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I'm not a fan of slapstick comedy, skinless chicken or backyard fireworks. After witnessing the grandiose spectacles a government budget can produce, why bother with these ma and pa affairs? Now, I'm not naïve enough to think that mine is a majority opinion here though. I know plenty of patriots who plan and then execute their own version of the fourth to intimate barbeque filled audiences and I know even more people who eagerly attend these modest events enjoying their personal nature.

Days later these spectators will recount the experience to any who may inquire as to their holiday, talking of the impressive show Joey put on while glowingly recounting the incident involving an overturned rocket stand that resulted in a smoke trail across the backyard that prematurely exploded on the neighbor's garage and how everyone was sure it was going to loose its wrath on all present but everything turned out ok and we knew we were never in true danger because Joey has done this gobs of times and would not do anything that might put his friends and family at risk. delusion, when properly applied, stands as one of this planet's true wonders.

But perhaps, my ill favor comes not from screaming logic but instead the fact that as a child I was only allowed to wave the innocuous sparkler around ensuring it stayed clear of my face at all times and never poked or prodded the death wand at others. If only I were allowed to set alight the 50 pack of black cats or direct the playful bottle-rocket at kids racing by on bikes, I would not have this disdain for the American way of playing with fire and waiting wide-eyed for the startling bang at the end of the wick. If only I could claim such a childhood, perhaps I would not avoid these rampant invitations like a third degree burn.

JUL2001

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