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Sunday, March 18, 2007

You’ll have to speak up, I live in Valencia

Not for sale to children under 12!

You’ll have to speak up, I live in Valencia

The locals go way overboard when it comes to firecrackers during the Fallas festival. There are explosions, big and small, all day and all night. They recently changed the law, under European Union pressure, to limit the sale of firecrackers to kids over 12 years old—not that anyone cares what the law says. You see kids of all ages setting off firecrackers and other explosive devices on every street corner. It’s probably a little like living in Baghdad. I’m thinking about buying an AK47 to shoot off in what I call a Gaza salute. I think that you have to be at least 15 to shoot off an AK47.

Perhaps I will hold out for a rocket propelled grenade launcher as I don’t want to be out-done by any of the little brats, some of whom are packing some pretty serious explosives. My motto has always been, “Fight fire with fire...and then some.” Although I can find no moral reasons against it, there are probably some legal restrictions against actually shooting the little terrorists who set off fireworks all day long in the courtyard under my balcony starting at about 9 a.m. after I’ve been out practically all night. It’s not like I’d be shooting to kill; I just want to shoot the firecrackers out of their little, elfin hands.

It just seems like a recipe for disaster to allow young kids to shoot off explosives with no adult supervision. I wasn’t even allowed to light a match as a kid, let alone play with something perfectly capable of blowing something else up. It just isn’t fair. I suppose that I should be grateful because I was crazy enough as a child that if I had the license to kill like these little punks, I’m sure that I’d be short a few fingers or a major appendage or two. Perhaps this loss of little fingers explains why the Spanish type slower and buy fewer rings than all other Europeans. It’s true.

I half expect to see infants in strollers throwing firecrackers; they do start young here. I have become so gun-shy of little kids that I will cross the street to avoid walking by a group of half-pint hoodlums. It’s not like I’m afraid of a single kid but there are thousands of them out in the streets during Fallas. I wisely keep my mouth shut but I just want to scream out, Yo, Bin Laden junior, go get a pbj or something and give the illegal immigrants a break." Don’t they have video games in Spain? Firecrackers have even usurped soccer for the attention of the rugrats. I have seen kids throwing firecrackers while kicking a ball around but I haven’t seen anyone playing soccer without an explosive accompaniment since Fallas began.

I guess the lack of sleep and the constant bombardment have made me a little grumpy. I tried wearing earplugs which didn’t help. I started listening to loud rock music through my headphones. Self-induced deafness is one way to combat the noise but I will probably just tough this out and deal with being shell-shocked.

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