Red, White, & Birthday

“So what are you getting America for its birthday?” Holly asked with a sly grin on her beautiful face.

It was the Sunday before Independence Day, and the best friends were seated on their favorite bench next to the river.

She sipped her coffee and awaited his answer.  She knew that the question was going to lead to one of his infamous rants, and that made her happy.  After all, it was the holiday weekend and she needed a little excitement.

“I know what I’m not getting,” Aaron replied loudly even though Holly was seated only a foot and a half away on the other end of the bench.  “I’m not getting America any damn fireworks!”

Holly smiled brightly behind her coffee cup.  This was exactly what she had hoped would happen.

Aaron’s hatred of fireworks was legendary.  His handsome face reddened as he took a long pull of his Snapple to provide the fuel necessary for a historic rant.

short story, humor, Modern Philosopher“Why the hell do we celebrate our independence and the end of the Revolutionary War by setting off enough explosives to level London five times over?” he demanded.

“But does Independence Day really celebrate the end of the war?” she played Devil’s advocate knowing full well it would only work him up further.

“You know what I mean!” he snapped back at her.  “It all goes hand in hand.  We won the war, which is why we got to draw up the Declaration of Independence and wave it in King George’s ugly, inbred, little face.  And if you’re going to celebrate peace and freedom, why would you do that with explosions louder than anything available to the soldiers during the fighting of the war in question?”

Holly shrugged.  “I don’t see fireworks as a re-enactment of wartime explosions.  I think they are colorful, confident announcements of our freedom and desire to celebrate our independence.”

Aaron made a face and shook his head like he thought she was out of her mind.

“Fireworks are just your idiot, drunk neighbor’s way of saying he didn’t have to go to work today and he managed to save enough money from all his alcohol and weed purchases to buy explosives so he can keep the neighborhood awake all night,” Aaron countered.

Independence Day, best friends, Modern Philosopher“I choose to look at it as my neighbor’s exercising his Freedom of Expression,” Holly argued with a mischievous smile.  “I think our Founding Fathers would not only be pleased with his choice, but they’d also ask if they could light off a few and be a part of the fun.”

“They’d burn their wigs and wooden teeth in the process,” Aaron mumbled.  “Fireworks are a menace.  They should not be in the hands of people who are drunk, have little to no experience with explosives, and probably believe that the Fourth of July is the holiday that celebrates the invention of fireworks.”

“In fireworks terms, you would be considered a dud,” Holly quipped and stuck out her tongue.

“Look, I’m not entirely against fireworks, but leave them to the professionals,” he conceded.  “I used to enjoy sitting on the porch and watching the town’s fireworks show, but I can’t anymore because that is always accompanied by a cacophony of explosions from amateurs who won’t have ten fingers in the morning.  I don’t like how close those explosions are to my house, and I don’t appreciate the way they freak out the cats.”

Holly nodded her understanding.  She’d gotten all she needed out of Aaron, and she wanted to ease him down from his anger before his face turned as red as the stripes on the flag.

“So maybe you’ll be getting America a gift card to Target this year?” she asked.

“Probably,” he chuckled.  “I was going to get a gas card, but I can’t afford one of those…”

She laughed and they both turned their attention to the river…

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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23 Responses to Red, White, & Birthday

  1. kristianw84 says:

    I agree with Aaron. Fireworks are fine in the hands of professionals, but in the hands of amateurs they make me incredibly nervous. Of course, the older I get, the less I like large crowds, and the hassle of traffic and drunk idiots does not warrant starring at some bright fireworks for twenty minutes. Give me a slice of apple pie and baseball games on TV and I am perfectly happy. I cannot think of a better way to celebrate America’s birthday, anyways. Happy Independence Day!

  2. WebbBlogs says:

    I agree with Aaron for the most part. I sometimes will buy a few fireworks if my son asks but he really isn’t into it. There are so many people here where I live that somehow have illegal fireworks that are extremely loud. It is not enjoyable at all. So many people get drunk and act like idiots and then ruin it for the rest of us. I already bought a pair of earplugs but I have a feeling its not going to do any good.

    • Austin says:

      Aaron would assure you that he is NEVER wrong! 🙂

      Have you stopped reading the new serial? I haven’t seen a comment from you in a while, and it’s now up to Chapter 11…

      • WebbBlogs says:

        Yes I stopped only because I am waiting until its done. I was getting way to inpatient after each post and wanting more. Its hard for me to read a little at a time especially when a story is really good. But you are on my notifications so I know everytime you post, and when the last part is done I will heading over to start from the beginning 😁😁. In the meantime I am catching up on best friends Aaron Holly 😁 . I love their relationship.

      • Austin says:

        But how will you know when the serial is done? I don’t post one that’s title says it’s the last chapter…

        Glad you are enjoying Holly and Aaron!

      • WebbBlogs says:

        Ohhh I didn’t know that. I just figured it would say last chapter…ooops. 🤪

      • WebbBlogs says:

        Since there are now 12 parts, I am going to start reading now. 😁😁

      • Austin says:

        I hope you enjoy it. I posted 3 new chapters in the past week.

  3. beth says:

    I love the beauty of fireworks, but the loud booms scare me and the animals.

  4. markbialczak says:

    I also say leave the displays to the professionals. Amateur booms make me nervous and ultimately annoyed as well, Austin.

  5. Enjoyed Aaron’s rant 🙂

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