or, stuff that I dragged out of my head

Location: Moncton, New Brunswick, Canada

Friday, July 03, 2009

Truck Stop

On Wednesday night, Jim and I went out to see the Canada Day fireworks. We usually skip it, because we couldn't be bothered to douse ourselves with insect repellent and trudge down to the riverfront to mingle with a few thousand other people for the pleasure of watching things blow up prettily for a quarter hour, but in fact I just love fireworks and was very glad I went.

Slate's Troy Patterson, on the other hand, thinks that Fireworks Suck.

What a pill!

Also, he used a common expression incorrectly. I'm not saying "So there nyah", I'm just saying.

Let me be clear: I have no truck with firecrackers or bottle rockets or Roman candles or anything else that one might set off in one's cousins' backyard. Those are pretty fun, especially if you happen to be in any of the magnificent states where that particular type is banned by law at that particular moment. Doing dangerous stuff in your cousin's backyard is an important element of American folk culture. Those firecrackers are handsomely humble.

"To have no truck with something" means to decline or refuse to become involved or otherwise have any dealings with it. If you have no truck with firecrackers et al, then you refuse to sully your hands with them.

What he thought the expression meant, and what the sentence in question obviously means based on the rest of the paragraph, is that he has no problem with them, holds no grudge against them, bears them no ill will. Unfortunately for him, "have no truck with" means just about exactly the opposite: that you do have a problem with them, and therefore will have nothing to do with them. He probably should have known this, and an editor definitely should have caught it, assuming there was one at hand, never a safe assumption in the world of web publishing.

Also, fireworks are awesome.


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