Sunday, January 01, 2017

blasting my way to joy

Noise is a Mexican tradition.

I have no idea why that is. But, at the stroke of midnight on Christmas Eve, New Year's Eve, Revolution Day, Independence, or any random Tuesday, neighborhoods throughout Mexico devolve into reenactments of the Battle of Pueblo with firecrackers designed to blow parota stumps out of the ground.

Last Sunday, my neighbors were good enough to share their fireworks with me while I was trying to sleep (sharing time). When I got up to see what was happening on the street in front of my house, the neighborhood kids (and several adults) were having the time of their lives blowing up this and that bit of debris.

Rather than letting myself turn into a moody old northerner last night, I decided to join in the fun. The elderly couple who sell snacks from their front porch to the middle school students going and coming from school, also sell fireworks at this time of year.

So, I went over to look at the selection. The couple's daughter brought out a rather nice assortment. What I wanted was some of the loudest options. And there they are at the top of this essay. Fifteen blockbusters that the United States could have effectively used on Berlin or Tokyo seventy years ago.

The lot set me back $60 (Mx). Just under $3 (US). For a bag of mayhem and joy.

No one waits until midnight around here to start celebrating -- especially with firecrackers. Sporadic blasts have pulsated through the dark during the past three nights. But, around 9 PM last night, the pace ticked up.

Christy, Darrel, and I had decided to watch a movie after dinner. Match Point. A Woody Allen film loosely based on Dostoevsky's Crime and Punishment -- with the type of twists we expect in Woody's better films.

We had just finished our discussion of what we had watched when the neighborhood took another notch up in blasting fervor. That was my cue to grab my firecracker bag and head outside -- even though it was only about 10. But that is late for my brother and sister-in-law who usually snuggle into bed around 8 or so.

Within minutes, we were part of the group. Lighting the crackers in the open. Then under cardboard boxes. (I learned in the fourth grade that fast fuses and firecrackers limit the options of tossing them -- something my young comrades apparently had not yet learned.)

Somewhere deep in my soul my love of noises and mayhem leads a solitary life for most of the year. Last night, I let it have its head.

That is, until a neighbor up the street asked us to move our demolition derby. Being a compliant northerner, I started heading into the house. My Mexican adult neighbors called me back. Having been challenged, they were now going to put on a full-front assault.

Not wanting to get involved in that type of tit-for-tat, I handed my bag to the lead boy, and retreated to my home. After all, I had had enough fun for one night. And knew there would be more opportunities. Many more.

The barrage continued for another couple of hours. I was glad to have  been part of it.

Maybe I can recruit the kids to add another opportunity to blast away. The Fourth of July might be a good candidate.

I hope you all have a very content new year. Mine has started perfectly.

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