Okay, so the wife and I went down to FL this past weekend for the 4th celebration and to see the parents. The high and low light of the weekend was the July 4th fireworks extravaganza in Destin harbor. Let me explain.
Every July 4th my parents go out on a chartered boat into the Destin harbor to watch the fireworks display. It’s really a lot of fun. There are thousands of people, some really cool-looking boats (I even saw 2 pirate ships complete with a mock cannonball war) and plenty of food and drink to keep you occupied. The fireworks were truly amazing as well—the best I’ve seen in a long time. It really had all the makings of a pleasant evening on the water. Now, on to the lowlight.
My annoyance can be pinpointed to a small loudspeaker bolted to the side of the charter boat. This thing blared the most awful sounds I could possibly imagine and at a volume that nearly caused my ears to abandon ship. For some reason, the captain thought his guests would enjoy hearing the marginal hits of the late 80’s as musical accompaniment for the evening.
I seriously heard some of the worst songs of my life on this boat. Songs I thought I would never have to hear again. Songs such as “Addicted to Love” by Robert Palmer. Songs that I don’t even know the name of, but trust me, they were bad. Real bad. And then, out of left field would come “Whip It” by Devo. Whip It? WTF? How does that fit into the mix? Don’t get me wrong, I like Devo, but that is not the most soothing sound to come out of a 3-inch tweeter at full volume.
And that’s another thing, the way this guy had his music “wired” to the speaker was brilliant. He had his little radio thing, the one he uses to make announcements on the boat and to talk to the Coast Guard, rubber-banded so it would stay on and then placed right up to the speaker of a boom box! Way to go, dude. That has to be the most hi-fidelity way to present music.
I know this sounds bad, but it was about to get a lot worse. The fireworks were ready to start, so the captain decided to tune in to the live radio broadcast from the fireworks people. It was a “program” of songs that they thought would go best with their visual display and get you in the right patriotic mood. A post-Sept. 11th patriotic mood, mind you. Songs such as “Proud to be an American” interspersed with clips of Bush speeches denouncing terror and vague pronouncements that “we will win”. Win? Win what? I half expected to see an over-sized Osama puppet hauled out into the harbor on a barge and lit on fire as jet fighters screamed overhead. Ugh.
What made me mad about this display was the fact that I was practically being told exactly how I was supposed to feel about my country on July 4th. Instead of being able to quietly reflect on what living in this country means to me, I was supposed to jump up and scream, “Hell yeah, terror will not stand! We’re right! You’re wrong! America means never having to apologize for our god-given right to do whatever we damn well please! And, by the way, Buck Fin Laden!”
Thanks for ruining my July 4th holiday, captain Wayne.
Okay, I think I’m done.
(tim quietly steps down from his soapbox as the rich vermilion tone of his face fades to pasty white)