In the movie Pretty Woman, high-school dropout Julia Roberts pulls out a veritable bouquet of multi-colored condoms from her high boot, to display for her over-educated, condescending customer Richard Gere:
“I’m a safety girl!”
The humor comes from her juxtaposing with no apparent irony, the high risk of her illegal business activity selling pretend fun, with her high protection provisions against its very real danger. (And later she sneaks away from her high-risk deal to floss her beautiful teeth.)
I am in contrast no hooker, less looker, low risk and high safety — a fireworks wimp, also a wimp about breaking any law, come to think of it. A REAL safety girl.
Though I admit my flossing is sometimes spotty . . .
Favorite Daughter though not yet 21, is all grown up in her thinking and feeling. She got home very late last night from road-tripping with her boyfriend and his best friend, through the Deep South up to a family lakeplace in Indiana. She showed me snapshots and talked for half an hour about the amazing Chicago Museum of Science & Industry where they spent a whole precious day (rather than canoeing and canoodling.)
She showed me the cryptic crossword puzzles she had tackled during the long drive days and chortled over the most maddening clues. Then we came to what they had bought:
1) a (need I say tacky?) pistol-packing deer dressed in rebel cap and Confederate battle flag, with a big jug of moonshine between its folded front feet, planned for a gag party gift. I can’t figure out why its antlers are detachable because it doesn’t turn into a flask or anything; maybe it’s just to cap off this dim-witted derogation of a beautiful animal not known for brains yet certainly smarter than its derogators, to underline the demented, hairy, spitting, smelling, self-loathing, belly-scratching stupidity of this entire ill-conceived creation.
2) roadside fireworks illegal to sell here, from one of the Carolinas or maybe Tennessee. For a fun family Fourth of July.
I don’t know much about fireworks legal or otherwise, any more than I do about firearms legal or otherwise, except that they sure seem related in how they work and what they’re used for, why they appeal to those who claim most fiercely their firefight rights as god-given and above all law, worth treason and death if it comes to that.
Fightin’ mad elected officials, not just tooth-and-thought-poor moonshine makers holed up in the backwoods, swear they’ll break the law and break this unique union, vow to trash every other part of the constitution if need be, to preserve their personal firepower prerogatives.
So what IS the appeal of unregulated self-shoot fireworks and firearms and fiery shooting off of the mouth about secession and yes, threats and shootings and explosions literal and politic, targeting people a la Palin? Can another Thinking Parent (not another gun nut, please, got my fill of that at Southern Female Lawyer with Bob and Mike) explain it to me? Does it spring from the kind of southern sensibility that sees exploding as a form of self-expression, you know, the kind both legal and not, that sooner or later hurts children one way or another?
To me exploding is irresponsible, especially among what passes for educated adults. I don’t want children getting hurt by any form of explosive for the Fourth of July, and while I am not lobbying for any law change to ban the sale of exploding things or people, nor wanting to call the authorities on those presently breaking laws, the whole truth is that I was tongue-tied last night, unable to explain to Favorite Daughter why I thought what was wrong with the dumb deer was wrong with the dumb fireworks, too.
Maybe if I finally figure it out, I’ll put it in a cryptic crossword clue for her. 😉
UPDATE: Just took FavD to lunch and heard Rush Limbaugh proclaiming this a “GLORY GLORY HALLELUJAH DAY!” saying the slaves, America’s “freedmen” of 150 years ago, prove the conservative SCOTUS case for imposing national amnesia of the past century and a half or more. (This followed Glenn Beck claiming to be the Chosen One commanded by the divine to channel the true spirit of Dr. Martin Luther King jr’s American principles of freedom, thus restoring the real America to — whitebread Mormonism??)
Wayne LaPierre is on cable news right now, saying “this constitutional victory” answers the question, which is: “can law-abiding citizens go out and buy and own a firearm?” He says the court correctly said yes, anywhere in America, and his folks intend to make sure it’s a “real” freedom because court rulings must “have consequences.”
He compared this freedom to the right to vote (but then firearms registration *can* be constitutional, yes? I have to register to be allowed to vote . . .)