Magazine article The New Yorker

My Favorite Fireworks

Magazine article The New Yorker

My Favorite Fireworks

Article excerpt


The Fearless Teen-ager

This firework is a life-size teen-ager made out of cardboard. Teen-ager is holding a beer can in one hand and a cherry bomb in the other. Light teen-ager. Beer-colored sparks fly from can into teen-ager's open mouth. Cherry bomb explodes, blowing off teen-ager's fingers. Red sparks shoot from finger holes.

Porno Rockets

First rocket bursts high in the air, spelling out a warning that no one under eighteen should look at the next rocket, which explodes into a closeup of throbbing genitalia.

Treasure Chest of Gold

When treasure chest is opened, a chemical "burn" causes the inside to light up with a brightness equal to that of the surface of the sun. Comes with a pair of cardboard safety glasses.

Sparklers for Babies

Wire handle is wrapped in terry cloth, to help baby's grip.

The Hanged Cowboy

Hang cowboy by noose from tree branch. Light fuses in feet. Propelled by sparks, cowboy's arms and legs thrash about, then go limp. Mechanical sheriff comes out from behind tree, prerecorded voice says, "The man you just hanged was the wrong man. We caught the real outlaw over in Laramie." Sheriff flies up into the air and explodes into hundreds of sheriff's badges.


Strings of tiny firecrackers with pops so high-pitched they can be heard only by dogs.

Viking Helmet of Death

Strap helmet to head. Light fuse in each horn. Sparks shoot out of horns, followed by colorful fireballs, then smoke. Gets attention at parties and bars but also starts fights. …

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