Looking for some fireworks ideas? These won’t help

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…

Ummm…

…lighting a pencil on fire?

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, here’s 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 can still place your order and have it arrive with your take-out order. For some of you, I 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, I think you’ll agree 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.

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.

I’m pretty sure there’s a reason it’s called “Stump Lake.”

Happy Independence Day!

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(Ned Hickson is a syndicated columnist with News Media Corporation. This was originally posted July 1, 2014, at Long Awkward Pause.)

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19 thoughts on “Looking for some fireworks ideas? These won’t help

  1. Ha! Hilarious Ned. Great belly laughs – at Missouri,of course. Ahhhh, good old Franklin County, Missouri. When I trucked in that area there was a judge whose daughter had been killed in a truck accident just west of St.Louis. He was vindictive and had every sheriff looking for trucks breaking the law. They were ruthless. One mph over the limit would get you a ticket and if you contested it, you ended up in front of the judge who gave the order in the first place. There was no winning. They charged drivers with company name 1/4 inch too small on the door, mudflaps hanging too high or too low, insufficient windshield wash fluid as backup (even on sunny days), rim and tire defects, chaffed hoses behind clamps, light bulbs out (generally with 30 clearance lights they are fine with one or two out but not in Franklin), etc. The folks in Missouri are not nice in my experience. And not nice folks should be allowed to have fireworks as big as they want. 😀

  2. I remember that the very brave would launch the bottle rockets from their fingers instead of a bottle and you forgot to mention cherry bombs. You could hear them go off from the other side of town….well, town was only a mile and a half across. I was never allowed to buy them.

  3. Dude, you want me to send you some fireworks? They’re for sale on every corner around here. I was in the “Freedom &Fireworks” committee for a few years. These Missourians are stupid for fireworks. We could never have a show loud or long enough. The local paper would even comment about how the show “was a full 5 minutes” shorter than last year. We spent over $10,0000 every year. They were made in Missouri though, that may have been the problem.

  4. What about sparkler bombs? I remember one of my client’s teenage son making one and blowing off the tip of his finger. His parents got the phone call and he told his mom “It’s OK, I was wearing my sunglasses so my eyes where protected.”

  5. I picked the perfect time to re-enter the blogosphere! Brilliant, hysterical review of the dizzying, and in some cases outright stupefying, array of pyrotechnics. Brought me back to the unsafe days of my youth, when, after watching the D.C. fireworks from the banks of the Potomac near the Pentagon, we’d come home and host our own display in the backyard. That display always featured a pinwheel that had to be nailed to a tree and then set aflame. (Any other configuration reduced the chances of catastrophe to unacceptably low levels.) Well, one year, someone didn’t nail the pinwheel quite far enough into the tree, with the result that it took off across the yard like a flaming zephyr. We all still have all of our toes, but only thanks to cat-like reflexes.

    • Hahaha! I remember those pinwheels. My friends and I would take the plastic propellers from balsa wood airplanes and tape them to the pinwheel, then light it on the ground and… Voila! A flying, uncontrollable fire hazard!

No one is watching, I swear...

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