I was trying to work up some righteous indignation about Michigan’s fireworks laws and the decision in 2011 to allow in-state sales of the loud, semi-dangerous variety. Maybe it was being awoken at 1 a.m. Tuesday by somebody’s sudden need to express their patriotism very close to my bedroom window. Maybe it’s the messes left in the park and cemetery next to my house by people who apparently don’t like to explode things on their own property. Maybe I’ve begun my official decent into grumpy old manhood. I dunno. It’s hard to tell — I’m still kinda sleep deprived.
Whatever the case, I couldn’t seem to sustain a good righteousness or indignation. Truth is, I’ve done my fair share of setting off “Chinese explosives of questionable legality.” Not recently, but certainly in younger days. (I bonded with my eventual brothers-in-law by repeatedly strapping a hapless plastic army soldier we called Fritz to bottle rockets.) And fireworks are only the surface of a very deep pile of stupid things I’ve done.
I think that’s the thought that stopped me: We live in a free country, but freedom doesn’t necessarily align with smart.
So I wish you all a happy and safe Independence Day! We are all free to decide our own level of stupid (but let’s try to keep it to a minimum).
John Auchter draws cartoons. Lots and lots of them. You can find them at his incredibly popular website auchtoon.com.