It's not like there hasn't been enough explosive fireworks for these poor folks--unfortunately, not the kind that we use to celebrate a major holiday. Every day I open the paper and read about the devastation, and every day I cry. And then it gets worse... and worse.
Now the Gulf residents can't so much as commemorate the Fourth the way they always have-- just one day of escape from the harsh realities of the worst environmental disaster anyone could imagine--nor are they in any mood to.
Besides, if they even tried, some rogue spark would set the whole BP-soaked beach on fire:
DAUPHIN ISLAND, Ala. – Fireworks displays have been canceled. White-sand beaches that should be crowded with sunbathers are instead dotted with cleanup workers, booms and sand-sifting equipment. Normally packed hotels are trying to fill rooms ahead of what is a crucial weekend for beach businesses.
Across the oil-stained Gulf Coast, it's going to be a glum Fourth of July.
They can forget about tourism. BP took care of that. They also took care of any chance of hotels, motels, restaurants, souvenir shops, bait and tackle shops, and ice cream stands thriving as they should this time of the year.
Trying to find customers at any of these places of business would be like trying to find a yes vote in the GOBP.
Besides, even if one did want to venture out to the body of water formerly known as the ocean, by way of that beautiful white stretch of sand formerly known as the beach, what fun would it be to bump into a BP-paid cop?
Kenny DiNero, who runs a dockside bait and tackle shop in Ocean Springs, Miss.:
This year, "all the islands are closed because of the spill. There won't be any fuel sold. There won't be any ice sold. There won't be any bait sold. And there won't be any damn fishing [...] Normally on the Fourth I do $10,000 to $15,000 in sales. This weekend I'll be lucky to do $500."
Happy TarBall Weekend.
By the way, huge thank you to Keith and Mac for covering the mental health aspect of this nightmare (among other things) in addition to the report about BP uniformed cops: