Pyromaniacs are everywhere in July. And thus pyrophobics like me are in hiding. Folkmoot’s American team will be a Hawaiian family troupe that added fire to their knife-dancing repertoire when merely dodging enormous blades proved unsatisfying. Another upcoming event, the Asheville Americana Burlesque and Sideshow Festival, will feature fire dancers in the new-Vaudevillean vein. But at least that’s art. And I don’t have a problem with big, professional fireworks displays. What keeps me up at night (literally) are the average Joes and Janes popping off firecrackers in their backyards and, worse, on the local sidewalks and streets. Those spluttering, splatting “explosives” and more-ominous air-shattering bomb things always sound like they’re being released from the imperiled fingers of an addled man-child on the edge. A brief Internet search will reveal any number of horror stories telling of Beavis-and-Buttheaded troglodytes who attached their pets to M-1000s to watch fur fly. What more do you need to know? Maybe shooting off firecrackers is an unstoppable urge. But then, so is diarrhea.
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