I wrote the following for the Fourth of July, 1991, when I was considerably less of a curmudgeon and my memories of boyhood were fresher. I’m not saying it’s great, but – given the enduring male obsession with explosives – it does seem to be timeless.
Americans have some crazy ways of celebrating their holidays.
In December we fell millions of baby trees, festoon them with strings of blinking lights, then heap Ninja Turtle dolls and other gewgaws beneath them. That’s Christmas.
At Easter we hide little baskets filled with tacky plastic grass, chocolate eggs and crusty yellow marshmallow bunnies. Kids go after these like bloodhounds and wolf down enough sugar to keep the dentists busy for months.
On New Year’s Eve we get falling-down drunk, wear paper hats and act like clowns all night, then stumble into our cars and hold a great big demolition derby.
Which brings us to the Fourth of July – and fireworks. Read more »