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Today’s fireworks: Almost as exciting as burning your old socks

image Except for those living in Missouri, where the only fireworks restriction is a requirement that all skyrockets exceeding the length of a standard boat trailer be flagged during transport, most Americans have watched their Independence Day fireworks excitement dwindle from first-strike capability through the 1990s, to today’s wimpy sparklers and fountains with spark-spitting action equal to…

well…

three sparklers tied together?

Americans age 30 and older remember having sparklers so bright they could see them through their eyelids. The bravest kids would spin them like propellers, showering crackling embers everywhere and knowing full well their eyebrows would grow back by September.

The trend in fireworks wimpiness came as the result of restrictions by the National Council on Fireworks Safety in an effort to reduce fireworks-related injuries and deaths throughout the United States. Not counting Missouri, which apparently no one cares about.

Or maybe Missouri chose to ignore the rules altogether.

Hey NCFS! This is what we think of your crackdown on fireworks!   — Love, Missouri

Hey NCFS! Here’s what we think of your crackdown on fireworks!
— Love, Missouri

However, as a service to readers outside Missouri, we at LAP took it upon ourselves to put together a list of fireworks you need to either consider purchasing as 1) part of your Independence Day celebration, 2) your personal defense system or 3) the keys to your insanity defense. Ironically, the best Fourth of July fireworks come from China, which means you’ll need to place your order today if you want it to arrive before your take-out order. For some of you, we realize the thought of purchasing fireworks that aren’t Made in America is a little hard to swallow. But in addition to the restrictions that make USA fireworks duds, you have to contend with really poor name choices like this…

The only good thing about this firework is that it keeps the neighbors from coming over. Well, except for that one guy...

The only good thing about this firework is that it keeps the neighbors from coming over. Well, except for that one guy…

Though the following fireworks were made in China, we think they capture the American spirit of adventure, grandeur and firepower that made this country great. Our first example not only manages to offer a combination of blasts, sparks and whistles (sounds representing construction sites throughout our history), the name also reflects the general consensus of most Americans…

...At least until I run out of matches and start using an open flame from my propane tank.

…At least until I run out of matches and start using an open flame from my propane tank.

Love horses? Love Fireworks? Of course you do! They were made for each other! Which is what makes our next item so special. With the “Run for the Roses,” you and your children can experience the majesty of a wild mustang combined with the sulfuric smell of pyrotechnics as, together, you watch in horror as the symbol of the Old West is reduced to a blob of melted plastic…

Even Dan Fogelberg cries when he sees this heartwarming display.

Even Dan Fogelberg cries when he sees this heartwarming display.

How many times have you been sipping a beer on the Fourth of July, watching the neighbor’s three-year-old chase skittering groundflowers, and thought to yourself: “Man, I would love a pair of bongo drums right now!” Let’s face it, bongos are a uniquely American experience for those who remember the 1960s and 70s. Thanks to this next entry, a new generation of intoxicated adults can discover the pageantry of playing bongos while literally getting completely lit…

Honestly, haven't you always thought our National Anthem needs a bongo solo?

Honestly, haven’t you always thought our National Anthem needs a bongo solo?

Think of these next three units as the third movement of your fireworks concerto (or possibly of the day), offering three soloists of Americana…

A White House favorite since the Clinton administration.

A White House favorite since the Clinton administration.

Another Bill Clinton favorite, smuggled in from Vietnam and codenamed "Charlie's Angels."

Another Bill Clinton favorite, smuggled in from Vietnam and codenamed “Charlie’s Angels.”

Because our next fight for independence could be against zombies.

Because our next fight for independence could be against zombies.

Every fireworks display needs an exciting climax, and we don’t just mean catching the shrubbery on fire. It’s needs to be a statement that leaves your audience and any nearby code enforcement officers looking like this…

It's like we're God's favorite country!

It’s like we’re God’s favorite country!

That’s when you deliver this one-two punch that spectators will remember long after their hearing damage has become permanent…

Unleashing your final wave of fireworks awesomeness isn't the time to be polite.

