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Alltop, confirmation that I kick ass

Author: toni

~ 07/07/09


Not to be sexist, but I’m convinced it was a MAN who first harnessed the power of fire lo those 400,000 years ago. I can see it now. A group of Hominids were hanging out you know, hunting, gathering and what not. SUDDENLY. Lightning strikes dry brush! A fire ignites! Feeling the intense heat and being equipped with common sense and a protective mommy instinct, the Females GRAB the children and PULL them quickly away, shielding them. The Males, well… their eyes go saucer-wide and instead of pulling back, they lurch forward and jump around EXCITEDLY! Even the smell of burning flesh and the potential demise of their gene pool does not deter them.   

Tell me this isn’t the EXACT scene you witnessed this last weekend (if you’re not in a high fire area where fireworks are illegal, that is). Seriously, the 4th of July brings out the pyromaniac in some men. Okay, ALL men. Give a guy an explosive and a flame and suddenly caution is thrown to the wind.

I personally see it every year. The discussion of “should we shoot off fireworks” comes up. Quickly followed by a chorus of MALE voices, all volunteering to be THE ONE to run to the nearest fireworks stand to pick up “a few sparklers” for the kids. Finally one or two MEN “win out”. The Alpha Males, I assume.

I don’t know exactly what happens at the stand, but “a few sparklers” turns into the $200 BAD MUTHA TRUCKER PACK featuring fiecrackers with names like DEATH WISH, EVIL CLOWN and REHAB.

Why buy this Mondo Package? FOR THE KIDS of course! Because, you know, sparklers are really just a step above birthday candles. And don’t the kids deserve something a little more spectacular to honor the birth of their nation?  Oh brother.

Out comes the requisite bucket of water for “safety”. Which somehow never makes me feel any safer about what’s about to go down. The viewing chairs are set up, usually within 2 feet of the exploding items. Even if you put them 10 feet back, they mysteriously inch within two feet of a flaming object that could scar you for life.

And despite protests from the CONCERNED MOMMIES in the crowd, the DADDIES insist that the fireworks are perfectly safe. Right, because safety is foremost in the mind of that 11 year-old on the assembly line in China who has a quota of packing gunpowder into 2000 firecrackers a day or it’s back on the streets for him, buster!  

Nothing I say makes a difference. Not even bringing up the story of the kid I knew who had to get 100 stitches for the bottle rocket gone wrong. (He wasn’t doing it right) Not even mentioning the FRIEND with the glass eye which was a direct result of fireworks. (A one in a million fluke not likely to be repeated in our lifetime).

So for the next 30 minutes (because honestly, that’s really all it takes to blow up $200 worth of fireworks and that’s if you clean up between explosions) we Mommies sit there, on our haunches, ready to POUNCE in front of our Kids in order to take the direct hit from an errant EXPLODIMUS MAXIMUS, CRAZY EXCITING ON STEROIDS or GATES OF HELL.  

Cuz that’s what Mommies do. Come between their kids and the projectile missile their Daddies have set into motion during their regression to some primal version of themselves.

Don’t believe me? Next time, check out the hunched-over form of daddy as he moves excitedly within the smoke cloud he’s created with his explosion and tell me it isn’t something out of Paddy Chayefsky’s ALTERED STATES. And that excited gutteral sound that comes out of his throat when one of those babbies goes KABLOOM! – I’m pretty sure it’s Hominid for “THAT’S FREAKIN’ AWESOME!”

Another 4th passes and I’m grateful that we all have our eyes.



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