July 5, 2003- the morning after.
I woke up this morning to startling news. Chris is now deaf.
Last night, amongst the commotion of independence day, he was at a party where they began to light off fireworks. This was a rather small backyard, and so the guests were pretty close to the launch pad. Apparently, Chris was right near the pile of unlit ones when one of them blew. When one ignited, they all snowballed and set each other off. He didn’t hear anything, just was blown backwards.
He woke up this morning in the hospital with both ears bleeding.
And now I find out that my girlfriend was "at a fireworks show, and really close to them.(25ft) It was so loud, I think might have hurt my ears". I flipped. Not her, too? Later, I find out that she is ok, but just has a nasty headache. In the 30 seconds before she clarified that, I had 3 heart attacks, 2 coronaries, and an aneurysm.
This has taught me a lot, that I hope to pass on to some of the younger and more carefree noders out there...
Fireworks are illegal to begin with here in NY, and for a good reason- all of the fools that go out and blow hands off or kill themselves (no joke) with these things every year. If you want to see fireworks, go to the nearest major city, and they will have some sort of professional presentation, guaranteed.
Another bit of advice- if you go to see fireworks, do not sit within 100-150 feet of the launch pad. Disastrous results WILL occur. Some people out there may be thinking "well, I’ve done this in the past, and never had a problem!" YOU'RE DAMN LUCKY! The launch is the period where the firework has the greatest chance of screwing up; either launching in the wrong direction, or exploding on the pad. He who lights that firework will loose fingers or their whole hand.
Let my friend's wounds be a ward to you all.
FIREWORKS ARE FUN, BUT DEADLY.
He's only 16. He will never hear again. That could be you.
When done by a professional, they are most likely much safer and higher quality than an ameteur production. And a lot cooler.