“On the Fourth of July, we blow up many things – just don’t blow yourself up!”

FireworksAnd what a true statement that is, too. We do blow up many things on the Fourth of July. Baked potatoes, our stomachs, gas grills (by accident), and of course fireworks. What a lovely example some people set for their children when it comes to fireworks, too. In Virginia, while some fireworks are legal for the average John Doe to buy, possess, and set off, there are others that are illegal to buy, possess, and set off in Virginia. Legal are sparklers, those little “worm” things, the things you throw on the ground and then go bang, as well as those little cone things that emit showers of sparks but otherwise stay right where they are. Oh, and those chicken things are legal, too, where you light the chicken’s butt, sparks fly out, and then it howls at the end. Illegal are firecrackers, as well as anything that shoots high up in the air, like rockets and such. But this doesn’t stop some people from going to Tennessee, West Virginia, or wherever such stuff is legal to get it. I was coming home from work one day and some idiots on the next street over were setting off their own little aerial display. It shows to their children that the law doesn’t apply to them, and that they don’t care for the safety of themselves, their neighbors, and their property (reason the aerial ones are illegal is for safety concerns). And for that which is legal, you still have to be safe. Keep a big bucket of water handy, and dunk your used fireworks in the water before moving on. That hissing sound means it’s out. And don’t do something dumb on purpose. We had Fireworkssome friends when we lived in Arkansas who were a little more… um… risk-taking… when it came to fireworks. Once when we spent the Fourth of July with them, fireworks were of course set off. This one thing was a cylinder that you lit that supposedly shot off four fireballs. First of all, you were supposed to put it in the ground before you lit it. He would hold it in his hand. Then after lighting it, only three fireballs came out. He turned it towards him and looked down the thing! Made my father nervous as anything, for we all didn’t want that fourth fireball to come out and blow his face apart. Still, the possibility of those kinds of injuries could be used to prevent future injuries from happening with a tacky ad campaign. Just say, “I’m so proud of what our founding fathers did for us that I’m going to blow my face off to celebrate!” Put it that way, and I think some people might shape up their act. So, from me and my family to you and your family, have a happy Fourth of July, and have a safe one, and that means keeping your face and all of your body’s 2000 parts where they belong – on your body.

Date posted: July 2, 2001

Notes: This quote article was repeated on the main page the week of July 1, 2002. The original images for this quote article were replaced with similar free-content images when it was converted and restored in September 2011 as part of the conversion to WordPress. Attributions: Top/left image, Jon Sullivan, and bottom/right image, HP R817 on Wikimedia Commons.