"Thank you for calling The Hamlet. This is T-Bone."
A quavery, accusatory male voice said, "Yeah. I need to talk to someone about the fireworks this year. Who can I talk to?"
"Sir, I can try to help you. What's your question?"
His lengthy pause prepared me for the oncoming shitstorm.
"I wanna know where the fireworks are bein' shot off this year."
"They're being shot off from the flats this year, sir."
"So they aren't gonna be shot off the mountain," he stated.
"That's correct," I answered.
"I been goin' up the mountain for thirty-five years now. Can you tell me why they aren't bein' shot off from the mountain this year?"
Breathe. "Sir, they're being shot from the flats this year because we haven't had any significant rain for the last three weeks. It's very dry up there, and they don't want to start a forest fire."
"So! They're being shot off the highway?"
"No. They're not shooting off the fireworks from the highway. It's the last exit into town off the highway."
"So, they're shooting 'em off of the top of the storage facility?"
"Noooooo... they're not doing that, either. There's a big parking-lot sized space there off of the exit. That's where they're shooting them from."
"And who thought up this bright idea?" he said sarcastically.
"Well, I do believe the fire department decided, sir. They're the guys that shoot off the fireworks, and they're the guys that fight the fires if they start. We don't want another Mt. Hamlet fire, like last July."
"Well... that's just... I bet it was the Mayor, wuddint it? He's the one that decided this. He's that same guy that had the police department do a Reverse 911 in case there's a mountain lion wandering around near houses and shit!" he concluded.
The Mayor didn't decide anything like that and I opened my mouth to say so. But first, the caller spat:
"You people. You're so stupid. So fucking stupid! YOU'RE STUPID!!!"
I sighed and hung up the phone.
Kerri said from her desk, "Another happy citizen?"
"Yeah," I said. "Jesus Christ. All's he has to do is turn his chair a little bit north."