01 November 2008

Objects In Freefall

In recent years, both Halloween and New Year's Eve have been celebrated in Cincinnati with gunfire. Shooting whatever firearm available into the air was, in many neighborhoods, considered a way to welcome the spirits of the dead at October's end, or welcome the New Year at midnight on December 31st. On December 31st, 2000, when I was living in Avondale, I remember hearing a staccato chorus that included, if my ears didn't deceive me, a Kalashnikov on full automatic, and numerous 9 millimeter semi-autos, .380's, revolvers and assorted popguns and varmint rifles. Police cars made dutiful appearances after midnight, when most of the ordinance had been expended. As recently as '04 and '05, gunfire was part of the Over-The-Rhine Halloween and New Year's Eve festivities. There is little concern that a bullet fired into the air eventually succumbs to gravity. Your party-time projectile returns to earth travelling at the speed of freefall in a gravitational field, which if you believe Messrs. Newton and Einstein is about 16 feet per/second, enough velocity to penetrate a human skull. And I don't mean the decorative polystyrene skulls that warm our hearts on All Hallows Eve. Maybe my hearing is diminishing with age. But I would swear I heard a long silence Friday night. It might be evidence of the recession: ammunition is not cheap. Or there might in fact be a cultural change occurring in OTR, or in---dare we say it---Cincinnati as a whole? I look forward to New Year's. But I am not selling my flak jacket just yet.


VisuaLingual said...

I noticed the silence Friday night, too. Actually, I also expected to hear something last night, but people have been relatively quiet and seemingly peaceful. Today was such a neighborly day around here!

getbackcincy said...

I hope you are joking. After Obama was announced the winner (thank god), I hear a TON of shots...a woman I was talking to actually said she put her mattress on the floor to avoid being in the window.

davidcarney said...

I wasn't kidding about Halloween --- it certainly was quieter than past years. If anything, I think many folks were actually on their best behavior before the election, with a collective holding of breath.

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