Tucked somewhere within our 46 chromosomes and 25,000 genes is a very sturdy mutation that selects for stupidity. The exact location has not yet been determined, but Chromosome 6 and 13 are sites of interest. Over the centuries, this genetic mutation has replicated itself with remarkable fecundity, coming to full expression in the enactment of rituals, celebrations, annual festivals—all of which require group-think and prodigious amounts of alcohol, smoke, and vehicle miles traveled. Carnage is a not uncommon sequel. Christmas and July Fourth are good, clinical examples of Chromosome 6 (or 13) dysfunction.
The pagan worship of trees is further “mutated” at Christmas by dragging dead trees into the living room, propping them up with glitter and colored balls, and thus creating a perfect fire hazard. July Fourth is worse: We are treated to a remarkable display of collective chromosomal aberration. The EPA accords special status to July Fourth: It is the most polluted day in the year. Instead of quiet contemplation of the significance of history, we practically blow things up with fireworks, bonfires, extreme driving, rehab-worthy drinking.
Paso Robles has decided—in these times of scarce money, even scarcer water, and a planet almost destroyed by combustion—to spend some $74,000 on fireworks. The city is encouraging approximately 15,000 people to converge in cars for this spectacle, which will require extra water to hose down those areas that might ignite in the face of all this combustion. It all makes perfect sense given the ongoing devolution of our species.