You Gotta Be Careful With Fireworks

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Vol 39 Issue 31

News Anchor Wonders Where All These Great Stories Come From

SALT LAKE CITY, UT—Midway through a story about new evidence in an unsolved area homicide, KTVX news anchor John Reesen wondered aloud where all the great stories come from. "Yet another gripping investigative report, right here on KTVX," said Reesen, during Tuesday's News At Ten. "Wow. Who comes up with this news?" Reesen posed a similar question to weatherman Gary Yount, wondering who could possibly know all that science stuff.

Republicans Introduce Economic Equality Bill For Fun Of Shooting It Down

WASHINGTON, DC—Republicans in the House of Representatives proposed H.R. 2093: the Economic Equality Initiative, with the express purpose of shooting it down "just for kicks" Tuesday. "H.R. 2093 will level the economic playing field, spreading the wealth among the rich and poor," said Majority Whip Tom DeLay (R-TX), visibly fighting back snickers. "We must pass this bill to stop the fat cats from getting fatter while the average Joe struggles to make ends meet. Also, I'm the Queen of Bavaria." Following 10 minutes of uproarious laughter, the congressmen stepped out of the chamber to smoke cigars lit with a bill that would allocate $115 million to clean up hazardous waste sites.

Avid Fisherman Forever Ruins Fishing For Son

MANKATO, MN—Thanks to his nitpicking, impatience, and insistence on absolute silence in the boat, avid angler Don Gillespie, 41, forever ruined fishing for his 10-year-old son Douglas Tuesday. "No, no, no—you're casting all wrong," said a visibly seething Gillespie after Douglas' line landed a mere three feet from the stern of the rowboat. "Forget it! Just let me do it, and I'll hand you the rod afterward." Douglas was further put off fishing when his father threw back the only fish the boy caught all day because it was not big enough.

Last Great Party Of Life To Result In First Child

LAKE CHARLES, LA—Unbeknownst to him, 27-year-old Ron DuPree attended the last great party of his life Saturday, as a 3 a.m. coupling with girlfriend Tamara Harris will result in a child nine months from now. "That was the best party ever," DuPree said to friends on Monday, oblivious to the seed of life now growing in his soon-to-be-wife's womb. "I was so wasted! God, Tamara and I have to start getting out on the weekends again." In addition to enjoying his last great party, DuPree will also soon bid farewell to liquor, cigarettes, and most of his current friendships.

Hussein Family Can't Bear To Throw Out Uday's Favorite Nutsack Shocker

AWJA, IRAQ—Relatives, sorting through boxes at Uday Hussein's home Tuesday, couldn't bear to discard one of the deceased tyrant's favorite torture devices. "Oh, how Uday loved his electric nutsack shocker," said Uday's uncle Karim Suleiman al-Majid, as he sifted through a box of clamps, cables, saws, and 8-volt batteries. "And here's that trusty little knife he would use to dig eyeballs out of their sockets." Al-Majid said he is sure that Uday would have wanted his favorite cousin Nawaf to have the roll of flensing wire.

This Job Isn't Nearly As Exciting As The DeVry Institute Led Me To Believe

When I was 18 or so, I used to watch Ricki Lake on Channel 9 every afternoon. During the commercial breaks, I always saw ads for the DeVry Institute Of Technology. One ad featured a group of mostly male students eagerly crowded around a single computer in a fluorescent-lit classroom, on the fast track to earning their degrees. Another ad showed a recent DeVry graduate striding into a windowless block of an office building like he had the world by the tail. Everyone looked ready to dive into a high-paying career, and I wanted that for myself. I was hypnotized by the fast-growing field of technology. But now, 12 years later, I'm stuck in a job that's not nearly as exciting as the one the DeVry commercials led me to expect.
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FIFA Frantically Announces 2015 Summer World Cup In United States

ZURICH—After the Justice Department indicted numerous executives from world soccer’s governing body on charges of corruption and bribery, frantic and visibly nervous officials from FIFA held an impromptu press conference Wednesday to announce that the United States has been selected to host this summer’s 2015 World Cup.

You Gotta Be Careful With Fireworks

Hola, amigos. You all right? I know it's been a long time since I rapped at ya, but I've been in constant motion, dodging all the crap life's been shoveling my way. I had to put my car out to pasture, because the door fell off. I would've just re-attached it, but it was all rusted out, and I didn't want to fall out of my car while I was doing 75. Besides, the engine had about 170,000 miles on it and a bad knock. I'll be damned if I was going to replace the engine on an '88 Ford Festiva.

