Tuesday, July 3, 2012

4th Fun Free of Finger Fatalities

It's not uncommon to celebrate birthdays with barbecuing hotdogs, chicken, and hamburgers. In fact, tomorrow, on our country’s birthday, 150 million hot dogs will be consumed.  Agreed, that is a lot of lips and assholes, but I digress. What’s even more unique about America’s birthday is that it’s celebrated with fireworks, nearly a billion dollars worth, annually. That is a lot of blown up shit across our nation. And here at StuntDad, we are no strangers to 4th of July mishaps — after all, we are men, we are in our 30s, and we love fire. So when the flames go out in the grill, our passion for burning things actually intensifies and we start grabbing everything in sight to set on fire and throw. At times, we can (and have been) overzealous in our attempt to strike a match without thinking through the consequences.

Learning from the mistakes we've made in the past, here are 5 tips to stay in the game and stay out of the ER on the 4th of July.
  1. Don't stick the bottle rocket in your butt to impress your kid. It leaves a painful burn mark and we know your wife won't feel sorry for you and apply zinc oxide before bedtime. In fact, it will make her feel sorry for herself for falling for you and your childish antics. How do you Stuntify this situation and still impress your kid? Aim 'em and flame 'em! For the aspiring innovative award winners, don't start with a bottle, they're called BOTTLE rockets. You can, however, swing for the fences and use your kid's whiffle ball bat. Additional items you need: razorblade (to cut off the top of the bat), duct tape (required for any idea, regardless the situation, but in this case you will tape up the grip to prevent third degree burns) and safety glasses (our wives made us include this). If you feel like etching "Suck My Smoke or 5 Finger Freddy" as a monicker on the bat for sentiments sake, feel free. Once you're ready to torch the sky, drop the lit bottle rocket (or 'rockets" if you want to scare the shit out of your neighbors) down the wiffle bat. It offers aim (you could knock that stinking cigarette out of Uncle Larry's mouth if you really wanted to), superiority (none of your neighborhood Dads will  want to try to one up the bazooka bottle rocket launching guy) and separation (instant firewall between your skin and compressed black powder burning at one million degrees Fahrenheit (ya, our Google search for bottle rocket flame temp came up empty). Plus, you avoid exposing your hairy ass to the lovely ladies in your hood.
  2. Don't use hands or teeth to hold firecrackers in order to prove you are The Man of the party. Dishing out dares or being the sucker who accepts the bets that involve holding BlackCat firecrackers the longest with your hands or teeth will prove nothing more than you are an idiot, and you will end up looking like the three-fingered, six-tooth legend known as Billy Bob Joe Dirt. How do you Stuntify this situation and still be The Man of the party? Light 'em and flight 'em! Convince the party pyros that the fun isn't in the danger. Moreover, it's in the height, volume and size of the explosion. You're wife can attest to that, right? Wink, wink. To accurately gauge when they will explode, be sure to check the length of each wick prior to tossing them into the air, as each firecracker has a different wick length. Remember, optimal explosion height is at least 15 feet high up. It would really suck for one of those packs to land on top of someone's head, especially Uncle Moe's newest hairpiece.
  3. Don't light off roman candles in the middle of a dry corn field next to a wooden barn serving as a artisan paper factory to show-off that you are still cool. Admittedly a roaring, 25-acre bonfire is visually spectacular, however, it really blows when you find yourself in the middle of it. Despite being hotter than the Earth's molten core, you're likely to be on the hook for property damages.  How do you Stuntify this situation and still show-off that you are still cool? Sack 'em and React 'em! Our good friends at Instructables.com offer the biggest and baddest How To and Do-It-Yourself community where people make and share inspiring, entertaining, and useful projects, recipes, and hacks. Before your big night out with the boys, check out the Wolf Pack Popper (WPP). The WPP consists of a large amount of snappers wrapped tightly in tissue paper. Side note: this takes patience and caution as wrapping it too tight and it will explode in your face. Once you are ready to unleash the beast, light the WPP on fire and chuck it. Side note: according to the person who posted the WPP, "throw them into houses, parties, toilet stalls, etc." Needless to say, we recommend sticking to the dry corn field, where you will still get the bang!, pow!, ka-boom!, only in the opposite direction of the wooden barn.
  4. Do not create the Bucket of Bang or Firework Goolash to finish your plate.  There will be a point in the night when you've gone through the majority of your fireworks and, in looking around the lighting area, you will notice random, unused fireworks. A half dozen firecrackers here, some roman candles there, random bottle rockets laying about and you might even have several box of M-80s you forgot about in the trunk of your car. Like your momma probably reminded you, "Always finish your plate." This mantra will rise to the forefront of your pea-sized brain and you will be hungry to rid everything in one fell swoop—or match, in this case—by gathering all leftover fireworks, dumping them into a bucket or box, and setting it on fire. The potential for disaster climaxes at this very moment, where everything from your house, car or dog could be reduced to ash. How do you Stuntify this situation and still finish your plate? Load 'em and Explode 'em! Conduct your personal execution by lighting squad. Organize all of the leftover fireworks and line them in a row, preferably pointing in a direction that does not involve anything that requires insurance or a pulse. If you're the meticulous type, you can tie a string to each of the wicks and light one end. Or, if you are the lazy type, recruit enough family and friends to each grab a punk and light the assigned firework. Either way, it should set-off a dancing display of fountain fireworks that would rival the Bellagio's watershow.
  5. Do not use animals of any kind as part of your firework display to get a laugh from your friends. Whether you think no one cares about a bluegill fish or the stray cat you came across, injuring or maming a helpless animal is so far beyond morally acceptable. 350 videos appear on YouTube when you search for animal + firecracker and none of them are remotely funny, unless you think its hysterical to see the right side of a German Shepard's face blown off. How do you Stuntify this situation and still get a laugh from your friends? Scare 'em and flare 'em! If one of your buddies brings out a snake, a mouse, or anything else that is breathing, tell him you have a better idea (note: this will take a group effort and potential violence to said buddy). Do what you have to do in order to get this animal-hater duct taped to a tree. Insert fireworks into his pockets and tie a long wick that is approximately five feet long. Have the entire party come watch as you light the wick and said animal-hater wets himself and pleads for mercy. When the tears roll down his cheeks or when there is a foot left of wick let, whichever comes first, everyone sprays pre-shook up beers cans in the animal-hater's direction. Hopefully, this puts out the wick in time. Worse-case scenario, you've taught animal-hater a much needed life lesson.
Actually, since we are on the subject of mistakes, perhaps our Top 5 list of things not do to with fireworks should actually be the Top 4, since one of us StuntDads lost a thumb in 1984?

P.S. Sparklers are for chicks

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