Thursday, July 04, 2013

Happy July 4th

Why the hell do people buy home fireworks?

How many fingers and eyebrows do they have to lose? How many trailer parks have to burn down before they learn?

What parent in his right mind with children would set off something called a 12 inch “strike force missile”?

Or a “Mad Dog”
 “Bazooka Bear”
“Titanium Cracker”
“Dragon’s Wrath”
“Big Mama Jama"
“Brutal Force”
“Nuke Power”
“Pull String Grenade”
“Assorted Color Ammo Smoke”
“Caliber Blast”
“Car Bomb”
“Big Earthquake”
“Jumboshell Fountain”
“Cracker Jack in a Box”
“Deadly Fire”
“Battle of New Orleans”
“Pay Back”
“Mucho Grande – small” (isn’t that an oxymoron?)
“Air Raid”
Or of course the ever popular “So X*@! Good”?

Explain to me where these are “safe and SANE”.

Better to go to a city park, ballpark, or Steven Spielberg’s house. Enter a 5K race, cheer on a parade and pray that the grand marshal is someone more impressive than Tom Arnold.

Have a wonderful day. Display your flag proudly. Don't blow your fingers off.


XJill said...

There is nothing like holding a sparkler in your hand or sending off a bottle rocket in your backyard. I don't get the giant blow up thingies but a nice assortment of small whiz-bangs. Growing up in small town Texas it's one of my fav memories with my Dad.

Anonymous said...

I live in Iowa so the issue is decided for us. Fireworks are illegal. But the neighbors buy over in illinois and set off an awesome show. When I worked in an ER in Missouri, a guy lit a bottle rocket, it didn't go off, so he went over to it and looked down, and you guessed it, it flew up and blew out an eye. A co-worker had a drunk uncle who was smoking a cigarette and lighting firecrackers, got them mixed up and blew out his front teeth. Safety first! Julie, Burlington, Iowa

Rick said...

Or are all those just euphemisms for your junk?

Dixon Steele said...

Just got back from Florida, where it seems every store sells them, including Walmart!

Bryce said...

You would think these people would have learned after Troy McClure did "Firecrackers: The Silent Killer."

Tom Quigley said...

I see absolutely nothing wrong with fooling around with fireworks every now and then...


Tom (now known as "Lefty") Quigley

Mike McCann said...

Living in Connecticut -- one of the more liberal northeast states -- for close to 20 years, my wife was stunned when we drove past a store selling fireworks (with big roadside banners promoting it) yesterday. She never realized they were legal here, while they aren't in nearby New York and New Jersey. It does seem incongruous -- but then again, it's a personal choice to purchase and use them. We never have.

Wayne said...

What better way to celebrate our independence than buying fireworks from China?

Eduardo Jencarelli said...

Mamma Jamma is one of my favorite Pizza places in Rio.

Had no idea it also applied to fireworks.

Tudor Queen said...

We live in a desert. In drought conditions. Where wildfires spark and rage and recently 19 brave firefighters lost their lives in one horrible fire. And it's not only legal to set off private fireworks, it's very popular. I. Do. Not. Get. It.

Oh, and they scare our dog.

DBenson said...

I remember the early 60s, when every assortment had "The Log Cabin," a little cardboard house with a sort of smoke bomb for a chimney.

We'd light it and get a few seconds of black smoke followed by . . . nothing. We never believed that was it. We'd wait; gingerly relight it; wait, relight it again; torch the little house itself; finally move it a few feet aside as we moved onto other fireworks. We gave it every chance to make good.

One year there was a cartoon of a hobo on the bottom of the assortment box; the smoke bomb thing was supposed to be inserted as a cigar. Same deal.

Everything else was five seconds or less of colorful sparks and maybe a whistling noise. Sparklers never lasted long enough to write your name, and writing other words got you in trouble.

I'm perfectly happy with unhealthy food and maybe a showing of "Johnny Tremain" to wrap up the day.

Pete Grossman said...

Saw a few people who brought their dogs - including a pup to a fireworks show last night. Wanted to yell out: Hey super schmuck! How would you like multiple cannons going off right next to your ears for 20 minutes?

DwWashburn said...

I've always liked the line from the Simpsons "Celebrate your love for the country by blowing up a small piece of it."

Mark Patterson said...

I bought home fireworks twice as an adult (just before my state legalized them...they were legal to own, but illegal to had to import them). Each time, I bought things that made pretty lights, not loud bangs.

We have a large front yard. I would set them off for the amusement of my nephews and nieces. They were never permitted to light them, and I made them stay a safe distance back. I always treated them with caution, and there were always other adults with water and cell phones around.

I'll never forget the looks on their faces.

That's why I bought them.

Dan Ball said...

Growing up in the Near-South, I'm kinda shocked to discover that 'home fireworks' are such a strange idea to most of you. Sure, the concept is absurd if you didn't grow up with it. To me, the Fourth isn't the Fourth without personal explosives.

In my family, we always had fireworks, but we did it safely. And we never bought weapon-grade explosives. My uncle, who was the wildest person of my dad's family, was the only person that I witnessed lighting a bottle rocket from his hand, lit by his own cigarette. Other than that, the adults setup/lit the explosives until the kids were old enough to do it with their supervision. Most of the time, I hated using cigarette lighters or matches because they always burned your fingers before the fuse was lit. But it's kind of thrilling to light it and run away.

My personal favorite is the snake. It still kind of blows my mind how this little black pellet can be lit and create a weird ash/byproduct that resembles a snake. It's like it crawls out of the sidewalk, but it's all just a chemical reaction.

Matso Limtiaco said...

Yesterday was the first time in 10 years that I didn't buy fireworks, as my teenage son is away at camp and his younger brother had no interest (for once, thank you video games). I only got them at the beginning when the teenager was three, and he was curious about those sparklers. But it morphed into a family "expectation," and every year I hated having to clean all that crap up afterwards, let alone the risk of blowing my own fingers off. At least I drew the line at the big fountains - no firecrackers, no mortars, nothing that NASA could track.

I still think you should have to pass a 20-question quiz on the Revolutionary War before you can buy any fireworks. That would eliminate most of the dumb-asses.

Diane L. said...

I'm a LA transplant living in the Midwest and there have been fireworks going on everywhere for 3 weeks. And the last three nights consisted of major fireworks within my subdivision by all my neighbors. I fear for my roof when the fireworks go on clearance in a few days!

Jeffro said...

Hey Ken,

Very true and timely, after that boat "rackominium" fire up in Seattle.

On the other hand, maybe home launched crapple fireworks aren't that bad compared to the recent SNAFUs made by the fireworks professionals in Simi Valley --- not to mention they were on the hook for that Independence Day 2012 Big Boom in San Diego.

Johnny Walker said...

Can't say I've ever been afraid of home fireworks. Just about every family sets them off here on Fireworks Night (aka Guy Fawkes) and New Years. Never met anyone who hurt themselves with one, either.

That said, it's entirely possible that UK fireworks are nowhere near as powerful as America's.

Either way: It has to be said that you cannot beat a professional display. I've seen some incredible fireworks in my time -- and they were never planted in someone's back garden.

chuckcd said...

Same sort of people that watch "Wife Swap".