I don’t know about you but it certainly makes sense that strawberries and fireworks go hand-in-hand. After all, both are patriotic as all get out when put in the proper context. Namely, whipped cream and blue berries or Independence Day. I find most parts of celebrating our nation’s birthday to be a heck of a good time. After all, who can really argue with a burger or some potato salad? Certainly not me. Plus, not much screams patriotism like hoisting a brewski and blowing up stuff. (giggle) But I do have a wee bit of trouble with strawberries and fireworks.
I can see you’re perplexed by how my mind works, but it makes perfect sense to me. At least it did this weekend.
So I headed to my supermarket to pick up some lovely strawberries (and the necessary blue berries and whipped cream, of course) and spent a good ten minutes picking just the “right” neither biodegradable nor recyclable plastic container of berries.
I know I’m not alone in this endeavor because there were three other women standing there doing the same dang thing: picking up a container, turning it this way and that to see if the berries looked good. As in ripe. Or, more importantly, not moldy.
And, of course, you know how it turned out once those berries were on my counter in hopes of preparing them: a third of them were mysteriously moldy and a third of them were as white as my hiney in February. Of the remaining poor berries, there was some nice color but not an abundance of flavor. In other words, a bunch of my $1.99 a package strawberries turned out to be duds. Grrr.
Same thing happened with the fireworks. We set off some fireworks with the kids in our alley and enjoy the nearby displays done by bigger (aka professional) outfits or folks with more money than sense (but hopefully all their digits or appendages!). My husband picked up some old standbys like sparklers and roman candles, but a whole passel of what we got last year has been renamed and repackaged so we have no idea what the heck we’re getting for our two-for-one bargain. All we know is they are labeled with lots of flags and stars and warning stickers. (And don’t worry, my 4 year old isn’t holding this roman candle by himself. His dad just isn’t in the photo. You also can’t tell he had his eyes squeezed tight the whole time but thought the experience was “Awesome!”)
I can share with you some of what we do know, tho. We got a package of these little jobbers. Eight of them. The first one lit, spun and took off like the UFO it is purported to be. The next seven? Not so much. Oh they lit. And they spun. But not for long and just in a dinky circle. If those UFOs are any indication of just how successful that alien planet’s transportation system is, I think we can safely say we are in no danger.
The big winner of the night was the “Unicorn” packaged explosive that my daughter picked out. She was drawn to the stars and horny-ponies prancing about its label. We were drawn to it’s staying power. That thing just kept exploding. So much so, you’d think there would have been an Energizer bunny on it instead.
See what I mean? You think you’re doing what it takes to get the proper bang for your buck, but sometimes it’s just a crap shoot. The berry may be bright red and shiny but taste no more exciting than an used Kleenex. And no matter how cool it sounds, sometimes the magic is stronger in the make-believe realm than in the Area 51 realm.
So as we enjoy the middle of our summer, may you and your loved ones have lots of opportunities to be together, have great times and make great memories! And, of course, get a heck of a good bang for your summer buck!