Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Pop fizzle fizzle fizzle

The current project for my on-site work is a fireworks catalog. How American is that? We are known for our love of explosions. [insert foreign policy joke]

They don't seem to place a premium on quality design, this client. Mostly, I think they're happy only when every color of the visible spectrum is present on every page.

I've been doing a lot of pages which contain directions to the individual stores (many of which are set up very near a state border which separates a state where fireworks are legal to sell and buy, and one where it is not). I think they fly just as close to the line of legality as they can. That's how they make their money, I guess.

I suppose they have a lot in common with the pornography business: the skirting close to the laws, the big flashy showrooms right off the highway, the fact that most of their customers are going to be men. Both are enormously profitable enterprises which don't tend to come up a lot in conversation.

The directions sometimes tell you how to find their stores from a Bob Evans restaurant (folksy, faux-southern food) or the dollar store. Sometimes they have to tell you which of the fireworks stores on the frontage road in question is theirs. They take great pains to tell you that they are not affiliated, for instance, with the first fireworks store in the driveway.

Occasionally, the directions include the line "portions of road are unpaved," which for some reason I find delightful. This morning, as I was driving in to work, I discovered that one of the streets I take to the expressway is under construction, and there was no pavement upon which to drive for some sections.

Portions of road are unpaved. From the page to reality. I was grateful there were no explosions.


Nikki Neurotic said...

You know, I've never gotten excited over fireworks...even the "professional" ones every fourth of July. To be honest, they scare me.

Anonymous said...

I, too, have never gotten excited about fireworks. The whole, "Let's celebrate the birth of our nation by blowing up a small part of it" never appealed to me. But, then, I'm a fag who burns himself smoking, so can hardly be trusted with the likes of even the retarded cousin of the firework, the Sparkler.

Anonymous said...

This is great, Mr. T. I do believe you got your "funny" back.

So American isn't it? And it is amazing how far north the south reaches.

Watch those unpaved roads, Mr. T, that gravel hurts.

The Moon Topples said...

SilverN: Yeah, I'm not a fan myself. Don't tell anyone, but I'm pretty much doing this for the money.

Stephen: Holy crap! Nice to see you again. And I flinch at sparklers, so the whole "500 gram aerial repeater" is more than I would ever feel safe around. We shoot them here (photographically speaking), and some of the fellows take home samples for their parties. Not me. But then I also don't have parties.

GT: Well, you're wrong about the funny, but I appreciate the sentiment anyway.

Yes, gravel hurts, but not in a finger-losing way. I'll take the unpaved road any day over the explosive device with the colorful packaging.

Anonymous said...

Leaving aside the question of language differences ("pavement" is the bit we walk on - "Stay on the pavement," we admonish our kids) there are few unpaved roads here where the local authorities are required to maintain them and could be sued for damage resulting from broken surfaces.

The only unpaved roads are "unadopted" roads - roads that have remained for whatever reason in private hands.

I am not a fan of fireworks and look askance at the shops that have recently sprung up that sell only these products.

In theory, the only time you and I are allowed to let off our own fireworks is a short period around November 5th ("Guy Fawkes' Night") and Diwali, the Hindu festival of lights that occurs around the same date. Fortunately, the period is short but unfortunately people do not keep to it. Fortunately the letting off of fireworks is required to cease at 11 p.m. but unfortunately people disobey the law.

Every year, many people are injured - some permanently - as a result of accidents with fireworks, mainly children but also adults. There was a proposal to make a law under which one needed to have a licence in order to buy fireworks but this has not been implemented.


The Moon Topples said...

SilverT: Your concerns strike me as being not so much about the fireworks themselves, but with the irresponsible uses to which they are put once purchased. I'll tell you sometime about the fireworks they use in my neighborhood. They are completely illegal here, but that's never stopped anyone with determination, I guess...