The minute you cross into town, if you’re dumb enough to go straight back, you get stopped and ticketed. The fireworks are confiscated.

Now that’s enforcement.

Wow, I’m so glad my neighbors aren’t me. I’d be really pissed if I had a neighbor who yelled at me and threatened to call the cops.

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