I sit bolt upright in bed. Was that a gunshot? I jam my glasses onto my face and look at the clock: 2:45 AM. That means it's really 2:18. The police will want to know when I heard the shot. I wonder if I'll have to explain why the alarm clock is set 27 minutes ahead.
I don't remember getting out of bed, but now I'm in the front room, peeking through the slats of the window blind. Can't see a thing. As I'm deciding whether to call the police or not, I hear it again. Different this time:
Oh, for pity's sake. It's been the fourth of July barely two hours, and someone's already setting off firecrackers. He (I don't know why I'm so sure it's a "he") probably bought them from that huge tent in the Wal-mart parking lot tonight, stopped there after work. Then, since tomorrow's a holiday, he went out drinking with his buddies. Bars close around two, so he probably just got home. He's not sleepy yet. A little bit bored, in fact. And then he sees his fireworks....
I shuffle back to bed, climb in, put a pillow over my head. Now that I know what the noise is, I can probably sleep through it. Oddly comforting to know that one's neighbors are just idiots, as opposed to being violent criminals.
As I start to drift off to sleep, I decide I'm going to have to suspend my disbelief a little more when watching TV or a movie. I never believe it when I see a character go from being sound asleep to sitting straight up in bed. Apparently it does happen.
Moron. I hope he gets rained on at every single football game he goes to this Fall.