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How big TVs, super-sized burgers and the Three Stooges lead to more 911 fireworks calls

KIRO Radio's John Curley says that big-screen TVs, super-sized burgers and "The Three Stooges" could be behind an increase in 911 calls regarding fireworks. (AP Photo/Paul Sakuma)

Taken from Monday’s edition of The Tom and Curley Show.

Fire officials in King County say fireworks calls quadrupled this Independence Day, when compared to last year.

King County fireworks-related fire calls totaled 200 during the July 4th holiday night.

Last year, that number was 45. Fire officials attribute the increase to dry weather and the holiday falling on a Friday.

But KIRO Radio’s John Curley has another idea involving big-screen TVs, super-sized burgers and “The Three Stooges.”

John Curley says…

People have become super-sized in their expectations of fun. You can’t just be satisfied with a normal firework that is supposed to explode and go five feet in the air. You have to make it bigger. You have to create more damage.

We also have the Three Stooges component. If you’ve ever been a kid and watched “The Three Stooges,” you watch them carry a ladder, then you actually see real people that are not the Three Stooges carrying a ladder, and you are disappointed when someone is not hit in the head by the ladder.

We are programmed now to expect a bigger payoff than we’re actually getting. So when you buy the fireworks and it shows flames shooting out of a dragon’s nose and you fire the thing off and you realize there is no dragon and not as much fire as you thought, you then have to up the ante. You’re constantly taking the normal firework and making it far worse than it is.

Here’s an example. I’ve got a buddy of mine who is highly educated. He’s got a roman candle, which is the long tube that you light and it shoots off six or seven flaming balls. We’re firing them off and they’re shooting 15 feet in the air. So my buddy takes it and points it toward an empty corn can that’s sitting on the table, thinking it’ll make the corn can fly.

As he fires it off, it goes into the can and gets half way in the can like a trapped rat and decides it wants to come out of the can, so it comes flying out of the can and now it’s like look out for where it’s going next.

Once he figured out the idea was flawed, it was too late to redirect, so he shot again into the can, and it flies back out again. No one was safe.

YouTube is packed with evidence of people who just can’t enjoy fireworks as they are, and whose attempts to amp things up end badly. Check out this compilation of a few epic fireworks fails.

Taken from Monday’s edition of The Tom and Curley Show.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.


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