Tonight will be our 4th of July celebration. The in-laws have been gearing up and getting their lush white trash manor ready for their annual blow-out. I'm sure the local ambulance service is on stand-by. Seems there's always a little, uh, mishap during the show. Last year we got lucky and the only real life drama was a mortar that went off prematurely-about 40 feet in the air, showered cinders on the assembled multitude and scared the crap out of alot of us. But out of the 12 years they have been doing this, there's only been one trip to the E.R., the rest of the time it's been minor burns and close calls, so you could say that's a good track record or it's way overdue for something bad to happen. My brother in law plays fast 'n' loose with these things whereas his 22 yr. old son tends to be more safety concious and by the book, so 'tween the two it's usually a good show. Both seem to prefer the loud factor over beauty, so we'll be treated to probably 2 rolls of Black Cats going off some time tonite. I'm not talking the 3 ft. stringer...I'm talking biga$$ ROLL...these things are about the same diameter as a car tire! I have no idea how long they are when completely unrolled or how many firecrackers are in them but once lit they go on forever, it seems and it's deafening. The guys just love 'em. Sick bastids!
There'll be rockets and mortars and fountains, just about anything from the inventory that big and spectacular. They put alot of effort into setting this up and have just about mastered the timing and sequencing, so it almost looks like they know what they're doing-not alot of deadtime between firings-something that is typical with most "backyard" shows.
Oh yeah, and there will be food. Late afternoon the grills get fired up, the turkey fryers get going and catfish chunks, burgers, brats and miscellaneous other animal proteins get cooked up. They provide some side dishes, but it's mostly potluck. Everybody brings something, even if only a big bag of chips. I'm going to bring somesort of green pea salad hybrid, cobbled from just what I have on hand here, I screwed up with my weekly shopping and forgot to factor in extra stuff not usually on the list for this occasion, so I have to make due with what I got.
Estimated turn out is around 50, maybe more.
And there will be a cake. A birthday cake. This is something they started doing a couple of years ago when they realized their postponed 4th celebration would often coinside with their departed brother and their Mom's birthdays. (July 10 & 11th)
So, the day turns into a multicelebratory deal, shadowed with alittle sadness brought on from too much adult beverages. Sooner or later me and the brothers will end up at the basement bar, saluting our deceased with a few cold ones, some memories and some tears. We always do. They are Irish, afterall. The weepy drunk thing is manditory at any family gathering.
I'm looking forward to this, though. This is the high holy day for this family. Christmas takes a close second to this event. All of our friends will be there and it'll be fun and just maybe no one will blow themselves up!