Wednesday, July 04, 2018

Happy 4th of July

As I mentioned recently, I drove through Ohio and Michigan a few weeks ago and was shocked by the number of billboards for fireworks. 

Why the hell do people buy home fireworks?

How many fingers and eyebrows do they have to lose? On the other hand, it's hard to vote for do-nothing incumbent congressmen this November if you don't have fingers.

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 Flo from Progressive Insurance.

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


slgc said...

You'll appreciate this article, which was posted in the Dave Barry Blog ( ) -

Janet Ybarra said...

I've never had an interest in home fireworks (they also happen to be illegal here), but regardless I can't imagine they create an experience as enjoyable as a professional show as might be put on at those city parks and ballparks. (Wouldn't know about Spielberg's house, as I've never been invited there either.)

Gary said...

"On the other hand..." an unintentional pun? Happy 4th!

Anonymous said...

Happy 4th! Great post! I love July 4 festivities. We can buy fireworks here, but can't shoot them off in town supposedly but it sounds like a war zone at night in some neighborhoods and the police have to chase down reports of fireworks/gunshots. People get stupid with fireworks. The emergency room in Missouri where I used to work usually got busy July 4. One year a guy lit a bottle rocket in a pop bottle sitting on the ground, he waited and then went over to see why it hadn't gone off, looked down, and it shot up and exploded in his eye. Another year a couple brought in their baby who had gotten hit with a bottle rocket and she had some burns but was OK otherwise thank goodness. A friend who grew up in the Philippines told me about the time his uncle was drinking whiskey, smoking cigarettes and lighting firecrackers, and lost track of what he was doing and stuck a firecracker in his mouth instead of his cigarette and blew out his teeth. Julie, Burlington, Iowa

Lisa said...

Steven Spielberg’s house?

He has a very big estate? Or is it some inside joke?

Sorry didn't get the joke. Anyone?

Leilani said...

Same to you.

DougG. said...

As a lifelong Ohioan I can tell you the current law regarding fireworks is more ridiculous. It's illegal to set off fireworks in Ohio unless you're a licensed show provider. The reason the fireworks stores are everywhere it's legal to sell them here but the customer has to sign an agreement at the time sale that he/she will take them out of state within 48 hours. You can guess how often that actually happens.

I did say that's current law. One half of the Ohio legislature has passed a bill to do away with the ridiculous requirement of pretending you're taking them out of state to shoot them off. Besides the law against shooting them off in Ohio is rarely, if ever, enforced so it will probably be repealed.

blinky said...

At least they didn't put it in the Constitution like the gun fetish thing.
In order to maintain a well regulated fireworks militia the right to bear bottle rockets shall not be infringed.

Tudor Queen said...

I live in a state that is under constant drought conditions and there are major fires on a frequent basis. A few years ago our state government passed a law allowing just about anyone to buy fireworks from nearly any source. This struck me as one of the stupidest ideas ever.

peppylady (Dora) said...

Stop in from Roger O Green. It seem like a lot places if you shoot off firework and get caught you will get a ticket.
If you have time stop in for a cup of coffee.

James Van Hise said...

Unfortunately it is worse than that on the 4th of July. People (who rarely have any training) fire guns with live ammunition up into the air and are completely ignorant of the fact that a bullet comes down at the same velocity it went up. People are killed or wounded from such firearm misuse every year because someone a block away fired a gun up in the air. People have even found spent bullets on the top of buildings. Best to stay inside at night.

Cowboy Surfer said...

I thought we agreed to never use my porn name on this blog.

- Titanium Cracker

Unknown said...

I live in California, and last night I couldn’t figure out why my house smelled so bad. It was the smoke from all the fireworks around us, and the wind was pretty sturdy last night. It’s going to be really bad tonight, because fireworks season started around early June, when the schools let out, and I’m betting it continues till it starts in late August. Upsets my cats.

E. Yarber said...

I spent one Fourth (or was it 25%?) at the Malibu Colony, one of those situations where I was specifically expected to pretend like it was a party but still try to impress as many people as possible toward hiring me. Didn't work.

As it grew dark, a barge crept south along the sea and began shooting fireworks toward the shore.

"Oh, so you hired those fellows to celebrate Independence Day," I said to the host.

"Actually," she replied, "we're trying to blast all the tourists off the beach."

Dhruv said...

Off Topic:

I just listened to Episode 75. Great episode. I had not heard the podcasts of last month, so was catching up.

Very nice insight into the world of voice actors. One of the highlights of the interview was when he said he could identify the voices. I too try to recognise the voices of WB cartoons (Looneys Tunes) mainly because apart from Mel Blanc's name, they don't give proper credits to other actors. Later on they did give June Foray a few credits, but Daws Butler who did a few voices, never got.

I wish I had asked these questions on the day of the podcast, hoping that Mr. Evanier would answer in the comments section :)

First video:

- Who is the voice of the cat (growling and fighting) (seen in other episodes too) - my guess is June Foray.

- Who is the voice of Norton? My guess is both Ralph and Norton are voiced by Daws Butler.

Second :

- Who is the voice of Sam cat ? I guess Daws Butler. No credits given.

Thanks for the great interview Ken.

