As dusk falls lately on a relaxing country, draping its purple tones from St. John’s to Beaver Creek, mothers and fathers across the country are gleefully, manically, and more than a little concerningly, engaging in our nation’s twice annual break with careful parenting, to blow some shit up.
“Billy. Billy. Billy!” Billy looks up as he crosses the lawn. “What did I tell you about carrying those scissors pointing down?” Billy points the scissors down. “Good,” says his dad. “Now hand them over so I can cut this box of Roman candles open and we can get these things exploding before Tom down the road does. Bastard always shows me up. Vicky. Vicky. Vicky! Don’t point that flashlight in your eye, you’ll ruin your eyesight. Now hand me the lighter fluid.”
The dad messes with cardboard wrapped gunpowder for a while, concocting a surprise that can only be either spectacular, or dangerous, or spectacularly dangerous. With the light fading, he declines the use of his glasses, though says he will take another beer if there’s one going.
“Jerry,” his wife says, standing at a safe distance and taking it all in.
“I know, I know,” Jerry says, intently focussing on the task at hand. “Those burning school houses are a little close together and if that Fist Bump goes off before the two Extreme Machines we could lose the garage. But don’t worry, this isn’t my first celebration of our westernmost provincial capital, or whatever.”
“I’m good, honest. You just make sure Billy stays off the road in case some drunk endangers us all.”
The father finally looks up, squinting towards in the low light from the middle of the quiet, suburban Cul-de-sac, the sounds of other fireworks popping in the distance as the country punctuates another May-long, another year passed, another holiday made.
“What?” Jerry says, locating his wife in the near dark.
“Happy Victoria Day.”