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Don't Make Chicago Less Sparkly

By Jocelyn Geboy in News on Aug 30, 2007 4:00PM


That's us, holding a sparkler earlier this year. It was at a friend's birthday party, and it was really fun. But all that might be over if City Council gets their way. Two years ago, a 6-year-old was burned by a sparkler on the Fourth of July. So, the City Council threw sparklers in with all the other fireworks on the list of contraband in Chicago. However, it never got any fire behind it, because the punishment of vehicle impoundment seemed ... ridiculous.

But 11th Ward (Bridgeport) Alderman Jim Balcer tried to convince the Police Committee to try banning sparklers again without the impoundment penalty. He hammered home his point by telling the committee that every year, more than 1,500 U.S. children between the ages of 5 and 14 are injured by sparklers. Hold the hell up. First of all, we find it incredibly weird that of all the aldermen to bring this up, it would be Bridgeport's alderman. Bridgeport — home of the various feasts of various saints (Saint Rocco, anyone?) for various churches, where public blowing up of mini-dynamite strings is not only allowed, but encouraged and watched over by the police?

Second, we can't figure out what a six-year-old is doing with fireworks of any kind? We hope the youngster is OK — hopefully that goes without saying. But, we can't get our mind around how a six-year-old got burned by a sparkler if they were being supervised. (Unless it was defective like the huge ones we danced around with while tripping watching huge molten pieces of metal fly off them.) We remember having sparklers and those weird ashy turd "snakes." But our parents were always hovering over our asses. There wasn't any alone time with the matches. Palatine also gives people the warning smackdown about fireworks — which says that children from the ages of 10-14 years old are ten times more likely to be injured than people 25 and over.

Bottom line: If people have illegal fireworks, there is a good chance the non-regulation doesn't just stop at the manufacturer or seller. It probably trickles down to the owner, too. Don't take sparklers away from us just because there are people who don't take enough care. Shit, you can burn your house down with a good blackout and a Parliament light. And we all know those aren't going anywhere.

Photo is a self-portrait by the author of herself and ... sparklers!