Mike Bloodworth said...

I couldn't disagree with you more. I LOVE fireworks! I could watch them every night. If I lived in a city where they were legal I guarantee I would have a display tonight. Unfortunately, the majority of our laws are written for morons and worst case scenarios. (Apologies to actual morons) A million people could use the "safe and sane" fireworks without a problem. But, because of the one guy who sets himself on fire with a sparkler NO ONE can have any. And as I've said before, watching the fire department blow up dolls and watermelons with M80's is more of an incentive to go out and buy illegal fireworks than it is a discouragement. For the record I won't be blowing up anything tonight. I don't need to. I'll just go up on the roof and watch all the illegal fireworks being shot off by my neighbors. Happy Independence Day!
P.S. My invitation to Spielberg's house must have gotten lost in the mail.

Matt said...

I like Flo, why take a shot at her?

Janet Ybarra said...

I think it is amusing and ironic that this evening the Beach Boys will perform at the concert on the National Mall (viewable on PBS), yet 30-odd years ago the Interior Secretary during the Reagan administration tried to quash that same group from performing, calling the Beach Boys immoral.

It took Nancy Reagan to sit on that fool and allow the Beach Boys to perform.

Andy Rose said...

@Dhruv: Sam the cat was played by Stan Freberg. Not sure about the snarling cat, but it does sound like June Foray, and Foray is definitely playing Alice. Ralph and “Morton” are both played by Daws Butler.

DwWashburn said...

We have a stupid rule here in Vegas. Like most cities, we are only allowed to use "safe and sane" fireworks inside the city. But there is a further restriction. If the "safe and sane" is not purchased from one of the two "authorized" stands in the city, even they are illegal. For example, stores like Dollar Tree sell snappers, the little BB shaped pellets that pop when you drop them hard. So if you buy it from a Phantom brand stand, it's OK. If you buy it from Dollar Tree, it's a misdemeanor.

Cap'n Bob said...

I personally like to watch fireworks but since they upset my dogs and are illegal in my city, I don't want to hear them. People should also be aware that some veterans can have bad reactions to those explosions.

You can only buy "safe and sane" fireworks in town, here, but the Indians, who own the neighboring land, can sell the good stuff. Makes no sense.

DBenson said...

Back when they were legal here (at least the earthbound ones), every assortment had a little cardboard log cabin with a smoke bomb chimney. We'd light it, watch a plume of smoke rise for a few seconds, then wait several minutes for it to do something else. Despite years of experience indicating it would NEVER generate anything beyond a lame plume of smoke, we'd wait and would sometimes try lighting it again. That's it. That's the anecdote.

Steve Steffens said... This is in Charleston, MO and you have seen nothing like this place. In addition to more fireworks than any place in the country, it is the Wal-Mart of kitsch. I know that sounds redundant, but still.....

Diane D. said...

“That’s it. That’s the anecdote.” Nice to get a good laugh from the comments section! The actual anecdote being so boring made the finale especially funny.

Mike Bloodworth said...

I think the one thing that we all can agree on is BLAME THE CHINESE for inventing gunpowder in the first place.

Just kidding, of course.

Edward said...

FYI HBO-Zone channel is showing "Volunteers" tomorrow at 1:05 PM Eastern Time and on the 14th at 6:15 ET. I will record it.

Question: How long does it take for writing residuals to flow from HBO to you?

Barry Traylor said...

I'd like to know which idiots in the state legislature thought it was a good idea to make home fireworks legal (I live in Pennsylvania) there were 2 fires started York, PA yesterday by what the call mortars (sky rockets). It is only a matter of time before someone has a terrible accident.

Dhruv said...

Andy Rose, thanks a lot for replying :)

I searched Google with Sam cat and Stan Freberg as the key words and I got this site -

It was Daws Butler they say.
And in Notes they say --- "His voice is very similar to that of Pete Puma, although Stan Freberg (the original voice of the Pete Puma character) had never voiced Sam Cat during his lifetime."

Now that clears up another misconception I had. I had all these days thought that the Puma was also voiced by Daws Butler.

Thanks for the info again :)

Andrew said...

That's Ohio, baby. Love it or leave it!

The only problem with home fireworks is, I can't play the banjo anymore.

Dave Widel said...

My favorite fireworks name was the "Grounds for Divorce" package for $1500.

Diane D. said...

I had no idea what fireworks had to do with banjos so I googled those 2 words and found the funniest YouTube video imaginable. Omg that was hilarious! I never regret going to a link that is provided by this group, or in this case, searching for it. Thanks, Andrew!

msdemos said...


Love ya, Mr. Levine, but why do people buy "home fireworks" ??

You're kidding, right? So I take it from that comment that growing up you weren't a typical little boy!!

Dear lord, who DIDN'T want to get and shoot off fireworks when they were younger ??

And though every 4th there are PLENTY of stories of the idiots who didn't respect the power of the explosives they were messing with, there were MILLIONS more of us who ABSOLUTELY did....and had TONS of fun doing so, without EVER being injured while doing so.

No offense, but I'm willing to bet there are about a HUNDRED (or a thousand.....or ten thousand....or a hundred thousand?) who feel the same way I do, for every ONE of those that feel the way you do !!