What good is a spokesman for firework safety, if that person keeps lying about how they blew their hand off?
Recently, the New York Giants’
patriotic idiot recovering DE Jason Pierre-Paul agreed to film a fireworks safety PSA. In it, he doesn’t say what kind of firework he was lighting. He also claims that he was “throwing” them, and one just went off too quickly in his hand.
Pierre-Paul told Strahan that he had been throwing fireworks all night on the Fourth, but one firework exploded in his hand before he had the chance to throw it. “The one I was holding. I thought it was a different one, but it wasn’t. And it just went off in my hand, right away,” he said.
For starters, the firework they show in the PSA, appears to be the legendary “M-80” that me and my brother idolized when we were teenagers. Legend has it, that an M-80 was equivalent to a “quarter stick of dynamite.” Yeah, no. For starters, dynamite uses stable nitroglycerin and a firecracker uses flash powder. Furthermore, “real” M-80’s have been banned in the US and Canada since at least 1975. That doesn’t mean firework companies don’t sell the fake “M-80’s” to kids like me and my brother who liked to THINK we were some fucking badass suburban demolition men.
They were just very loud firecrackers, that used no more than 50 grams of flash powder, in a more scary looking red tube. Great for blowing up frogs and fish we caught in a pond. But not nearly powerful enough to mangle JPP’s hand. Sure, if a kid were to hold a lit M-80 and grip it tight in his fist, then yeah, it’ll fuck that kids hand up pretty nice. Not sure how bad. But don’t try it.
Even the fake M-80’s though, have a one-inch hard fuse, that is relatively slow burning. The chance of that fuse suddenly racing into the explosive before JPP could throw it, is virtually nil.
Last point on the M-80 front is this: they suck. They make a loud boom, and that’s it. We’ve moved on to much better things. Like the Cirque de Pyrotechnique.
So I am officially calling bullshit on whatever stupid lie JPP is selling with that skillet headed scold in the Consumer Product Safety Commission video. That wasn’t the “firework” that went off in his hand, and believe it or not, millions of people safely light off
massive reasonable amounts of “Consumer Grade” (1.4G class) fireworks every year.
What I am almost certain happened to JPP was this. He was HOLDING a mortar tube in his hands, with a 60 gram shell.
You are NOT supposed to HOLD these. PERIOD. Any idiot knows this.
But ballers being ballers, I suppose it’s fun to point them at your buddies from 100 feet away and pretend like you are in a Michael Bay movie.
But if you are hammered drunk, or high, or just giddy like a kid while blowing up a VAN FULL of fireworks, things can happen. I know I once put a mortar in upside down. I just wasn’t holding it! And I watched it blow up on the ground, from a very safe 50 feet away.
It would have been much more valuable for JPP to explain exactly what happened (my scenario above) and then that way, the 1% of morons out there still doing crap like that might – just, might – listen. Recording a PSA that says “Tut, tut! Fireworks DANGEROUS! Don’t use them at all!” is a waste of time and counter-productive. The consumer fireworks business in the US is booming (I’ll just show myself out, sorry…) and cautionary tales are only useful if they are honest.
Basic safety your dad taught you (or should have) when you were 10 years old, is more than enough to allow you to safely “crack the mother-f***ing SKY!” on the 4th of July. Like the age old saying on every firework package says: “Light fuse, and get away.”