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Bottle rockets, beer and lost fingers

The Fourth of July has always been about blowing stuff up. The Weekly Volcano provides a run down of where to buy fireworks, where to set them off (legally) and ... how to get to the nearest ER

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If you don’t like setting off fireworks on the Fourth of July — your own fireworks, explosives you spent your own hard earned money to purchase — then you’re a terrorist.

There. Someone (me) finally had the stones to say it.

Simply put: Safe and sane has ruined the Fourth of July.

The Fourth of July isn’t about being safe and sane. It’s about being crazed and dangerous, foolish and intoxicated, risky and dumb. It’s our tradition as a country, and you better believe we hold those truths to be self-evident, Bubba. It’s ideals like these that our great nation is founded on — that, of course, and copious amounts of high fructose corn syrup and plastic products.

Damn it. We built this city on rock ‘n’ roll, for fuck sake. We’re America. We’ve got the eye of the tiger. When we celebrate our country’s birthday it should include a bunch of those black sidewalk snakes, at least three Roman candles, seven packs of bottle rockets, a few of those little tanks that roll around and shoot fire, some flying spinners and some ground spinners, a few fountains, a couple of those parachute dudes, a handful of smoke bombs, and at least one aerial repeater.

All that and some sparklers and snaps for the kiddies. This is what America is all about.

Or at least it used to be — until the “safe and sane” crowd took over, a creeping scourge with influence much further than just fireworks. This safe and sane movement, orchestrated by moms strung out on hand sanitizer and those fearful of lawsuits, has led to the great pussification of our country.

A few roofs started to smolder. A few homes burned down. Sparky lost the lower half of his mouth chewing on an M-80, and Jimmy and Jane blew off their pretty little faces. 

All of a sudden fireworks were bad.

America got soft.

Now, nearly everywhere you look fireworks are banned or restricted, and you can’t buy anything even halfway dangerous without going to a reservation. Gone are the days of being able to procure a firework capable of scaring the bejesus out of the family dog or setting the neighbor’s shed on fire in your local Safeway parking lot. Nope, now it’s just the safe and sane stuff. The great pussification has left its mark.

Fireworks of any kind — even the safe and sane garbage — are illegal here in Tacoma. Such is also the case in Federal Way, Lacey, Fircrest, Des Moines, and even little old Ruston, to name a few pansy-ass places. Apparently, the powers that be in towns such as these have decided that the health, safety and general well-being of their population trumps America’s birthday.


Other places such as Fife, Olympia, Milton, Puyallup, Steilacoom, Sumner, University Place, and Edgewood allow safe and sane fireworks to be detonated only on certain dates and during certain hours around the Fourth of July.

Almost equally lame.

There’s nothing American about rigid rules designed to make sure people don’t hurt themselves.

In Tacoma, they’ve even gone as far as to set up a phone number specifically designed for residents to report fireworks violations — 253.798.4722. Anyone in T-town who witnesses a neighbor celebrating America’s birthday the way the forefathers intended (they had Cherry Bombs back then, right?) is urged to report the disturbance. Violators will be subject to a $275 fine, and Tacoma cops will confiscate the beloved fireworks — if they’re not too busy playing basketball on the clock, that is.

Face it. Facts are facts. The painful realization that the greatest nation on earth has gone fem should be enough to make the hearts of true patriots explode like an M-250.

Thank goodness for Native Americans. The folks we stole this bountiful land from in the first place are the ones helping us through these dark, safe and sane times. Firework purchasing hot spots such as Puyallup’s Firecracker Alley — which opened in mid-June and sells the good stuff legal only on Indian reservations — not to mention other big name reservation firework vendors such as Muckleshoot’s and Tulalip’s Boom City offer salvation for the few diehard America lovers left out there, those who won’t be told no when it comes to blowing stuff up on the Fourth of July. Even though it’s technically illegal to bring most of the fireworks purchased on reservations off of reservations, people obviously do it anyway.

Some call them lawbreakers. I call them protestors of the great pussification.

Viva la revolution.

To aid in your Fourth of July fun this weekend, here are the addresses and telephone numbers of a few local ERs should your celebration of America’s birthday come to such a climax.

  • Allenmore Hospital and Medical Center: 1901 S. Union Ave., Tacoma, 253.459.6633

  • Good Samaritan Hospital: 407 14th Ave. S.E., Puyallup, 253.697.4000

  • Mary Bridge Children’s Hospital: 317 Martin Luther King Jr. Way, Tacoma, 253.403.1400

  • Tacoma General Hospital: 315 Martin Luther King Jr. Way, Tacoma, 253.403.1000

  • St. Joseph Medical Center: 1717 S. J St., Tacoma, 253.426.4101

  • St. Clare Hospital: 11315 Bridgeport Way S.W., Lakewood, 253.985.1711

  • Providence St. Peter Hospital: 413 Lilly Road N.E., Olympia, 360.491.9480

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