Here's a tip for this glorious 4th: Don't be an idiot!

  • Article by: JAMES LILEKS , Star Tribune
  • Updated: July 5, 2008 - 12:05 AM

Safety advice for the holiday.

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Owen4312Jul. 3, 0811:26 PM

I have a fond memory of 4th of July fireworks at my in-laws in the aptly named city of Independence, Mo. My son, 8, stopped in wonderment when we arrived just as my father-in-law shot a pop can 40 feet into the air from a water-filled tomato can. He did this by cutting off the top of the pop can and inserting a firecracker into a hole in the base. Then he put the pop can into the tomato can, lit the fuse and ducked away. Later, he showed my son how to create primitive artillery by placing the tomato can at an angle and lunching the pop can for range instead of merely altitude. What a day that was, especially since it turned out to be a win-win situation for my son and me, because mom was glaring at her father in disapproval instead of at either or both of us.

MikecGrimesJul. 4, 08 7:46 AM

More proof Jesse Ventura is exactly the guy we want in the US Senate.

jackieellisJul. 4, 08 8:07 AM

I remember moving here from WI in the late 90's and was shocked by two, where was the liquor section in the grocery store? What there ISN'T one? And, two, where do you buy fireworks for the 4th? Sparklers??!! Are you kidding me, that's all! I have fond memories of my friends and I going to the nearest gas station and stocking up with fireworks from late June to mid July when I was a kid in WI. Night after night, just exploding them in the street. Now, I'm not saying it was safe, but it was FUN! I still go to WI to buy fireworks...shhh don't tell the MPLS police.

lpreston214Jul. 4, 08 9:15 AM

Guns are legal, why not fireworks? At least with fireworks we're not *trying* to hurt others. Fireworks have a purpose: fun and celebration of special occasions. What is the purpose of a handgun except to injure and kill other people? Can't someone find a right to "keep and shoot off fireworks" thing in the constitution? It's gotta be in there somewhere.

kaymooreJul. 4, 0810:32 AM

Why not simplify sales or services with a new invention called the "Stupid Gauge'. The buyer would have to place a thumbprint on a scanner and the readings would go from "Incredibly Stupid, don't trust your goldfish with them' to 'They're ok, just watch the websites they visit on the internet'. Should a reading register in-between, the buyer would have to produce a license entitled 'Trainable'. But, why stop at retailers, let's implement them at the DMV, DNR and of course before anyone moves into your neighborhood!

mtpalmsJul. 4, 08 2:22 PM

When I was around 7, my grandparents babysat me on the 4th. They had some Black Cats my uncle had picked up in South Dakota the year before, and under their eagle eyed supervision they allowed me to light a few. Only one problem - no punk!, and they certainly wouldn't allow me to handle a lit match. Grandpa to the rescue! He lit up a Winston and handed it to me. "That ought to last for at least 3 'crackers," he said. Ahhh, the good old days.....

amyhinmnJul. 4, 08 6:08 PM

Fireworks and the people who spend money on them are dumb.

jaimie77Jul. 4, 08 7:13 PM


sotaguyJul. 4, 08 8:17 PM

"I remember moving here from WI in the late 90's and was shocked by two, where was the liquor section in the grocery store? What there ISN'T one? And, two, where do you buy fireworks for the 4th?" -That's why Wisconsin has the greatest number of one handed drunks in the nation..

snoozebuttonJul. 4, 0810:33 PM

Thanks, Jesse, for making the 4th of July into the worst evening of the year for frightened pets and small children. My suburban neighborhood sounds like a war zone right now, and for what? So people can claim that they're celebrating the birth of our nation. Funny; I didn't see any of those neighbors flying the flag today. While you're having fun blowing stuff up, please remember that it's not just the 4th of July -- it's also Independence Day.


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