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Linn County Leader - Brookfield, MO
I wanted a New Media empire, but all they gave me was this lousy blog. 


6 Fireworks Safety Tips Inspired by Idiots on YouTube
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About this blog
By Todd Kuhns
As a former mayor of Kirksville, Todd thinks he knows his way around the community. He graduated from Truman and worked in their IT department for 6 years. With his wife, Bich, he has renovated and operates Pickler's Famous, a community theater and ...
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As a former mayor of Kirksville, Todd thinks he knows his way around the community. He graduated from Truman and worked in their IT department for 6 years. With his wife, Bich, he has renovated and operates Pickler's Famous, a community theater and event center in a historic building downtown. He currently works from home, where his primary job responsibility is to keep from getting distracted by the internet.
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July 5, 2012 12:01 a.m.



 



According to our friends at the NRA, nothing's more American than having your own personal cache of deadly explosives to defend your homestead.



Which is exactly why we pull out all the stops for that most Americannest of holidays, the 4th of July. You haven't seen so many tents suddenly spring up around the country since Occupy Wall Street. 



What will we have to show for it? Memories that will last a lifetime, the camaraderie of shared experience with friends and family, and a sense of reconnection with our star-spangled history. But mostly some great YouTube footage.



According to the CPSC, an average of 200 people visit the emergency room every day with fireworks-related injuries during this season.



So I've assembled six handy safety tips to save your fingers as you light up the night. And a handful of dumbasses on YouTube have conveniently volunteered to demonstrate, by way of example, why safety is critical.



Remember that scary situations breed strong language, so consider yourself warned if you watch these clips.



 



#1. Don't shoot fireworks from your crotch.



The common-sense rule would actually be "Don't hold lit fireworks in your hands," but I'm afraid indicators are strong that I need to get specific here.



Look: I've been a man for a long time. I'm fully aware of the powerful urge, whenever I happen to have a cylindrical object within reach, to prop it up against my nether regions - particularly if it's going to shoot something. 



Mind you, I don't understand that urge anymore than I understand why hair grows in armpits or a heart beats on of its own accord. But I recognize its power. I'm sure it's one of those residual behaviors that was necessary in primitive times for our species climb the evolutionary ladder to biological dominance.



But much like an appendix, it tends to do more harm than good nowadays, as this gentleman will now kindly demonstrate:















I know. You want to feel sorry for him. You want some assurance that, in the seconds following this clip, he sat stunned for a while then stood up and brushed it off with a chuckle. 



But mostly you're just trying to suppress your laughter. Don't feel bad about that - he doesn't deserve genitals. A classic demonstration of the beauty and wonder of natural selection.



 



#2. Maintain a safe distance.



I know it's dark outside, but I guarantee you'll be able to see just fine from across the yard. So once you light that fuse, run like hell. No need to experience the explosion from the inside to find out what it's like.















Once he opens his mouth to address the camera, you'll better understand why this man does what he does.



 



#3. Launch rockets from a solid pipe with a large base secured to the ground.



"Dear, I can't seem to find that piece of PVC tube we used last year. Do you know where it is?"



"No, but I do have a fresh roll of paper towels. Will that work?"



"Perfect! I'll just prop it up in this field of dry grass."















Judging by the hysterical laughter that slowly and gradually crescendos to a sense of mild urgency, these guys are clearly at one with nature. They're not afraid of a little uncontrolled blaze. You can almost smell the hotdogs being readied in the background before a couple more sensible guys nobly sacrifice their windbreakers. Then, one by one, they just quit trying altogether until a guy comes in with a pitiful sprinkling of water. And the neighborhood is saved from itself once again. 



With our record heatwave and the grass in our neighborhood as brown as dirt, I imagine this sort of thing will be happening a lot this year.



 



#4. Don't aim fireworks at others.



Even if they're begging for it. Did you know bottle rockets fit perfectly in your eye socket? Your aim's not as good as you think.



No matter how these Jackass-wanna-be's try to play it off, you know this hurt like a mutha.















Before the Avengers came out last month, this was the only way to get our Captain America fix.



 



#5. Don't aim fireworks at your own crotch.



Once again, I'm afraid I have to get specific here.















It's hard to believe this setup seemed like a good idea to anybody. It's not like we have something backfiring or malfunctioning here. When the rocket works as it's supposed to, the end result is predictably bad.



It's no surprise that 68% of fireworks injuries are sustained by men.



 



#6. One at a time, please.



We are, of course, purposely conjuring up the rocket's red glare and bursting bombs in the air so we'll never lose sight of the true meaning of this holiday. Be sure to give thanks to our veterans who fought for our freedom, and remember those who are under fire today to keep us that way.



Don't take it too far, though. There's no good reason to recreate the feeling of urban warfare in your own neighborhood when you've got a Playstation 3 and Call of Duty in the living room.















Have a Happy 4th of July. Stay safe, stay smart, and don't do anything stupid. And if you do, be sure someone gets it on video so you can relive it over and over again from your hospital bed.

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