Fireworks Overload

Last night, Sidney and I went to the top fireworks store in Myrtle Beach. Wanting to just pick up some sparklers and smoke bombs for our niece and nephew, we hoped to just run in and run out.

Silly us.

Did we really think it would be that easy on the Fourth of July? It was quite the sight at Phantom Fireworks. We pulled up to the busy parking lot to see people spilling outside of the store’s entrance. Once we finally made it through the door, the real shock set in. It was hotter inside the building than it was outside! People upon people picked at the shelves as lines at the checkout registers snaked back all the way through the aisles. Before joining the masses in Independence Day procrastination, security intercepted Sidney and I as we walked in and directed us to a table where we had to show our IDs.

This is what Phantom Fireworks looks like. This is just a random image from the company’s website so it doesn’t show the scene from last night (photo courtesy of Phantom Fireworks).

Once free to browse the pyrotechnics that seemed to be flying off the shelves, we did our best to quickly get what we wanted so we could start camping out in line. As the sweat dripped from my face while Sid and I waited to pay for our $25 worth of product, the true madness of the scene inside Phantom Fireworks became evident to me.

People were pushing shopping carts overflowing with fireworks. I kid you not. Dudes had carts filled to the brim with expensive variety packs, large fountains, mortars, boxed items, oversized packages of firecrackers, and more. They had so much inventory that they needed someone to help them push and someone else to navigate. It was insane.

What was even more insane was a dry erase board located at the checkout area for all to see. It had a section for “biggest spender of the day” and “biggest spender of the season.” Next to the proud person’s name for the “day” category was a figure that exceeded $4K. The biggest spender of the “season” was just shy of $9K.

Now don’t get me wrong, I LOVE fireworks. Some of the best memories I have from my childhood came from the Fourth of July celebrations we had with my extended family in Walla Walla where our firework arsenal was nothing short of outrageous. I had uncles who went out and dropped probably close to what yesterday’s “biggest spender of the day” did just so we could have an incredible holiday (and because they were borderline pyrotechnics themselves). But because I am now an adult and have a different view/appreciation of money, all I can say about spending $4,765 dollars on fireworks is this…

Must be nice.

I am not criticizing anyone who has the means to nonchalantly purchase every type of rocket in the store for one night of firework mania. I am just pointing out that there are people out there who really have a passion for the Fourth of July and make no qualms about showing it, no matter how much of their disposable income they might blow.

For the record, we had a fabulous time lighting off our “kiddie” fireworks with Russell and Harrison. In fact, I almost felt bad. While we laughed and cheered as we lit off our minimal purchase, I cranked my neck in all directions as I watched the top of the line fireworks shoot through the air around the neighborhood, the beautiful colors and glorious explosions not costing me a dime. Thanks to all the “biggest spenders of the day” for the added enjoyment. Don’t Blink.

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