Friday, July 7

Fourth of July, Part 27


Lemme tell ya about my last 48 hours or so.

To begin with we met Wednesday morning with a financial advisor/estate planner concerning my Mom. The good news is that she seems to be pretty well provided for. She inherited everything, and everything was in both names. It looks like she will be covered come what may. And the advisor, a friend of my sister who met us for 90 minutes gratis was a funny guy who caught my sense of humor right away. But he also clued us into the possibility of problems from the other survivors, which I hadn't given more than a moment's thought. We're all Hoosiers, after all. Everyone's an altruist, right? But his attitude was that where money is concerned, people will act selfishly regardless.

So I spent the afternoon composing a letter to the other survivors detailing what was going on, which was a double slog seeing as how it brought my Mom's situation up constantly, plus the (remote) possibility of some (possibly legal) difficulty down the road. I had a thick rubber band squeezing my head just below the brow line and a serious case of indigestion by the time I'd finished, so I lay down for a bit and got up just in time to listen to the beginning of another installment of Hoosiers Celebrate the Freedom to Set Off Back-Yard Artillery.

This stuff was loud. It was professional fireworks-shot out of a cannon-rattle the windows loud. And persistent. And it was coming from the trouble house, aka Little Appalachia. This is the house with five teenagers, a drunken slut of a mother, and a sad-sack chump who's the nominal adult but not likely anyone's biological father. Trouble since they moved in a couple years ago, one mass arrest of underage drinkers last year, and an ongoing battle with the elderly crackpot they moved next door to. She's one of those screaming get-off-my-lawn nuts every neighborhood seems to have, a woman in her late 50s when we moved in a decade ago, who I tried to help and be neighborly to, and who repaid that with such high-volume insanity I eventually just backed away and stopped talking to her. You can imagine it's been constant problems over there, which reportedly led to police mediation, after which all was pretty much quiet until it exploded again yesterday.

This stuff was going off every couple minutes from well before dusk. It's July 5th. People have jobs to go to. There's another elderly woman one house south, then a couple with three dogs, then one with two young children. Four of us went down there at various times to ask them to knock it off and got drunken fuck-yous for the effort.

It was all adults, by the way; the main reason I'd gone down there was to spot some underage drinking so I could report that to the police. Because...

of the wonderful Indiana state legislature, which made 11 fucking PM the legal shut-off time for fireworks, excepting selected holidays when it's midnight. This is a good two hours later than we used roll up the streets a mere decade ago. And...

because the police, natcherly, don't want to be bothered, and are using the new ordinance as an excuse to do nothing. But get this piece of third-hand hearsay: my neighbor told me this afternoon that another neighbor who went over there much earlier says the festivities included the burning and subsequent emergency-room treatment of a three-year-old child. Which, if true, at least implies that fireworks negligence is now a legal form of child abuse in Indiana. On account a'...

A piddly-assed industry with all the cachet of a carneys' port-a-john "lobbies" the state legislature for years. And so what used to be an infrequent annoyance one tried to ignore one or two days a year is now a constant bombardment courtesy of Freedom's Lowest Common Denominator.

Our hostess was keenly aware of the 11PM shut off. The fireworks ended, to be replaced by a drunken screaming fit thrown at her poor neighbor. And of course it started up again tonite.

Mr. Riley, in his golden years, has remained low-key about this in public. If it happened that someone matching his general description was online today gathering large amounts of personal information about a particular household, or if someone similar managed to, oh, swipe someone's trash with the intention of harvesting some discarded fact or two which might someday come back to haunt someone, well, he doesn't know anything about it.


golombek said...

Ah, yes, Americans celebrating their right to be jerks. This year the neighborhood was treated to at least three displays of fireworks apparently intended to rival the Boston Pops. It's a dense urban neighborhood of old wood frame buildings. Adults were obviously drinking, kids were running around. It's like they're tempting fate to see if they can burn a house down or send a kid to the ER. Oh, yeah, totally illegal to set off fireworks here.

Anonymous said...

And they wonder why I prefer to deal with young children and animals instead of gorwn-ups.

stAllio! said...

blame DST (or specifically EDT) for the 11pm cutoff time... in july it doesn't even get dark until almost 10 now.

Anonymous said...

The neighbors with whom the emergency vehicle crews are on a first name basis seem to have abandoned the fireworks finally. Yesterday they managed to keep strings of firecrackers going for just over two minutes, which I think means they're out.

I hope the other survivors act like real human beings and not greedy jerks. It amazes me how willing the courts are to toss out wills. Good luck with that.

Anonymous said...


I already pretty much am the get-off-my-lawn nut at my end of the block. And I'm only 45. The future looks dark.

Good luck with the espionage thing. Let us know how it works out. I, as the neighborhood crank, am not at all above such tactics.

Anonymous said...

Fireworks in Hazwaii have been a problem for years. Everything and I mean EVERYTHING used to be legal. The fourth looked like a combat zone! And new years has been even worse. Lots of aerials
imported from China(what a surprise!) and they did burn down an old wooden house,killing the elderly lady inside. No one ever charged and they fired up the
fireworks the next year. They have changed the law,requiring permits to buy firecrackers,but that gets ignored a lot. I used to like them,now they just annoy the hell out of me. There'a a neighbor who sets them off for 3 days! And of course, there's always the
concussion bomb that sets off every car alarm for 3 miles.

T.H. said...

my father is a retired banker. before he retired, he was a trust officer, and used to tell me some horror stories about heirs fighting over money.

for the sake of confidentiality, he didn't mention names. but he didn't have to -- the stories themselves were bad enough.

in one case, a woman died. she left a son and a daughter. well, son's wife and daughter got into some argument that turned very spiteful about the estate.

one time, my dad had to divide a jar of coins found in the woman's basement coin by coin. a nickle was left and he asked "who wants this?" thinking that one of them would give the nickle to the other.

one of them said, "flip for it."

money isn't the root of all evil. instead, it's a root for many everyday evils that everyday people commit. that's opposed to serial killers and mass murderers.