It's too bad. I liked that car. It wasn't exactly a power machine, but it got 40 miles to the gallon, and it was a Ford. Plus, the tape deck worked, and that's half the battle right there. At least I got to take it on one last trip before it went south.

See, last weekend I went on a fishing trip up north with Ron and Ron's friend Rob. (That's a whole other story that I don't want to get into right now, or right ever. Fishing is for suckers, and that's my final answer.) Wes would've come, but he got stuck watching his little brother Zac while his mom was out of town for some convention. She's one of those people who cleans off your teeth at the dentist's and then hands the dentist tools and stuff. Not like any of that matters. The important thing is that, on the way back from this trip that sucked my bag, we picked up some fireworks.

I remember getting sparklers, Snakes, and Jumping Jacks as a kid. Even though they were totally baby-shit fireworks, they were still pretty cool. Especially Snap-Pops, those rolled up pieces of paper that crack when you throw them against something. I'd save up and buy, like, three boxes. Then I'd unroll them all and put them in a paper towel to make one huge Snap-Pop. The giant Snap-Pop was still pretty weak, even after all that work, but when you're 8, you've got a lot more time to waste.

Back then, you couldn't get the big stuff around here. If you wanted the M-80s or Thunder Bombs, you had to wait until someone hauled back a trunkload from South Dakota, and then you had to deal with a serious mark-up. These days, all you have to do is drive north, and it's like you're in the lawless West. Once you're above Menomonee Falls, you can't blow a tire without crashing into a roadside fireworks store. I'm talking real stores with three, four aisles of fireworks packages like the "Fourth Of Surprise," "The Peacemaker Pack," and my personal favorite, "The Big Buttload Of Fireworks."

Well, I lost my stash on the trip and needed cheering up. Ron, Rob, and I decided we had no choice but to buy a shitload of fireworks, so we pulled into a gas station/convenience store/Arby's/fireworks outlet. Now, if the convenience store had carried any tapes other than The Best Of Ray Stevens and Love Rocks: The 30 Greatest Love Ballads Of All Time, it would've been the best spot on earth. I bought 25 Roman candles, the "Justice For All" bottle-rocket assortment, and five roast-beef sandwiches.

When I buy fireworks, I'm usually torn between setting them off as soon as I get home (which means wasting them) and saving them for a special occasion. But saving them usually amounts to sitting on them through two humid summers, setting them off some night when I'm drunk, and finding out they don't work anymore.

This time, I decided I was going to do it right. I loaded a pony keg into the back of my car, and me, Wes, Ron, and Rob headed out to the quarry.

After we tapped the keg, Ron got out one of his big tubes and lit it off. I tell you, it looked as good as a professional firework. Things were pretty quiet as we watched it, lost in thought. But then I felt something hot hit my arm. I looked over and there was Ron, 15 feet away, pointing a Roman candle at me. I grabbed a handful of Roman candles and took off running, before he could tag me again.

Now, when you're having a Roman candle fight, Fireworks Safety Rule #1 is "Never aim above the neck." Fireworks are a little bit unpredictable, so it's best to aim for the ass and hope the firework doesn't stray too far north. But right away, Ron broke Rule #1 and hit me in the back of the head.

Good thing I was thinking fast, otherwise I would've lost all my hair, instead of just a patch of it. Ron said "Sorry, man," but I could see him laughing. That made me break Fireworks Safety Rule #2. ("Don't take it personal.") I lit up two Roman candles and aimed them both at Ron. I was all like, "Pow! Pow! Pow!" Pretty soon we were both laughing like mad.

But the dumbass had to run over by my car with his Roman candles shooting off every which way. There were still a couple loose fireworks sitting in the back of the car, and within seconds, the entire backseat was on fire.

The pony keg was right there, so we used it to put out the fire. Thankfully, when we were done, we still had about a quarter of the keg left. We sat and drank until the seat cooled down, then yanked out what was left of it and threw it to the bottom of the quarry. The car smelled like beer and burnt cat, but it still ran, so we drove it home.

When the door fell off of the car the next day, I knew it was time to give up. Sometimes, your car tells you things, and you've gotta listen. In this case, the Festiva was saying, "It's time to let go."

I'm gonna miss that car.

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