Fireworks Ban is a Shoo-shoo Baby

You all remember what a “shoo-shoo baby” is right?  Well, for those with CRS (Can’t Remember Sh*t), a shoo-shoo baby is when a firecracker doesn’t pop but just shoots the sparks out the end.  I remember how I used to break a firecracker in half to make a shoo-shoo baby.

But as for this fireworks ban – it has created a monster.  Hasn’t our lawmakers learned anything from Prohibition?  The government tried to ban alcohol and all that did was create a black-market for bootleg booze.  The exact thing that happened with fireworks.

Remember small-kid-time when we used to go to Cornet or Kress and load up on our stock of baby Camels and Duck Brand checkerbomb firecrackers?  Then later came the ground blooming flowers and the jumping jacks.  Non-aerial, safe fireworks.  And we were happy with that.  Of course we envied our neighbor island cousins who could buy bottle rockets and roman candles from the local Big Save stores.  The worse was having to watch the KTA commercials on Oahu showing all the stuff that we couldn’t burn.

But back on topic – we had firecrackers and we where happy.

Then the government decided to ban firecrackers.  That just opened up a whole new black-market.  And if I have to call my friend’s cousin’s uncle’s half-brother’s sister-in-law’s nephew to get some #10,000 rolls of Duck Brand firecrackers, you know I going buy some penny rockets and aerials too.  How can you not?  And you know what?  The aerials was fun!  I told myself “This is what the neighbor island kids must’ve felt like”.

Then everyone else caught the aerial bug and the skies started to light up like never before.  And the government knew they had been beaten.

So the government said “Okay, you win.  We going bring back firecrackers for you folks so you can stop with the aerials already”.  But was too late.  We went taste the champagne already.  We didn’t want to drink the Primo anymore.  So we could buy all the firecrackers we wanted but still had plenty aerials.

So the government said ‘nough already!  No more nothing anymore!  No firecrackers, no ground blooming flowers with report, no sparklers, no fountains, no nothing!  Pau!

*unless you like pay us $25 for every 5,000 firecrackers.  Then we ready for make money – I mean, let you celebrate your culture.

Some law-abiding citizens buy a couple hundred dollars worth of permits so they can buy a thousand dollars worth of firecrackers.  But why drink da Oly when can drink the Crown?

That’s right, the nephew has a whole new stash of aerials.  And the loud bombs that shake the houses and make the pets go all pupule.  Yeah!  Give me a couple thousand dollars worth of those!

And so here we are today;
FIREWORKS PROHIBITION has created a monster.

So what’s the solution?  Ha!  Hard to go back to drinking piss-poor beer after tasting 10-year-old whisky.  But it can be done – in baby steps.

How about removing the ban of firecrackers and novelties, but for safety reasons – aerials are prohibited.  And as for the loss revenue for the government, you can tax each box of firecrackers – like you do with each pack of cigarettes.

Sure, some people still going search for aerials and illegal stuff.  But most people wouldn’t want to go through the hassle of calling their brother’s half-sister’s cousin-once-removed’s uncle’s second-cousin-by-marriage’s niece’s ex-boyfriend’s neighbor to get illegal stuff.  Then have to meet them in the Wal-Mart parking lot late at night in the far corner where no more lights – and hope they don’t get jacked for the two thousand dollars they brought for the contraband.

Nah.  Just let me go Long’s or Donki, or heck 7-11 too – and not make me have to stand in line 3 hours before the store opens just to get firecrackers – and I’ll be happy.  And best of all – I won’t be shooting off aerials.  Problem solved!

This MLC editorial brought to you by No-Doz.  For those nights when you want to make it past Joe Moore to ring in the new year at midnight.


14 Responses to “Fireworks Ban is a Shoo-shoo Baby”

  1. HbH says:

    God I can still remember the string of fireworks being lit on long poles during Chinese New Years in Honolulu. I also remember Ala Moana Park at night lighting fireworks during the 4th. So long ago too.

  2. Hbh says:

    Eddie Kamae just passed away guys. E’ Ke Akua pu a hui hou.

  3. Mark Shelby says:

    Remember when your Dad let you graduate from little fingers to real size firecrackers? That’s the day you knew you jus grew up! ; )

  4. Seawalker says:

    Thank goodness all the loonies are confined to the government. Imagine if they were all in the private-sector? Can we all say bankruptcy? Career politicians are the worse. A firework ban is equivalent to passing legislation outlawing toilet paper. Their solution? Scoot over to the sink and wash ’em.

