Friday, July 8, 2011

The De-Nogginizer

You didn't think that the 4th of July was going to come and go without at least ONE fireworks accident story, did you? That would be impossible. It was just that there were so many to choose from. Did I want to go over a guy that lost some fingers or someone who (inevitably) lost an eye? Sure, those both sound just great, but I was looking for something a little bit more than that. And then, in Fargo, North Dakota, I found what I was looking for.According to something called the Winnipeg Free Press, a one 41-year old Jesse William Burley was de-nogginized while celebrating the Fourth of July with fireworks. OK, I paraphrased there with the term "de-nogginized", but that's exactly what happened. The guy lost his melon.

According to a one Chris Hanson (no relation to the Chris Hansen guy on the television that catches all of the perverts), Mr. Burley was at the trailer park where the two neighbors resided (no shock that this has a trailer park setting) and he being Mr. Burley was "...getting ready to set off a second round of what Hanson said he believed was either a homemade or illegal artillery shell firework." Now, I don't know what an artillery shell firework is, but if it is what it sounds like (that being a firework made out of some sort of an artillery shell), I'm going to guess that it's probably dangerous as hell.

Judging from how the events turned out, that was the case either way.
Hanson recalls, "He went over into the middle of the street, and within 10 seconds of us talking to him, he lit it and all we saw was a cloud of smoke, a bang." Presto! (By the way, this story is much better if you imagine the voices with some sort of a Fargo accent. Or Sarah Palin. They both work well here.) Do you see what's coming next? Of course you to. Hanson continued with, "When I walked up to his body, it was nothing but his shoulders down." Holy. Crap. Yeah, that's one way to put it. Well, we heard all the time when we were growing up that it's all fun and games until someone loses a skull, a head an eye! And technically, he did lose an eye. And another eye. Oh, and his skull.

That must have been something to see. Holy crap. I will say this about Mr. Hanson. He's definitely an optimistic fellow in this sort of situation. I mean, I'm a glass is half empty/head is missing sort of a person. He's a glass is half full/body is still there kind of a guy. He's not
missing a head. He has a body! That what I love about those plucky North Dakotans. Always looking on the bright side. Always seeing the silver lining!

Now, Hanson said that earlier that fateful evening, Burley had shown him ".
..fireworks that contained a warning that read, "If found please report to the U.S. government." OK, first of all, what the hell kind of fireworks have that label? Second of all, what PART of the U.S. government deals with this sort of thing? Where exactly does one call when one's neighbor has been decapitated by said firework? And is that really the most appropriate label to have one those? How about "If found, you could lose your entire dome if you light one of these, you idiot."

More words of wisdom from Mr. Hanson include gems such as "The accident should be used as an example of how dangerous fireworks can be" and "I’m never going to light a firecracker off again in my life." Right. Listen. The guy was lighting an artillery shell. What in the world did you think was going to happen? Do you really need to swear of ALL fireworks because some doofus lit something that was likely supposed to go off in the air in his hands and de-domed himself? Really? I understand that he still might be in a little bit of shock from having witnessed the event, but come on now. I don't think one of those little angry ground flowers is going to have the same effect should it go even a little bit awry. But if I have to explain this to you, then you're probably right. You probably should never light off a firework again in your life.

Here's my favorite part of this tragedy: "Burley’s body was sent to Bismarck for an autopsy." Um, OK? Do you really need an autopsy? They can't noodle this through on their own? "What do we think happened here? Heart disease? Hard to say. Could be cancer." What goes on at that sort of an autopsy anyway? "Well, he lit off the firework and it hit him in the head and now his head isn't there any more. Soooo....let's cut him open and weigh his pancreas and see if we can figure out what got him!" Why do you need an autopsy?! He's been de-headified! Case closed!

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1 comment:

Scott Jacobs said...

Mortar-type fireworks are anything the fires out of a tube...

Usually they are the ones that give a loud "boom" at the end.