Wednesday, June 29, 2011

The Glory of a Gloomy Day

The Fourth of July is fast approaching.  This is foreshadowed in mid to late June by the arrival of fireworks tents.  They spring up like patriotic mushrooms of garish hue in parking lots and along roadsides.

The fireworks business has always intrigued me.  There is about it just a whiff of Carny.  It has the sense of transience.  It has a feel of showmanship.  And it cheerfully charges you ridiculous prices with the justification that it is an infrequent, enjoyable splurge.

And also, like the Carny world it has its own rules, or rather a partial immunity from the rules of conventional society.  

Fireworks laws in Wisconsin are a little like tax laws in Italy.  They are on the books but generally winked at-with their very evasion on a colossal scale lending a certain legitimacy to pyrotechnic scofflaws*.  Heck, who wants to discourage expressions of patriotism.

In my younger days I was a bit of a powder monkey but in my more recent working career have begun to see some wisdom in limiting the firepower of explosives placed in the hands of rash youths and their imbibing pater familiae.

In any event, just down the hill from my house I saw this:

Setting up the fireworks tent on a gloomy day.  But what actually caught my eye was the storage container that they were unloading from:

I thought this was a great name for a fireworks company, as it combined so many thematic elements. We appear to have the United States, Old Glory, and perhaps just the gloriousness of fireworks in general.

Alas, alas, for my theory the reality is a bit more prosaic.  Uniglory is a freight forwarding company in Bangladesh.  They are a member in good standing of the Dhaka Chamber of Commerce.  I guess if you want to order your own container load of patriotism you may inquire with a certain Mr. Mohammed Rafiqul Islam.
*Here's the deal.  In Wisconsin it is legal to light off wimpy stuff like sparklers and smoke bombs.  At these marvelous fireworks tents you can, however, in addition purchase all manner of exciting things that fly and/or explode.  Now, by law you are not allowed to transport these big time fireworks in a vehicle, nor to-God forbid-set them off.  The official assumption seems to be (wink-wink-nudge-nudge) that you will take them in hand and walk to the nearest state boundary, where any property and personal damage that occurs is of no concern to the Badger state.  Hmmmm. What a civics class lesson to young citizens!

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