America, July 4, 2009
Washington DC has a peculiar tradition of intense 4th of July fireworks. Now, I'm not talking about the national spectacle that you see on TV. That tourist-only event on the Mall is far removed from our lives in Petworth. I'm talking about the neighbourhood-based fireworks that put the Mall to shame.
From mid-afternoon on July 4th, to well past midnight, the city is besieged by amateur fireworks displays, each block showering the night sky with hundreds, if not thousands of dollars worth of fireworks. And as luck would have it, our neighbourhood congregates at the end of my block for fireworks central.
Every year, the center of the intersection is taken over by the kids all amped up on sugar and excitement, the bottle rockets and roman candles bought over the last month taunting them with anticipation. From this humble launch pad, they illuminate Petworth with all manner of gravity-defying lights and blasts.
But don't think for a moment I dislike this display. Oh much to the contrary, I look forward to the madness with joy. Yet, even my enthusiasm is nothing compared with Dog Taxi. She goes positively crazy at the sight of fireworks. And not with fear either.
As a child approaches the next star burst tub, Taxi will start to bark, wanting so bad to participate. Then, once lit, she wants to run at the canister. And if I let her charge it after the rocket has launched, she'll bit the tube, seeking to "get" the fireworks. She'll do this for firecrackers and sparklers as well. A real fire-eating Taxi Dog. She's so crazy, I can't take her off the leash for fear she'd loose a nose trying to eat a jumbo rocket.
And with a show so close and dog so nuts, why would I ever go downtown on the 4th of July. I know Petworth's fireworks!