What is it about sparklers?
They're not all that exciting when you think about them, really. They do, in fact, sparkle, which is nice. They are definitely in the "things that sparkle" category, unlike, say, vampires, which clearly are not. They also create a satisfyingly bright and eye-damaging light, and anything that offers temporary blindness is clearly cool.
But they do not make noise, nor do they move of their own accord, burst into displays of pyrotechnics, or convince recalcitrant politicians to stop trying to turn this country into a theocratic dictatorship. Although in theory that last goal could be accomplished simply by placing the sparklers in the proper locations, I suppose. This is a thought, and I shall have to pursue it at leisure.
For all this, sparklers remain exciting things, at least for my children. And tonight - the first night of the Independence Day weekend and the night before a day with no alarm clocks, we let them stay up until it was dark enough for them to actually see the sparklers as they dance around with them in the driveway or go exploring into the dark places underneath the neighbor's trumpet vines.
They had a very good time.
Our Little Town really loves fireworks. Every year the tents go up in parking lots all across town, sometime around Father's Day - rocketry here! Explosives here! Beer over there! Fire Department coming soon!
It's a tradition, this annual War For Darwin's Basement, with the winners being subtracted from the gene pool to general acclaim. Bonus points for burning down your garage. Style points awarded for bringing all three branches of the emergency services (police, ambulance, fire) to your doorstep without spilling your beer.
We try to avoid this conflict at our house, and limit ourselves to sparklers.