Perhaps the San Fernando Valley is a great anesthetizer because in all my years there, street-level Independence Day celebrations were pretty much relegated to July 4… the occasional high-pitched scream of a leftover Piccolo Pete notwithstanding.

Not so here on this side of the hill. Typically the firecrackers and the M-80s and the Piccolo Pete’s and the 60 foot-high shhhhhhwip-pops of countless bottle rockets and illegal stuff purchased in Mexico or counties other than Los Angeles along with occasional weapon discharges commence about a week before building to a warzone crescendo on the big day to eventually die out about a week or so afterward.

Well, they’re early this year — unless by chance this was some improptu celebration by tardfuckassbitingpunkscum neighboors of the tiny and heretofore unknown island nation of Hookey Lau defeating some global soccer powerhouse in awesome live World Cup action.

But I doubt it.

I’m up and wide awake an hour later from this morning at 3:25 a.m. when Susan and I were so rudely delivered from our post-anniversary dinner slumber by a really long barrage of whippersnapper firecrackers that was followed up a few minutes later with a shorter salvo that sounded as if it came from right next door.

The still of the night returned after that, and bless Susan she was able to climb back into bed and find her way back to sleepyville, but for me the damage had been done and though I gave it a noble effort I tossed and turned for about 35 hours minutes until I finally gave in to the reality that I’d been robbed of a good chunk of snooze time and got the hell up to grumble about it here.

Good morning!