Writing · 1 September 2014 · Ian Malpass

The fireworks of karma

We’ve had trouble lately with people nearby setting off fireworks in the evening. I like fireworks—don’t get me wrong, one of the reasons I studied chemistry was because of them—but the attraction begins to pall after so many nights of dealing with kids who can’t sleep and a dog who thinks the world is ending but that it might stop if he can only fit all 100lb of him into your lap.

This evening, as the crack and whistle of more rockets starts to echo through the neighbourhood, my wife decides to see who’s actually doing it. She walks down the street and eventually finds a man standing on his back deck, launching rockets out of his hand and over his neighbours’ roofs.

Deciding that she might as well attempt to reason with him, she calls out and explains that it’s a school night, people are trying to get their kids to sleep, and would he mind stopping. He is rather an arse about it, but after she points out that she’s politely asking him to stop, he says that he will.

She walks back towards the house, and as she does so a police car drives slowly by. The officer pulls up next to her, winds down his window, and asks if she’s seen anyone lighting fireworks. (Clearly we’re not the only ones growing annoyed.) She says “yes” and that he said he’d stop. As she turns to point out the man’s house, she sees that he has—despite his agreement not to—come back out onto his deck with a lit firework in his hand.

At this point he looks over, and sees my wife talking to the police officer. He panics. He runs into his house. Still holding the firework.

There is a muffled “boom”. The delightful sound of karma meeting stupidity.