Unleashing your final wave of fireworks awesomeness isn’t the time to be polite.

For added effect, allow a momentary lull before launching into this poignant finish…

Because Freedom of Religion is part of the Bill of Rights, and also because there's nothing like the sound of 28 Whistling St. Petes.

Because Freedom of Religion is part of the Bill of Rights, and also because there’s nothing like the sound of 28 Whistling St. Petes going off.

Come Friday, should you find yourself without decent fireworks, you’re welcome to join us for what is sure to be a great show at this spot in Missouri…

I think there's a reason it's called Stump Lake.

We’re pretty sure there’s a reason it’s called “Stump Lake.”

Happy Independence Day!

—–

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About Ned's Blog (35 Articles)
I've been a journalist and humor columnist at the Siuslaw News for 16 years. I'm also a volunteer firefighter. If the newspaper ever burns down, I will have some explaining to do. I'm married to the perfect woman, have four great kids, and a tenuous grip on my sanity...

23 Comments on Today’s fireworks: Almost as exciting as burning your old socks

  1. Ah, yes….the never-ending, year round supply of sulfur and explosives available just across the border from us. The next time I head down to Branson (OMG…yes, I work there every 6 weeks) I’ll have to take some photos and send them your way, Ned. You can’t even make this stuff up!
    The fireworks billboards (HUGE) are right next to the ones advertising the Baldknobbers Jamboree Show and Chinese Acrobats. Even better, most of those fireworks stands are located in between the few liquor stores that dot the MO highways. One stop shopping!
    Now, if only Fr. Robert could find a way to make his fruitcake spontaneously combust 🙂

    Like

  2. Absolutely. Getting drunk and blowing shit up. ‘Murrica.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. My uncle had a firecracker explode in his pocket, he suffered 3rd degree burns and is left with quite the hole in his one leg. Thankfully he did not lose the leg. I’m not to fond of fireworks, I will go and watch, but they will never be in our yard, plus we have far too many trees and I would worry about fire.

    Like

  4. Liquor & Fireworks – What could go wrong? Indeed.
    This should be America’s new slogan.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I was at a party when the tipsy host and a friend put on a fireworks display. Yep. One of the mega torches blew up and singed their eyebrows. I would imagine it disintegrated their nose hairs too. They still had their fingers so they counted the night as a big success.

    Like

  6. Whoever does the product marketing for these things must be on mescaline. As a kid, I was afraid of fireworks. And now I am even more afraid.

    Like

    • That’s too bad, because I had several emails from Missouri asking if you were coming to Stump Lake. I’ll let them know not to wait up for you.

      Like

  7. I’ve had the misfortune – or perhaps fortune – of living where fireworks are outlawed, wherever I have lived. I swear this was not a selling point on the part of those cities! I would move there and then discover their illegality after the fact.

    But I cannot be a True American, for I.D. is not my favorite holiday. Oh, it was one of my sister’s, no question. The louder the explosive, the better. Have you ever heard a Piccolo Pete? She’d light off multiples at a time. It was like a warzone in our alley. Maybe she single-handedly caused all ‘works to be banned in my hometown? It’s only a hypothesis for now!

    There are no ‘works in my neighborhood to purchase, but the truly adventurous can pick up a bag of nifty noise-makers right in their local CVS! Pull the little string on that confetti popper right next to your friend’s ear! Nothing can go wrong.

    NOTHING.

    Like

    • Piccolo Petes! I remember them well! We called them “whistling Petes,” but we were too lazy to say “Piccolo.” And of course your sister lit them off in droves. It’s sort of like going to the toy section and pushing all the talking toys as you go through. It just HAS to be done.

      By the way, those noisemakers that pop and shoot confetti everywhere are a pain to clean up. Especially if you do it over the pool.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Great post (and I am still laughing).
    Cheers!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Reblogged this on Shouts from the Abyss and commented:
    I wanted a post opining about how fireworks suck. I’ll settle for this as my reblog of the week.

    Liked by 1 person

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