Saturday, July 5, 2008

It's all over but the whining

It's just after midnight of the 4th of July and all is quiet except the bullfrogs in Collegeville, PA. And that's all wrong. There should be the occasional crack of gunfire as exuberant and perhaps slightly inebriated patriots fire their handguns and rifles into the air. And there should be a steady drum of booms as other scofflaw patriots light off their illegal cherry bombs and M80's and Quarter Sticks and aerial shells. But instead there is silence except for the sounds of nature, and the whine of a helicopter which just flew over at a much lower altitude than its pilot would have dared back in the good old days before the entire society became sissified.

Earlier I returned from a 4th of July picnic where most folks seemed convinced that global warming or terrorists or George W. Bush or Barack Obama or high gasoline prices will shortly doom us all, but where no one smoked, except for me and a couple of rebellious teenagers too young to know better. Why do people who think they're doomed deny themselves the deadly pleasure of cigarettes even though, to hear them talk, they won't live long enough to suffer the consequences?

I've also noticed that none of the stop signs in the Collegeville area have holes in them any more, not even the ones on back roads. Twenty years ago most of the road signs except the very newest had holes in them. It's true that Collegeville area road signs were not as gloriously holey as Wyoming or Montana or West Virginia or upstate Pennsylvania signs, but they were indisputably holey. What happened to all of the idiots who used to shoot at signs? Are they all on prozac? Have they all finally been lobotomized?

Is it a sign of societal health that there aren't any well liquored up yahoos roaring around the back roads in pick up trucks and plinking at signs?

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