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Monday, July 7, 2008

The Competition

I can finally breathe a sigh of relief. I bit my nails down to the quick, but other than that I feel fine. You may be wondering why I no longer feel such Tremendous Anxiety. Well, I'll tell you: Tonggu House survived another year of the annual Fourth of July neighborhood competition.

It's a Serious Competition, y'all.

It began many years ago with the Jones* Family. They established an annual Fireworks Show, headquartered about forty feet from our front door, in the center of our cul-de-sac, despite local county laws prohibiting underground pyrotechnic shows such as this.

Who cares about laws?

I don't blame them, really. Traffic in the D.C. area - on the Fourth of July - well, it's terrible, y'all.

Truly Terrible.

So the Jones family took matters into their own hands, creating a Fireworks Extravaganza in our little corner of the world. And it truly is an extravaganza. Remember Disney Day? When our neighbors want to put on a show, they Do It Big.

Really Big.

One family serious about their fireworks wouldn't be a competition, though. It takes several families... several families with Type-A personalities and Big Statements in mind.

The Jones family faces Stiff Competition every year from the Smiths* and most recently the Johnsons*. The Smiths live one street away from us, in a northwesterly direction, just past Apple's house. The Johnsons decided to join the fray just last year. They also live just one block away, but to the northeast, very close to ItalianMama and her family.

These three houses form a Fireworks Triangle, y'all.

And Tonggu House is at the centroid.

I, of course, being slightly neurotic paranoid of a worrying sort, agonize the entire evening, hoping against hope that nothing sparkling falls on our property, thereby igniting a fire. None of the other neighbors seem to obsess about that potential disaster.

I must be high-maintenance, y'all.

Because I fret.

I also enjoy the show.

It's a fret-and-enjoy kind of night.

The other neighbors sit in their lawn chairs at the end of their driveways or on their porches, drinking beers and shooting the breeze. I pace. I also take photos.

Because it IS quite a show.

The Jones family typically starts the evening...

Then comes the Smith family entry...

The Johnsons, being less experienced in terrifying me pyrotechnics, struggle to keep up, but always put forth a valiant effort:

The three families typically go back and forth for at least 45 minutes until they establish a clear winner. The Jones family usually wins the competition, though, despite the respectable efforts put forth by the other two families. I doubt the Smiths and Johnsons will ever concede defeat. They will most probably return next year, bigger and better than ever.

After all, isn't it all about keeping up with the Joneses?

* names changed to protect the accused innocent


Briana's Mom said...

Wow - those are some awesome fireworks! And I am very glad your house didn't start on fire. :)

Gerbil said...

At least they are not parents to the unfortunate 12 year old in Odenton who set HIS fireworks off inside his bedroom and burned the house down.

Half Gaelic, Half Garlic! said...

AH...maybe we should move to your neighborhood....my husband would be a 4th competitor in the annual event!

We managed to escape injury and setting anything on fire....

I was also a mess with worry....I was happy that it did rain for this reason.....everything was soaked and would not ignite easily!

Happy Monday!

Georgia Peach said...

ahem... centroid...really?

"in the middle" wasn't precise enough?


Georgia Peach said...

On a slightly less snarky note: I love a neighborhood with spirit. Sounds like fun!

Shawnstribe said...

hee hee im still giggling!!!!
id be pacing with you : )