Get off the Lawn, you darn kids!
I admit it- I am very grouchy today and not but a bit tired. The problem? Well, it all started 200 years ago and, as often is the case, a lawyer was at the center of it. You see, this guy got himself involved in government. Somehow lawyers and government meet all too often but I digress. He got himself involved with government and in 1814 found himself in the position of hostage negotiator. Why they did not take him as a hostage as well I don;t know but then- he was a lawyer. Anyway: he negotiated the release of his hostages and was ready to cross the battle lines over to his own side but while he was talking a naval battle had commenced so he was left watching the whole thing from the other side of things as the Brits shelled Fort Mc Henry.
It appears that fashionable gentlemen of those days were required to engage themselves in artistic pursuits and he was no exception. He was a poet and belonged to the Anacreontic Society a group of men who enjoyed poetry and had named themselves after the Greek poet Anacreon who had written many a love poem and many a drinking song. In a way, they enjoyed poetry and drink, but I digress again.
The story is that he was remembering the theme-song of the society, a song penned by John Stafford Smith known as: "To Anacreon in Heaven" and wrote a poem that described the battle in verse to fit the song. His name was Francis Scott Key and the result was the national anthem. A nice effort of poetry and song if it had not been for the; "rockets red glare, the bombs bursting in air" line, but I get ahead of myself.
Meanwhile, 600 years earlier someone in mainland China became increasingly concerned about the spirits of the dead that were hanging around and decided that a really, really loud boom would drive them away. The Chinese are a quiet people- it makes sense. Anyway, gunpowder was the result of it all and not only that, they discovered that by adding lithium carbonate they could color the boom red, by adding magnesium they could color the boom white and by adding copper chlorite they could make a blue boom.
Put all these streams of history together and you end up at Crazy Charlie's in Indiana or Kentucky where they will gladly sell you Class 1.4G Explosives, also known as "Fireworks," if you but sign on a piece of paper promising that you will not light the stuff. Again a lawyer was involved. You can sell the stuff as long as the customer promises he wont' use it. Brilliant!
So July 4th weekend came, and the sheriff had made it known that, even though fireworks are illegal in Ohio, they would not enforce that during the Independence Day weekend because there would just be too many complaints to handle anyway and fireworks started to go off at sunset. I lay in bed until 2AM when they finally stopped that night. It went on on the 4th, and the 5th.
On Sunday I rose for church with a glorious 3 hours of sleep and therefor tired and very grouchy. But that is O.K. I have lawyers I can blame.