Fireworks have a long and respected history, but I'm just a tad uneasy seeing them in the hands of my pyromaniacal adolescent neighbors. Yes, the explosions are pretty, yes they're awesome, but they're explosives, for Pete's sake! Shooting in the air, in front of my house!
One of said pyromaniacs several years ago caused a fire that destroyed the unimaginably ugly chain-saw carving of a bear on another neighbor's porch. We were all grateful, but kind of sorry that half of the roof went with it. TV News people try to look somber when they report injuries, but I suspect they have a secret office pool to guess how many of us will burn ourselves with our exploding entertainment. Aside from the obvious reasons (danger, destruction, etc.), if I was King of the World, I would ban fireworks for one reason: because they're scary!
Men have come back shell-shocked from every war fought since the Chinese invented gunpowder, yet we willingly re-create battle sounds in our neighborhoods--and call it fun! We are obviously crazy. However, dogs and small children are not crazy, so fireworks scare the bejeebers out of them.
Maybe the problem isn't that we have occasional fireworks; maybe the problem is that we don't have enough fireworks. Maybe kids and dogs wouldn't be so frightened if it was a daily occurence. My daughter recently moved to Naples, Italy. "Mom," she said on the phone, "Neopolitans love their fireworks! The shoot them off for weddings, birthdays, and just for fun. There are fireworks every night!" She took her old dog to Italy with her. Fortunately for him, he is deaf.
Our little dogs are not deaf, and they don't hear fireworks every night. They just don't understand about the Chinese and gunpowder and maniacal boys with matches. At midnight, I'll be on the couch watching the festivities on TV with a trembling dog plastered on each side of me. It's kind of a tradition with us.
Happy New Year!