I thought it was just me until I started poking around on the Nextdoor app, a place for people who live in the same community to post comments questions, rumors and just general buzz about their neighborhoods. You get the tea on what the local school board is doing, what they’re building in that big empty lot at the end of your street, and “does anybody know a really good window washer?” — that kind of stuff.

But for the past month, at least two or three times a day, someone posts about the fireworks they hear around the neighborhood. Some comments are just genuinely curious while others are pretty pissed, especially people who have dogs who are nervous wrecks due to all the noise or little kids who can’t sleep. I’ve heard so many rumors about what all these fireworks are about, and there’s one article online that gave some cogent hypotheses as to why they’re hearing fireworks.

Every. Single. Night.

Vox.com seems to have it all explained in this article, even though, to be honest, the article is all conjecture and your guess is as good as theirs. One of their theories is that since the advent of COVID-19, people are all home so much more with so much more free time that there’s way more time to notice neighborhood noises.

Piggybacking on that theory, the article makes the observation that because we are working less and doing less, neighborhoods are just quieter, hence, loud noises stand out more. I reject both of those theories because most of the bangs and booms are happening at night when people would’ve been home and neighborhoods would’ve been relatively quiet anyway. But here are some ideas they noted that DO make sense.

According to the article, it could actually be a combination of things:

  1. Fireworks being at a surplus because of local fireworks celebrations being canceled
  2. Kids stuck at home with nothing better to do but get into mischief
  3. The mistaken notion that all fireworks are legal now in New Jersey so that people who have never touched a Roman candle are now deciding to set them off for the first time.

Another contributing factor is that police are busy with protesters and the havoc they wreak and at the same time are trying to keep their heads down, so there’s probably less enforcement of fireworks regulations. Then of course there’s the “psychOp” conspiracy theory proposed by many people who like to stoke the fires of good ole’-fashioned race-baiting. Get a load of this one.

The theory goes that government agents are deliberately providing fireworks to kids as part of a full-scale effort to deprive inner-city (presumably minority) residents of sleep, and at the same time getting them so used to explosive noises that they won’t notice when the government swoops in to take ‘em all down. Yep. That’s the kind of stuff Twitter hath wrought. I’m gonna stick with the aforementioned theories that the Vox article floated. Unless you have a different idea.

The post above reflects the thoughts and observations of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Judi Franco. Any opinions expressed are Judi's own.

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