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Ask Anyone


My new girlfriend and I drive truck for a living. We’ve been living together since February at this house on this big chunk of land I bought out in the country. A lot of the time we’re apart because we each have our own rigs and make different runs. That’s why we both decided to take a couple weeks off together, starting with the weekend before the Fourth of July. We invited a bunch of people, stocked the bar, got a few kegs, and hired a couple bands to play out by the smoker.

Preparing for the big party, she picked up about a thousand dollars worth of fireworks at a few different shops down south. We’re not talking little lady fingers and sparklers. She’s got rockets and missiles, aerials, 500 gram things with labels like “Battle of Antietam” and “Mineshell Mayhem.”

I like a good time, but after I pointed out that the neighbors have a lot of dogs and might get a little bent with a huge fireworks display, she started having second thoughts, too. But now, we have like a thousand dollars worth of contraband. It’s illegal to sell the stuff in New York. Do we just throw it all away, or should we cross our fingers, shoot them all off, and be done with it?

Good Buddy

The Backroom Guy says: There is a famous saying from a World War II British commando that goes: “There are no problems which cannot be solved by judicious use of high explosives.” These are also my words to live by.

Smart Money says: Sell them! Spare the puppies and your neighborly relations.

The Sales Guy says: Isn’t that why one would buy a piece of land in God’s country? To have somewhere you can blow shit up without being hassled by the Man, neighbors, or anyone else?

But considering your arsenal, you might want to invite any surrounding neighbors and especially those “down range” to this backyard extravaganza—for courtesy and safety’s sake.

Strictly Classified says: When I was a kid, a fellow a few years older than me lost his thumb and two fingers on his right hand due to an M-80. Seeing how this has affected his life, I have never been interested in much beyond sparklers.

Your fireworks display may not only incur the ire of your neighbors (and their dogs), but there are serious safety concerns as well. People can be injured, fires can be started. I suggest you chalk it up to an expensive lesson learned and leave the fireworks show to trained professionals.

The Straight Skinny: Didn’t you invite the neighbors? You don’t have to let them hang around for the whole two weeks of back-together-again sex and CB-radio role play, but why not tell them to bring the kids and drink a beer while you celebrate independence the good old-fashioned way: with loud crazy stuff that might blow your fingers off.

who's gonna mow your grass?

My next-door neighbor frequently mows my front lawn, which is nice of him. When I can, usually on a weekend morning, I like to return the favor. Problem is, my lawnmower is pretty loud, much louder than my neighbor’s, and so it pisses off my neighbor’s neighbor when I do.

What’s a fella to do?


The Straight Skinny: Nice neighbor! As long as you’re not waking him up with your lawnmower, I say keep it up. And pay it forward: Why not shovel your other neighbor’s walk next winter?

Strictly Classified says: Maybe you could fill up your neighbor’s gas can, or perhaps try to mow a little bit later in the day.

The Sales Guy says: Well, in my neighborhood we have a gentlemen’s agreement: No lawn mowing on the weekends before 11am. It works! Hey, no one is against keeping up one’s yard, green space, and home equity. It’s a quality-of-life issue and the sanctity of one’s right to snooze.

Smart Money says: Sure, it’s annoying when people mow on weekends, but it’s life. Mow away and tell your other neighbor to suck it.

Ask Anyone is local advice for locals with problems. Send your questions for our panel of experts to

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