My Own Big Bang Theory

My Own Big Bang Theory | The Return of the Modern PhilosopherAs much as I would love the opportunity to hang out with Penny, Leonard, Sheldon and the rest of gang, Modern Philosophers, I’ve realized after last night that I have a Big Bang Theory of my own.

On Sunday, I revealed a frightening memory from my past that explains why I have a bit of an issue with fireworks.

Don’t get me wrong, I love the way they look in the evening sky.  I’ve got dozens of pins of Fourth of July fireworks on my Pinterest board.  Such beautiful colors, often shown behind national monuments that really tug at our patriotic heartstrings… what’s not to love?

I’m totally fine with fireworks when they are in photographs and on the TV.  Some years, I’m even able to sit on my porch and watch the Bangor display beautifully light up the Independence Day sky.

When they get too close, though, and sound like they are going off in my backyard, that is when things gets a little strange for me.

I know the Fourth of July is coming every year.  It’s literally on my calendar.  However, I’m never quite prepared for my reaction once the neighborhood turns into what I can only imagine a war zone sounds like.

I got a little taste on Friday night when someone set off the rockets’ red glare and the bombs bursting in air a block or two away from The House on the Hill.  However, the Fates were looking out for me because shortly after the assault began on my eardrums, the skies opened and a torrential downpour prevented anymore fuses from being lit.

Boom! Boom!  Boom!Last night, things came to a head.  I was reading on my porch when the first round of fireworks went off in the parking lot next to my house.

That cacophony of chaos coming from so close to where I was sitting, set off a chain reaction of panic.  I rushed into the house and quickly closed all the windows.

It was probably the hottest night of the year, and I don’t have any air conditioning, but I really didn’t care.  I have this irrational fear that a wayward explosive is going to fly through an open window and start a fire.

So I was prepared to sweat it out until the silence returned.

The cats were already on edge from all the sudden, unexpected noise, and I’m sure it didn’t help their psyches any to see me running around like a chicken with its head cut off and an M-80 shoved down into its neck.

I tried to settle myself by turning the TV up loud and eating some apple pie.  That was when my significant other called.  Nothing is manlier, Modern Philosophers, than having to admit to the woman you adore that you are having a panic attack and cannot breathe because people are setting off fireworks next to the house and out in the street.

Since she understands the reason for my Fourth of July PTSD, she did everything in her power to settle me down from another continent.  Her voice, which usually soothes me, was drowned out by the sound of the explosions…from both the fireworks and the out of control pounding of my heart.

Is there room for me under the couch?As luck would have it (but how much of it was really luck since it was Independence Day after all??), the city’s firework show began and sent the decibel level rising exponentially higher.

If I were smaller, I would have crawled under the couch with the cats, but I don’t think they would have allowed me into their hideout.  How ungrateful!

I’ve never had fireworks set me off so wildly, and I think the surprise of my reaction only added to my panic attack.  I probably could have handled the Bangor show because I was aware that those explosives were being overseen by professionals, and they were so far away that there was no chance any stray charges were going to invade my personal space.

I was worried because of the morons out on the street.  I didn’t trust them to have any idea of what they were doing.  I kept waiting for something burning to land on my property.

All I could think about was the infamous Fourth of July fire that happened on the block behind me in Brooklyn.  People burned to death in their sleep because a wayward firework landed under their house and set it afire.

I freaked the Hell out last night, Modern Philosophers.  It was not a pretty sight and it made me realize that I need to have a plan in place for next year.

Be Safe on the Fourth!Thankfully, I had someone on the phone who would do anything to keep me safe and she did everything she could to calm me the @#$% down.

Next Fourth of July, though, I’m going to have her lock me in the cellar with a pair of noise cancelling headphones.  Or something extreme like that.

I have my own Big Bang Theory, Modern Philosophers, and it is that fireworks and I most certainly do not mix.

What about you, Modern Philosophers?  Do fireworks unnerve you?  Would you prefer it if your drunk neighbors didn’t set them off so close to your house?  Am I being a little too weird even for me?

I’ll let you follow me on Pinterest if you promise not to bring any fireworks with you..

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About Austin

Native New Yorker who's fled to the quiet life in Maine. I write movies, root for the Yankees, and shovel lots of snow.
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15 Responses to My Own Big Bang Theory

  1. Love fireworks. Love them. But I definitely hate when neighbors take to shooting them off nearby. I kinda liked it better when they were all illegal in PA.

  2. JugglingMother says:

    7/4 is Not my favorite holiday at all! After 3 nights of noise it seems so quiet tonight. This year it started to rain fairly hard, just after dark on the 4th. I have the oddest feeling, next weekend may be equally noisy. My cats hate it too! Good luck!

  3. grannyK says:

    I like fireworks, but I am really tired of being kept up until 1am being forced to listen to them! We have had that for 3 nights now, and I suspect tonight will be the same. I, too, am a bit scared of them. I always go out and totally soak my lawn and as much of my house as I can before it starts as we have some people who are not very careful with the fireworks that live in this neighborhood. I am so tired from getting 4 hours sleep a night and then having to try to work!

  4. I think domestic fireworks are incredibly dangerous. We have them here in NZ on 5 November. Government has progressively cut back the period on which they are for sale and also the permitted types because of the danger. But there are still accidents and fires. I’d prefer to see them banned and any money put into a professional public display with all due safety precautions. I don’t mind the noise, it’s the principle.

  5. They are fun to watch from balcony with many blocks between myself and them. They grate on the nerves after while if they are loud and it is late. I never cared for shooting them myself. All I could ever see was the money burning up and exploding.

  6. Well, you know I don’t like fireworks, either. But, yes, I feel exactly the same way. I don’t know what it is…I mean, in the city I was originally from, there were always gunshots, SWAT teams running around, helicopters circling overhead, looking for the latest social deviant/criminal, and that didn’t phase me, but fireworks really get to me. Once, in my neighbourhood, I got really mad at a neighbour, because they were shooting fireworks directly up into a tree. They were so loud–imagine being a snoozing wildlife critter or bird and having this thing go off next to you. I admit, I reported them to the police–(their fireworks were illegal, anyway). You know, if you think about all the dumb things people do with fireworks, and yet we trust the human race (generally speaking) with almost total access to (certain) firearms. *wry laugh*

    • Austin says:

      I’m from NY, so it’s not like I’m not used to noise. It’s the specific sound of fireworks and what they represent that gets to me..

  7. A says:

    I would definitely prefer if my drunk neighbors didn’t set off fireworks in their driveway! It’s beyond annoying and I must admit that your story of what happened in Brooklyn frightened me a bit. I wouldn’t feel bad in the slightest if they blew their fingers off!!!

  8. BarbCT says:

    I’m not afraid of fireworks, but I’m very cautious around people shooting them off. It breaks my heart that every year, on the 4th and on New Year’s, that people lose homes, body parts and lives because of carelessness and/or stupidity. This year a teenager lost both his legs and possibly his eyesight when a 180 sparkler “bomb” exploded before he could run. It left a four foot wide hole in the ground.

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