On Friday night, my wife and I attended a local Fireman’s Carnival.
We weren’t so much interested in the carnival, but last night they had a fireworks display as well. This is another one of those local events that I’ve been attending since the 1980’s.
As usual, we got there nice and early to claim a good spot to watch from — the same spot I’ve watched the display from for probably 15 years.
And, as usual, as the start time neared, our personal space was invaded — to the point that my wife was rubbing shoulders with one teenage girl, and wearing another teenage girl’s hair as a shawl.
I keep telling myself that we should just show up to things seconds before they start and expect front row center seats, but it never seems to happen.
Anyhow, as annoyed as my wife was to suddenly feel cramped by obnoxious strangers, we couldn’t help laugh at some of the things we overheard.
In reality, it isn’t something to laugh about, because quite honestly, it just demonstrates how screwed up the human race will be in just a few years…
The minute the first one went up, all four girls whipped out their Motorola Razr and Krzr phones and held them high above their heads to take pictures of the fireworks.
At first, all I could think of was when a few years back, I went out to some local soccer fields at 3 o’clock in the morning to observe the Leonid meteor shower. To my surprise, when I arrived, there were probably a hundred people standing around in the dark staring at the sky there before me. There was an unsaid and unwritten common courtesy to turn off your headlights while driving the in the parking lot, so as not to drown out the light cast by the meteors. I thought that was really cool.
So last night, I’ve got four super bright LCD screens less than 6 feet away from me. Distracting, to say the least.
As they continued for 10+ minutes to unsuccessfully attempt to take photos of the fireworks (and complain that the Razr is sooooooooo slow), I said out loud, “Yeah, the only thing better than watching real fireworks is looking at a cell phone pictures of fireworks.”
Not sure any of them heard me. Pretty sure the man with his knee brushing my back did though…
Then, while the girls were comparing crappy cell phone photos of fireworks, one made a very profound statement about her “best” shot.
“Look! It looks like something exploded!”
Her friends, all very excited about her photo, agreed. It did, indeed, look like something had exploded.
My wife turned to me with a look on her face that’s hard to describe, but let’s just say it was a look of disbelief that silently said, “OMG — did you just hear what I heard?”
Yes, apparently teenage girls are unaware that fireworks *are* explosions. Wow.
Slightly annoyed by the close quarters, and more annoyed by the bright cell phone screens, the overheard conversations almost made up for it.
“I wonder if they do fireworks in other countries?”
“Does Mexico have fireworks?”
“I think they do — just green and red ones though.”
“What about China?”
“I don’t know — probably not.”
Are you kidding me? Talk about an inability to think globally. How out of touch and ignorant can they be? I mean really… China? They were unsure about China?
China freaking invented fireworks. I knew that when I was 5 years old. Everyone knows that. Or so I thought…
Have these kids never even lit a sparkler? To this day, they’re still covered in Chinese writing. Look at the package?!?
How on earth did these girls make it to high school? I’m really in awe at this point.
So the fireworks display continues and the girls have obviously lost interest — even though one of them stated that, “It’s too bad they only do this once a year…” — so they’re just talking away (loud and obnoxiously) like school girls do.
I could tell the family in front of us was slightly annoyed by this. Probably the people behind us too. Did you know the only adverb in the teenage vocabulary starts with the letter F? Adjective too…
Though I wear glasses, I’ve got pretty good peripheral vision and I couldn’t help but notice that every now and then, one of them would flash my wife and I a glare.
The type that says, “Yeah, I’m wicked cool — way too cool to be sitting so close to you even though I just got here and chose to sit so close to you — oh, and why are you looking up in the sky? You look stupid. That is so lame…”
You know the look I’m talking about? I hope so. That’s the best I could describe it.
So, apparently, it was still cool to come to a firework display, but not cool to point your chin to the sky to actually watch it. Hmmmm…
Next year I’ll be sure to bring my cell phone along and, you know, take pictures or something.