I would like to congratulate the town of Somers and the Lions Club for hosting another fun-filled Independence Day fireworks extravaganza this year at Reis Park. Watching fireworks is one of the few things that the internet has failed to improve upon, i.e., ruin. You can’t watch them on a two-inch iPhone screen and get anything out of the experience. Just for the record, the same is true for music, television, movies and newspapers, but I don’t have time to go into that right now. You need to show up to behold the random patterns of exploding light and feel the power of the report hanging in the air. That reminds me, I have a report hanging in the air that I forgot to finish in the fifth grade; I wonder if it’s too late to hand it in.
Andrea was there again this year with her band, playing some classic rock. Classic rock means anything that actually has a guitar in it. She had a bunch of little girls helping her out by dancing around onstage. When the band broke into “I Want Candy,” the girls seemed genuinely disappointed that there was no actual candy. The music stopped abruptly when someone reported a missing child, but resumed just as abruptly when it was discovered that the missing child was one of the girls dancing around onstage, and she had not missed anything.
There was a drone hovering over the proceedings for a while, which was slightly creepy, and we were pointing it out to others. It was a “Superman moment,” like when the townspeople, in a confounded frenzy, glanced skyward and cried, “Look! Up in the sky! It’s a bird! It’s a plane! It’s Superman!” People who are that easily stupefied by birds and planes could cause a panic at a magic show.
I don’t know what the drone was there for, I assume to take pictures of the fireworks, although it could have been carrying out some sort of reconnaissance mission to try to find a Dunkin’ Donuts or something.
When I was a kid, we used to light sparklers on the Fourth of July and wave them around indiscriminately next to flammable objects, for fun. I don’t see them much anymore, so I guess they were outlawed. Probably some kid lit his hair on fire, and because of him, now NONE of us can light our hair on fire, regardless of whether it would be an improvement or not. It was probably the smoke from his hair that violated the park’s no-smoking policy. Instead, they sell these LED spinning light whirligigs and geegaws that look like little UFOs. They don’t seem dangerous, but I bet they could louse up your cellphone service.
I listened to the fireworks with my eyes closed and imagined Francis Scott Key writing about the only thing he could hear, confined in his jail cell: the bombs bursting in air. Hey, I’m a songwriter, too. If it had been me in that situation writing the “Star-Spangled Banner,” I like to think I would have done the same thing, but I doubt if I could hear anything over the sound of my constant sneezing in that musty prison air. My national anthem would have included a couple patriotic lines about dust motes.
I was drinking water all day since I didn’t see anything stronger available, and it was taking its toll. I didn’t know if it was ethical to use the handicapped port-a-potty. My knee would certainly qualify as handicapped, but that’s not the part that had to go, so I figured we should angle over towards the parking lot and slip out during the “grand finale” to beat the rush. Next year, I propose that they fire off the grand finale first so I don’t miss it. I got caught in the traffic anyway, since the police make you wait until the shuttle buses are filled so you don’t run over a bunch of kids on your way out. By the way, these are the same kids who almost ran ME over a hundred times before the fireworks even started.
Hear some original rock and roll music from Rickster & the Nefarians at reverbnation.com/rickstersbasementtapes. Say hello to Rick Melén at firstname.lastname@example.org.