Fireworks fun

5 07 2007

Here’s the basic rundown. I leave work and decide to go to a display not far from where I’m staying, instead of going to the one right by work, just to make my life easier. Now, this morning I saw people from the Peachtree Road Race and my train smelled like a gym locker on the stretch between Arts Center and Five Points, and then again westbound to my station. And then at work, we witnessed the amazingly suspenseful hot dog eating contest, including footage of defending champion Takeru Kobayashi appearing to vomit on national television. Handicapped by his wisdom tooth and his bad jaw, he only managed to eat 63 hot dogs. He lost to Joey Chestnut. I thought that name sounded familiar, and then I realized that he was the guy that broke the old record for hot dog eating at Arizona Mills in Tempe a while ago, and I’m starting to think I remember seeing him in the competitive flesh when I was sent to write about that event in 2005, back in my Intern days. It’s a prized tradition for the Intern to write the competitive eating story. [EDIT: I found it!] A Las Vegas guy won, who then went on to get creamed by Kobayashi, I think. I think. So I always think it’s cool now to see the hot dog eating contestants in the news.

Then, this evening, I got stuck in the fireworks crowds. I waited for a while in the two-story Target. The one with the cart escalators. Oh yes. I do love that place. So I go up there and I buy an Icee thingy and I want a pretzel and the guy says I can’t have a pretzel because they’re closed. Fair enough, as they were closed, but I’m not sure why they sold me an Icee and not a pretzel. There may be a reason, I don’t know.

So I go outside and sit down for a while and we think we’re going to have a good view but then we booms and we bangs and I can’t see a thing. So I follow a group of people (going the wrong way as I later discovered) and we know the fireworks are nearby but we can’t see them. We can only see them reflecting in buildings nearby. So I’m watching the fireworks reflecting off of the shiny buildings in the area wondering if that’s all I’m going to see. Finally we find the fireworks (behind the Pier 1 Imports) and we watch them and they’re great. I got a couple good photos and some great video of the fireworks (I got really geekcited about it because I’ve not usually been able to engage in technological anything before, but now I can and I kind of know how). The only problem with the video is I shot it sideways and unfortunately without a professional video editor, I won’t be able to fix those frames. But, it doesn’t really matter, it’s just fireworks. My other camera has an orientation detector but this one that I was using tonight does not. Anyway the finale was heartpounding and ear-damaging and just wonderful.

And then I’m taking a picture afterward of one of my favorite buildings in the area and this handsome young fellow approaches me and says, “Hi, what’s up?” He seemed normal and pleasant enough. So I uttered a gruff “hello” and tried to size him up and see who he was, and before I could say any more, he started making these clawing gestures at me. Like clawing at me. And he kept doing it, and I was horrified and ran away. Guys, don’t do this. Please. I shall refer to this latest character in my Hall of Shame as “Dr. Claw.”

And then of course it was quite busy on the way back but I made it without incident. Once again, happy fourth of July. May you not be clawed at by random strangers.