Becky Says...


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It's the Fourth of July, and many people celebrate the United States of America's birthday with fireworks, either in their own yards or at community celebrations.

I am skipping the local display of fireworks this year. My legs are too long.

I've always enjoyed fireworks. I love the pretty colors and patterns emerging. But I had never been up close when they were set off until I went with some friends to the local display a couple of years ago. In my town, holiday fireworks are connected to a musical presentation, and held in a football stadium.

I had only been to the stadium one other time, for a graduation. On that occasion, I had worn a skirt, and had realized that the seats were miserably uncomfortable if one had to pay attention to modest leg positioning. But for July 4, shorts and a t-shirt were the attire. Knowing that I wouldn't have to sit so correctly was a large factor in my accepting the invitation.

We arrived early, and had a really good place to sit. But then the rainstorm came. When it started, we moved, along with everyone else, to an area where the seats were under an overhang. And that's where we stayed for the rest of the evening, though I wish we had moved after the rain stopped.

There was a woman seated in front of me who was in a particularly chatty mood. Her friends were scattered through the crowd. So she kept turning from one side to the other to greet and chat. The problem for me was her ponytail. It was a very short one, and in addition to the ponytail holder, she had covered the thing with hair lacquer to hold it in place. For the uninitiated, hair lacquer is industrial-strength hairspray, and could be used to glue buildings together.

Every time she moved her head, the ponytail smacked me in the knee. I tried moving my legs, but it was futile. That ponytail was gonna smack me. So I resigned myself to having lacquer bits on my leg, and tried to enjoy the pre-fireworks concert.

As soon as those in charge decided it was time to set off the fireworks, I realized exactly how much I wanted outta there. Because of the overhang, the noise from the explosions was incredibly loud. And the swivel-headed woman was getting more and more into bopping from side to side. We finally stood up for the finale, and thanks to the humidity, I got the pleasure of my final indignity of the night: having my face coated with residue from the fireworks.

That just doesn't happen when you watch fireworks on tv!

Text copyright 2000 Becky