The best parts of July 4 are, in order:
1. Joey Chestnut’s stuffed, sweaty mug in the Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest.
2. The way we can all listen to “Born in the U.S.A.” all day long without once having to consider its true message.
3. The magnificent names given annually to our nation’s valuable fireworks by carnies, yellow-bearded trucksmiths and the enormous warehouses you can only access by driving 3½ hours into the Blue Ridge Mountains.
Yes friends, there is only one thing better than blasting “American Bad Ass” and possibly lighting your neighbor’s lawn on fire in the name of Pride, and that is reading the boxes that contain the fiery means by which to do it. Here, for all you cool rockin’ daddies in the U.S.A., are actual products invented and sold by Big Firework in the summer of 2019. WARNING: CONTENTS MAY EXPLODE.
Badassical Blast: The Official Description — don’t you dare purchase fireworks online without first consulting the Official Description — reveals that the Badassical Blast has “27 breaks! Triple effect bursts with gold brocade, strobe to crackle and falling leaves!” We are pretty sure that sentence is missing several words and roughly 17 commas. But we do not care, as we’re here for the name, a delicious portmanteau of “classical” and “badass” that will soon begin turning up in the nation’s punkest symphonies. ($199)
Fiery Frogs Fountain: Wow your friends with this squishy and bulbous watermelon OF DOOM, the only product in history to ever equate being a frog with being a badass. No, the TCU Horned Toads do not count. Toads aren’t frogs. Ask my 6-year-old. ($24.99)
Raging Rottweiler: Now HERE is an animal that can jack up your day and is thus worthy of firework immortality. The Raging Rottweiler is a fountain that whistles, whirls and spins, three things that no Rottweiler has ever done but whatever, at least it’s not a frog. ($24.99)
Illuminati Triangle Fountain: If your July 4 involves an insufferable deep-state conspiracy theorist that found out about your party despite your best effort to block him on Facebook, at least he’ll enjoy this furious fountain that sprays colorful crackle while reminding everyone that they’re mindless pawns in a dark global game. ($29.99)
Unicorn Fountain: Adorable and rich in colors, but I know about a half-dozen kids who would burst into tears as soon as fire started shooting out of this thing’s face. ($15.99)
Mt. Kilauea’s Eruption: Guys, guys, tooooooo soon. At least have the decency to use a volcano that isn’t currently belching lava into people’s doghouses. Name it Mt. St. Helens and retain some human decency, for God’s sake. ($12.99)
Garden in Spring: How lovely! All the majestic loveliness of the world’s annual rebirth, except instead of blooming in nature’s majestic bounty, nature’s majestic bounty is scorching the skin off your forearms. ($7.99)
Snakes in the Grass: These are the ones that appear to worm their way out of the pits of hell, growing and expanding and twisting in black satanic deformity. Upsides: Pretty cool, and a nice break from all the exploding. Downsides: They leave black burn marks all over your sidewalk, so be sure to light these only in your neighbors’ driveway. ($9.99)
Willow Among the Palms: What the hell, why is this so measured and calming? I’m not here for lying in a hammock listening to steel-drum music, I am here for SMOKE AND FURY. Save your Jack Johnson nonsense for Arbor Day. ($24.99)
Gender Reveal Smoke: Oh sure you COULD drag out the announcement of your forthcoming baby’s gender by making people place bets or play some ridiculous game or force everyone to eat a cake until they find a baby doll or whatever. But nothing is more dramatic than announcing your child’s pending arrival by FIRING PLUMES OF ARTIFICIALLY COLORED SMOKE INTO THE AIR. You can also do this with aerial fireworks too, if you need to alert the entire town. ($3.99)
Macarena Baby: This timely label is exceedingly confusing for two reasons.
The Battle of Yorktown: Impress your friends by firing off a buffet of awesomeness named for a crucial historical battle you only know because of “Hamilton.” ($119.99)
Morning Glory Sparklers: Like Levi’s, Kentucky bourbon and screaming at strangers on the internet, sparklers are an American classic, and still the leading way that parents willfully put actual fire in the hands of their 3-year-olds.
Global Warmer: Hell, it’s happening anyway, might as well lean in. ($95.51)
Make Your Neighbors Jealous: Now here’s the grand finale, an ultramega all-you-can-eat buffet full of airborne chaos designed to make your neighbors, friend and enemies green with envy, until they realize that they have $1,049 more than you do. ($1,049)