Independence Day is the favorite holiday of my friend Bubba, and he really likes to enjoy it. The bigger the celebration, the better.
He knows the importance of the date July 4. He can tell you all about the Declaration of Independence, including who signed it. He can name various major battles of the Revolutionary War, including where they were fought and what was the outcome.
What he can't tell you much about is fireworks safety. He doesn't have a strong understanding of anything the least bit explosive, or flammable. And if it involves moving vehicles, run away.
Several years ago, I wrote a column about July 4 safety and mentioned a guy having a pop bottle rocket war with a friend as they drove their cars down the road, firing at each other. One lit a rocket which tracked into the other's vehicle, lighting the seat.
I wrote about a boy riding in the back seat, trying to light a punk. An ash fell into a bag of firecrackers, starting a fire and setting off a series of explosions, which burned a nice hole in the upholstery.
I've told the story many times about a friend who liked to hold Roman candles as they fired, ball after ball. But more than once, he caused a grass fire when he dropped a hot candle and it fired into dry brush.
But one of the worst incidents involved trying to fire missiles from a pickup at a roadside target — an old car. The missiles, which were designed to be fired from a stationary location while pointed upward, left a significant burn on the individual's hand as it sped toward the car, then exploded inside.
The fire began immediately. There was no way to put it out. Guess who it belonged to?
So if you have any ideas of trying any of these stunts, here's some advice. Don't.
Just enjoy the holiday the safer way. Watch a parade, have a barbecue, attend a picnic, go to a concert, play games, enjoy your family and friends.
Let those who have expertise in doing so handle the fireworks show. And if you happen to be at an event with some guy known as Bubba, don't let him near the matches.
He's not real good in a boat either. It's best not to let him out on the lake. Trust me.
If it moves, burns, or explodes, Bubba can be a problem.
By the way …
Expect a visual preference of law enforcement personnel during the holiday. They're there to keep you safe.
Enjoy your week, your holiday and drive safely.