3:30am – January 1, 2011
What in the world is the insomniac doing awake at this time in the morning? Is it because the pain in her two torn rotator cuffs are keeping her awake? Is it because the wind is so loud that she cannot sleep? Is it because the surf is so high that it is beating up against the cliffs making it hard to sleep? The answer to those questions are a resounding “NO”! Then why is she awake?
I’ll tell you why. Because there are a – – h – – – – in the neighborhood that do not know that fire crackers are illegal in Ocean Beach. Roman Candles, M-80’s, poppers, etc. are all illegal. The same people that probably don’t own dogs; dogs that are petrified by the loud noises; dogs that have been around gunfire; dogs that have super-sensitive ears that become very scared around the noise and look for a hiding place.
Since 7:13pm I have been trying to soothe my 10 year old Golden Retriever. That is the first time he heard the noises from outside. He tried jumping into the bathtub and hiding; he tried getting under the bed; he tried getting into any open closet; he has paced and paced and paced to get away to no avail. He is used to the LEGAL firework shows coming from Sea World; the Ocean Beach pier; the San Diego Bay barges. He is even used to the fireworks show coming from the Padre Stadium as well as Qualcomm, but he is not used to the high pitched scream of the Rockets – even though they might have a “red glare.” And the little “poppers” that pop endlessly 10-15 times before stopping only to have new ones lit again.
Or the loud M-80’s that people light next to the cliffs so they can hear the echo from the acoustical water ways. (Even those make my ears ache.)
Why must the neighbors feel that it is necessary to shoot off these illegal firecrackers? Sea World started their show early on New Years Eve. Other places throughout San Diego had legal shows. And those shows stopped shortly after midnight.
I remember a long time ago when I was teaching 6th grade in Chula Vista. (Yeah – a lonnnnggg time ago) and a wonderful student – Johnny – was getting ready to go into Jr. High after he was promoted from my class in June. On the 4th of July he and his family were shooting off firecrackers from their Woodlawn home when Johnny didn’t release the firecracker in time. He lost 3 fingers and his ambition to be a baseball player. And that was when firecrackers were not illegal. I often wonder what happened to him because he left our school to go to the Jr. High, and I never heard about him again. (Except to be told that he lost a great deal of blood; that his fingers were blown up so badly they couldn’t be reattached and he was in the hospital.)
My adult daughter told me this morning that she went to a party last night and they lit firecrackers and it was fun! She was somewhat angry that we never allowed firecrackers to be lit even though we were camping in Mexico where it was allowed. But even with her group last night they stopped shooting off the firecrackers – not to be confused with “fireworks” – shortly after midnight.
In OB, I started writing this at 3:30am and firecrackers are still being shot off. Buddy is beside himself. His tail is between his legs; he is trembling; his heart is racing and I am worried about him. Without apologizing for my thoughts, if what it takes to stop the noise means that someone else might have to have his fingers blown off, let me be the first to offer a match!