Tuesday, June 07, 2005

Celebrate your country’s independence by blowing up a small part of it.

There’s a letter in the Opinion section of the paper today written by a woman who is outraged that Piccolo Petes have been banned in Bakersfield. She complains that the reasoning that Piccolo Petes are “easy to manipulate” and, therefore, dangerous is silly. She makes her point by stating in a very unsilly way that “Guns are easy to manipulate. For that matter, so are knives. Why aren’t those products also banned from the city of Bakersfield?” (Duh lady – how are we gonna eat our steaks without knives?)

Personally, I think this woman is crazy. I hate Piccolo Petes. What’s the point? It makes an ear splitting noise for about 20 seconds then dies with a strange little twerp sound. There are a few sparks, but really there isn’t much to look at. What kind of firework is that? Is it supposed to sound like a bomb crashing to the earth or something? How is that fun?

The woman does make one good point, however. Piccolo Petes are not illegal. They’re just banned from being bought and sold within city limits. County residents can buy the annoying incendiaries to their hearts content. And given that some of the most populated areas of Bakersfield are still outside of city limits, it doesn’t sound as if we’re as safe as officials were hoping we would be.

I don’t know why we don’t outlaw the damn things all together. We have the worst air in the country and here we are setting off hundreds of smoky fireworks in the middle of summer. It’s disgusting. Plus there’s the fact that we don’t have the brightest folks around here. Last year a man was killed by modified firework that was being set off by a grown man! I had a neighbor a few years ago who set his house on fire with a bottle rocket. The very next year (and I am not making this up) he was out there with bottle rockets again – setting them off in the direction of his house! When I reminded him that he nearly burned his house down doing that the year before, he looked confused.

Bakersfield and Fireworks definitely do not mix.