Hey. Put down what you’re doing and listen to me. And look at me when I talk to you. I have something very important to say to all of you.
I know that if I don’t tell you to have a safe “Fourth”, you’re all going to run amok across a backyard or a beach somewhere with one of those sparkler things and let it burn down close enough to your hand so that you can almost smell the flesh cooking. Or you’re going to do something zany with lighter fluid, propane, or those tons of matchbooks you’ve amassed in your kitchen’s “junk drawer”. So, because I care about you all as if you were my own children, I thought I should be the mature one here and provide you with a few statistics that may dissuade you from doing something really fucking stupid.
Did you know that, last year on The Fourth, across the U.S. of A., the following happened?
- There were 457,920 backyard barbecues; 72% resulted in at least one accidental burn and 40% of those burn victims also suffered from salmonella.
- Of that 40%, 95% said the food “tasted really bad” but they “didn’t want to say anything” because it was free and all they had to do was bring paper plates, plastic cups, or a big bag of chips.
- There were 18,252 private fireworks displays, and 3,105 children rushed to the emergency room with at least superficial burns; 60% of those children required skin grafts from parts of their bodies that they said they would never have wanted exposed to the public.
- Of those 60%, more than half said they still thought fireworks were “really really neat!!!” and they couldn’t wait for next year when Daddy let them set off even more.
- Those 18,252 private displays also resulted in 11,526 women burning themselves on purpose just so they could use their “fat asses” (their words — don’t get upset with me) for skin grafts. Only 738 men burned themselves on purpose, but said they did so “to impress some chick with a great ass”.
- Of the 168,003 guests invited to others’ homes for barbecues, 33% said they could have definitely grilled a better burger.
- More than 3,111,998 sparklers were handed out to children under the age of 13; more than half of those sparklers wound up in body cavities that really don’t respond well to fire.
I’ve found a load of other statistics as well. Way too many to mention. But I see that it’s getting pretty close to the end of the work day (at least for those of you on this coast), and I wanted to make sure you didn’t leave without some warning. These statistics are the ones that struck me as the most important, so I’m passing them along to you.
I don’t have any personal safety tips to dispense, because I happen to hate the Fourth of July. My big plans — staying inside and doing nothing — don’t tend to include that much risk. But please, if you do partake of the festivities, I beg you to be careful. Your lives are oh so precious, and I don’t want my readership to decline because you did something really funny with a firecracker or something.