[Editor’s note: This article originally appeared on Mediaite.com on July 4, 2014, and has been republished for your enjoyment this year.]
“Celebrate the independence of your nation by blowing up a small part of it,” a wise man once advised. What more American way to do so than by botching the job completely? Whether it’s a professional flub or amateur irresponsibility, America has a rich and proud tradition of taking things that are supposed to explode one way and causing them to explode in another. So whatever you do today, try not to do the following:
Don’t Set Off a Firework Inside a Fireworks Store
This Tampa man walked into a fireworks tent and thought, “Wonder what would happen if I lit one of these?” Great question, @_FloridaMan! The answer: a chain reaction involving $70,000 worth of fireworks that sent the man to prison for almost four years.
Don’t Set More Than a Dozen Boats on Fire
A single firework caused over $1 million in damage and took down eighteen boats at a boat storage facility in Seattle last year. Were the boat owners pissed? Yeah, they were pissed. Watch how pissed, via KiroTV.
Don’t Set Off All Your Fireworks at Once
Fireworks don’t need to be illegal to go wrong. A “computer glitch” caused the entirety of San Diego’s 2012 fireworks display to go off all at once. It’s like the KFC Bowl of fireworks displays:
No Really, Don’t Set Off All Your Fireworks at Once
At least that was controlled fireworks display. A similar incident occurred in Chenoa, Illinois a few years earlier, when an entire box of fireworks went off all at once — and not all of them were pointed toward the sky. You can detect the exact moment in this video below when every single onlooker simultaneously thought, “Shit, run!”
(Video via CNN.)
Don’t Keep All Your Illegal Fireworks in One Enclosed Place Near Your Brother-in-Law
Be careful where you store your illegal fireworks. If you keep them all in the garage, for instance, try to keep your brother-in-law from setting that garage on fire:
(Video via WLWT.)
Honorable Fish & Chips Mention — Makes Sure You Own the Mansion You Blow Up
It’s not just proles who have firework mishaps; it happens to the rich, too, as Mario Balotelli learned after his brother tried to launch a firework out the window of his $4.8 million home that he rented (you can rent those?). Things didn’t go according to plan, and Balotelli got stuck with a massive $650,000 repair bill.
[All images via screengrabs]
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