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Bigwig is a systems administrator at a public university
Kehaar is the head web developer for a regional newspaper
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January 01, 2004

Watching The Sprinkles

Spent New Year's Eve with the in-laws, rebalancing familial lines of force knocked askew by a week at the beach with my side of the family. Ngnat was supposed to be in bed at 9:00, but successfully maneuvered her way into staying up as long as there were fireworks going off.

Now, the in-laws live in South Carolina, which is the fireworks capital of the South at the very least, and maybe the world. South Carolinians are serious when it comes to fireworks. That whole Fort Sumter thing was just a birthday party that got out out hand. I'm pretty sure the State motto is "Ya'll ain't a man till ya'll done blown off a fingertip."

The first explosions started decorating the night around 8:00, and for the next four hours it was possible to see a rocket's red glare somewhere on the horizon every minute or so. Not to mention the blue, green, gold and purple glares.

I'll be honest. If I was a Yankee, I'd have surrendered too.

Ngnat shouted with delight with every one she saw. "Look at the sprinkles," she urged us, long after we had tired of the silent multicolored blasts. "So pretty."

"The fireworks man says 'Start!', and the fireworks man says 'Stop!'" she continued. "It's not over until the fireworks man says 'Stop!'"

Or Sherman does, but she'll pick that up soon enough.

Despite the lack of a declared ending from the fireworks man, Ngnat finally gave up the ghost and suffered herself to be put to bed an hour or so before midnight.

"But I'm not tired!" she insisted. Two minutes later she was snoring.

I might have to let her stay up come next Eve. Once the year turned, battle broke out in the skies above Rock Hill. What had come before was desultory, practically lazy in comparion. It looked like an air raid over Baghdad, circa 1991. Cannon shells exploded like chinese firecrackers for miles around us. The reflection of the light from them was enough to cast shadows, as if a hundred flash photographers on the other side of the house had all taken a picture at once.

Dozends of multicolored flowers bloomed on the horizon around us. The house is on one of the high points of the city, and the night was incredibly clear, so we could see for ten to fifteen miles in any direction--if the in-laws possessed a widow's walk we might have been able to see two hundred separate celebrations.

We hadn't watched the news at all in the hours prior to the New Year, but there was no clearer indication to me no terrorist attacks had taken place. If they had, then a lot of the people currently risking blindness and/or digital mutilation for my distant enjoyment would have instead been inside watching television coverage of the disaster. The night would have been dark and silent--sullen, rather than raucous and bright with explosions.

"It's the sound of freedom, baby," I told the wife.

She laughed.

Sometime later, as we sat of the edge of the upstairs guest bed, watching the fireworks finally wind down, the wife leaned in close to me and purred. "You know, they say that the first thing you do in the New Year is what you'll be doing most often for the rest of the year."

So I went downstairs and checked the site stats.

Posted by Bigwig at January 1, 2004 09:13 PM | TrackBack
Postscript:
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Comments

"So I went downstairs and checked the site stats."

ROFL. I hope you are joking but as a fellow blogger I'm not sure...

Posted by: Kathy K at January 1, 2004 09:36 PM

No wonder you drink so much beer.

Posted by: M. at January 2, 2004 10:36 AM

You never know; SW is intelligent and that makes her dangerous enough to seduce a man... into changing the infant and giving same a 1 AM feeding. Those should be diminishing things, unless suc overtures led to a third edition to Bigwig's household.

Posted by: Richard at January 10, 2004 04:09 PM