Fires in the Works


It’s all (allegedly) fun and games until something like this this happens. Must satisfy impulses now. Regret can come later.

I am proud to be an American.


Whoa! What the fuck was that? And, more importantly, who’s going to help me change my diaper?

So let me get this straight. You love America, too. And to prove it you’re going to make something go boom boom. Do you mind if I get some background information? Are you the same guy from elementary school who got paper towels wet and threw them into ceiling lights until they blew up? Are you the one who was so fascinated with fire that he set his junior high school locker ablaze? Do you think shooting a gun up in the air is good clean fun? No, no, don’t tell me. Let me guess. All the same guy, right?

Just in case you doubt my cred to discuss this topic, please know that one time I visited the game store where my son the gerbil liked to hang out. Staff regaled with me with stories of my son’s exploits in the back parking lot shooting bottle rockets using his ass as the launch platform. So I think I’m qualified!

In 2012, 60-percent of the year’s fireworks injuries occurred between June 22nd and July 22nd, sending an average of 200 people per day to the hospital. … All six fireworks-related deaths that happened last year involved illegal or homemade fireworks.
–Source: All the Amazing Facts About Your Fireworks Injury (Gizmodo)

Fireworks are a product. I know for a fact that those who make them have a profit motive. What I secretly suspect, however, is that they also hate America and are out to conquer us one body part at a time. Yes, it’s a theory, but it fits the available facts, dammit!

There’s no such thing as a zero error rate in the manufacture of products. Stay with me here. I’m building a logical proof piece by piece (if you’ll pardon the expression). That means some percentage of fireworks legally sold in this country are inherently flawed. Use of those products is, therefore, a calculated risk. Fuck that. I’ll stick with the craps table. I deem that to be an acceptable level of risk, but hey, that’s how I roll. Your mileage may vary.

Some, like me, might argue further that just the existence of the product is an intentional design flaw, but I won’t go there.

I’ll just say, like I am often wont to do, “What could possibly go wrong?” Life is dangerous enough. Why do we deliberately go out of our way to do nonsensical things that have no logical purpose that increase the odds against us? That makes absolutely no sense to me.

At ease, people. Blow ’em up if you got ’em.

BTW, the fireworks we give to youngsters make a lot more sense. Sparklers. So pretty. And what are they? Pieces of metal burning at temperatures up to 2,000 degrees or about as hot as a blow torch.

What could possibly go wrong? (Oops. There I go again.) I can’t understand how sparklers are responsible for 12 percent of reported fireworks-related injuries.

10 responses

  1. I used to really like sparklers when I was kid. Remind me to tell you the story of the day I set my garage on fire.

    I don’t really play with sparklers anymore.


    1. Sounds like a story there. I’ve got this burning desire to hear it. 🙂


  2. As a teen, I had a painful & traumatizing experience with the product known as a “jumping jack”. One was tossed at me as I walked away from a snot-nosed little prick I’d just taken down, intellectually & verbally, about 3 or 4 inches in height he couldn’t really spare.

    I was left with what looked like tractor-tread marks rolling up my back, as the flaming “fun” jumped it’s way under the back of my oversized 80’s shirt.

    After I drove the pyrogerbil to the ground & stood perilously close to exterminating his reason for existence… I vowed I was done with the whole “Great Balls of Fire” phenomena.


    1. About 1-2 months ago my wife were driving home from dinner and needed gas. As I was getting back in the car this POS tossed something in my direction that exploded near my ear. It sounded like a gun going off. I turned to look at the guy and he had this WTF look on his face. It was a combination of “fuck you” and sheepish grin. What an asshole.


  3. A long long time ago, I got very lucky in not blowing off my hand.
    Hurt like hell though.


    1. We always remember the close calls. I liked fireworks, too, when I was much younger. Was I really that dumb? I’m still just as dumb only in different ways.


  4. Well written! After I finally figured out that sparklers were burning metal (after a sparkler fell on my daughter’s foot – not one of my best parenting moments), I’m not into them or any other fireworks. I like to watch them from the distance but my kids aren’t into lighting them off. My friend Kalen has a hellish scar on his thigh where a spark flew into his pocket as a child and lit off all the “jumping jacks” he was storing in his short’s pocket. Hmm, for some reason he isn’t a fan of fireworks either.


    1. Thanks! It’s odd how effectively pain can teach. I was bitten by a dog in the first grade and dogs haven’t exactly been at the top of my list ever since. Sparklers are particularly insidious since they are so readily given to wee tots. What could possibly go wrong?


      1. As we say all the time “Well, it seemed like a good idea at the time!”. Sorry to hear about the dog incident but it worked out well for your six cats, didn’t it?


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