Fortunately the town forbids fireworks, and with the arrival of dusk the whole crowd has departed for the valley to see a show. I ought to be able to hear it in an hour or so. The big booms always manage to resonate this far. When it starts I'll enjoy it more if I imagine that Chico is being shelled by an advancing army of technologically advanced bears, raccoons, and deer, and that this will prevent the crowd from returning tonight and drunkenly running over stray cats.
My dinner gets later every night. I keep getting hung up on other things and lose track of time. Tonight I'll probably end up eating about half past nine. I don't have a barbecue, but I do have some barbecue-flavored potato chips. I also have loads of beans. Beans are the most economical means of celebrating Independence Day. Food and fireworks in one!