Blow Things Up Day


Los Angeles: densely populated land of the desert in the middle of a persistent drought. Not really optimal conditions for lighting things afire and shooting them skyward to hither and thither, landing who the hell knows where. Yet, my neighbors seem intent on doing just that. I live in a working class neighborhood teeming with children who simply cannot seem to keep their ball out of my yard. And now, these very same rug rats are shooting off whiz-bangs in a very close proximity to my property. I feel like a reluctant forest ranger keeping watch for brush fires: Ranger Goldfish.

Ah, well, who am I kidding? It’s not like I was keen on doing anything else today having been bestowed with the worst damn hangover in the history of hangovers this morning. It’s the kind of hangover where you have to hold your head firmly with one hand to keep it from flying whiz-bang style into a million pieces of shrapnel. Sometimes, I wonder if it’s even worth it. Maybe I should just let go of my head and let the pieces fall where they may. Keeping it intact seems like a lot of effort for so little reward at the moment.

Not only did my brain decide to go on strike today, but my stomach did as well. They’re working in cahoots, trying to destroy my day and succeeding. I woke up, had a sip of water, went outside for a smoke and immediately proceeded to throw up on the bushes outside of Male’s house. It was very ladylike indeed. At least those bushes are safe from brush fire on the 4th of July having had a thorough dousing with stomach acid. It might even turn out to be a good fertilizer. Who knows. I’ll let you know what the findings are for my unintentional science project.

After throwing up 5 times in 5 different locations including the bushes–the other 4 being traditional vomit-receiving receptacles; one of them at the eating establishment where I foolishly attempted to eat breakfast–I made it home. Ah, home. Now I can hurl in my own toilet. Sweet, sweet toilet, how I love thee. All cold and full of water with that smart flushy thing on the side. Excellent.

Rockstar® Energy Drink cracked, laptop open, lounge chair reclined to maximum lounge capability, binoculars at the ready to spot even the smallest newborn flame in the jungle of weeds that is my yard, I settle in to noodle about on the intertubes only to be constantly jarred by the sounds of war.

America has got to be the only country on Earth that celebrates its existence by simulating what it would be like to live in the middle of a battlefield. Well, maybe not the only one, but it is pretty silly when you get down to it, don’t you think? Let’s light things on fire and shoot them into the sky. Better yet, let’s have them sound exactly like a gunshot when they go off so you can’t tell if someone’s shooting at you or just celebrating their independence.

I’ve never been big on the category of “parades” (Pardon me, Väinö Linna, for stealing your excellent descriptor from the Under The North Star Trilogy. Great books, by the way.). The category of parades to me includes, well, parades, fireworks, halftime shows, hot air balloons and most other grandstanding events where people just sit around and look at things passively. I’ve never understood them. I also don’t understand why people would applaud in a movie theater. You do know that it’s just moving pictures, right? The actors, director and pretty much everyone involved in making the film are not actually in the room. They can’t hear you, just so you know. Anyway, like I said, the category of parades can suck it.

Imminently exploding brainpan, stomach set to projectile mode, a thousand shells combusting overhead… and it’s not even dark yet. Happy goddamn Independence Day.

July 5th postscript: Nothing actually caught on fire. All that fretting was for naught. However, the hills of Los Angeles are on fire right now. Again. I’m sure that has little to nothing to do with my pyromaniac monkey neighbors though. Oh, and the bushes are still alive, but I still don’t feel 100% right.