Independence Day—a day when all America shirks responsibilities like work and heads outside to barbecue with friends and blow stuff up in remembrance of our country being awesome. Truly this is exactly what the Founding Fathers had in mind when they signed the Fourth of July Party Proclamation that kicked off this yearly tradition so many years ago.
As Benjamin Franklin once said, an empty bag will not stand upright. In that spirit, and in order to assure that everyone can have a fun holiday weekend free of exploding death and dismemberment, The Naked Loon has compiled this helpful guide to Independence Day in the Seattle area.
Although the act of shooting off small arms in quiet neighborhoods at 2:00 AM is a time-honored American tradition, personal fireworks are prohibited in most incorporated Puget Sound cities. It may be disappointing, but this is for good reason, and you should definitely abide by such laws. But don’t take our word for it. Here are a few of the risks that come with setting off personal fireworks within city limits:
- With our dry, arid climate and a hot spell that has stretched on for weeks without a drop of rain, even the tiniest ember landing on your neighbor’s roof will cause it to instantly erupt in violent flames, burning down the entire neighborhood in less than five minutes.
- Neighborhood cats may think that a firework with a lit fuse is a toy, jumping on top of it just as it sets off.
- Someone might mistake you for a backwoods hick.
- Fireworks make a lot of loud noise, which is likely to disturb urban raccoons and rats, leading them to form an organized rebellion against you and your neighbors, with thousands of them swarming your homes and driving you into the sewers.
Obviously if you live in an unincorporated area, none of these issues apply to you, so fire away, but keep in mind these important tips:
- Do not point lit roman candles at your face.
- Indian reservations—that’s where they sell the good stuff.
- Throwing lit firecrackers in the air may sound like fun, but in reality it is totally sweet.
- If you leave all your spent shells and burnt-out debris in the middle of your neighborhood street, it becomes somebody else’s problem.
Of course, whether or not you’re allowed to set off your own fireworks, the best way to celebrate the American spirit of letting other people do things for us is to go enjoy your local municipal pyrotechnic display. Get the most out of the experience by employing these shrewd tactics:
- Show up at least three days early to get the best seat.
- Be sure to stock up on organic treats from Trader Joe’s before you head down to the park (no less than $300 worth).
- Construct a lifeguard tower in the park to make sure your chair can be higher than everyone else.
- Just before the show starts, spend some time letting the air out of everyone else’s tires so you don’t get stuck in traffic after the show.
- Regardless of how much you enjoyed the show, complain loudly afterward about how lame it was. This will subliminally convince people around you not to bother next year, giving you less crowds to contend with.
Now that you have read this helpful guide, you can stop sitting slouched on the sofa, staring slack-jawed at the ceiling wondering how to enjoy the Fourth. You’re welcome!