    Sidebar. It’s 5,000 tau or 10,000 tau as the pakes would call it. Tau is the strength of the firecracker. It says so right on the box. China should hire @Seawalker as goodwill ambassador. LOL

  5. adobo says:

    @mows: I remember model rockets. 2 major brands back then, Estes and I forget the other one. The square red plastic base holds the batteries, round metal plate, and the long launch rod. I remember Pete’s Model Craft and I think Kaimuki Sundries had some kits. Start with the building the small single rockets and work your way up. All good until the wind catch your parachute and your rocket gone. All part of the hobby.

  6. adobo says:

    Rod, you are 100% right on the fireworks prohibition. Government just doesn’t learn. They only made it worse. And I’m afraid a total ban might only result in firing off guns like the mainland. Operation green harvest, same story, now we have batu and how many friends I know thrown out of the house by spouse and family. Back then go Long’s, Kress, Cornet, Thrifty Drugs, every family pickup a long string and go grandma’s house for get together and light up at midnight. Early next morning look for unlit ones and break em in half to make shoo shoo. And yeah, I remember envying outer islands. We tried make our own. Saltpeter, charcoal, sulfer, bamboo stick and masking tape for the body. Make the noise and smoke but the rockets never left ground, haha. But none of this bomb stuff, would get lickens. Btw, (1) permit is good for (1) #20,000 string or equivalent. So for each permit, you can buy (2 #10,000’s) or (1 #20,000), or (5 #4,000’s). No more #5,000’s anymore. And I’m pretty sure you can but your permits anytime throughout the year, good for 1 year from the date you paid. It’s only the fireworks strings that has a limited window to purchase. I usually get 2 permits and pickup (2) 10’000’s and (5) 4,000’s. If no burn all always have next year.

  7. hemajang says:

    I dunno, in my old age I don’t like fireworks in my neighborhood. Professional displays are fine. Small kid time was different, I played fiyahcrackah like everyone else and was good fun, even make homemade bombs stuffing used roman candle tubes with firecracker powder. One time I was too close aftah setting off bomb and cardboard whack my leg, was real sore. Anyway those days were then and now makule and like go sleep at 9:30. Besides my dog go nuts and I no like give her drugs so we huddle up, close all windows and watch tv. I’m for complete ban, inspections at shipping ports and harsh penalties for illegals. My fiyahcrakah days are done and over.

  8. mows says:

    I have been shooting model rocket engines for the past three years and still got my stash of firecrackers to go on top. Maybe next year gotta replenish though. Never even try to get aerials because the cost is high. Just buy some “C” engines and launch with the chopsticks. Or if you like get some flash powder and pack it in the top. “A” engines work best for that.

  9. mattS says:

    first nye I spent in Honolulu in a long time (scheduling problems meant we couldn’t go BI). it was nuts. according to my cousins’s daughter’s husband’s…well, you know…according to some guy I know, the nutso guys in the area we were in were actually dealers who were burning off the unsold stock. made for a nice free show, though.

  10. HbH says:

    Well even back in the 70s there was an effort to ban fireworks, mostly from those who don’t like the noise or the smoke. The solution is very simple. Most of the accidents are caused by non professional use. A simple electronic fuse device will solve the issue vs hand lighting the fuses.Education for aerials and heavy duty fireworks will work better then just a fee based license. Like traffic on Oahu the smoke issue is related to population growth. However anyone living or moving to Hawaii with breathing problems should understand that things bloom year round and we have Vog and high humidity. Not to be without heart it must be difficult, however again we go pupule for fireworks three times a year, simple research and responsiblity should help. Further with legalizing fireworks again you get rid of a lot of use of the real smoke creation fireworks.

  11. 4G says:

    Agree with you, @Rod. This past New Year’s eve was insane – the amount of aerials was amazing. . . . One thing though – we somehow need to consider something for those with health issues related to fireworks smoke.

    This all reminds me of the so called war on drugs (how’s that going, government? 😉 ). I think that if it wasn’t for the crackdown on pakalolo and coke, we probably would never have had crystal meth.

    I’ve always said, “People are gonna do what they are going to do”.

  12. Gareth Au says:

    Thanks for the article, Rodney. Until I read this, I didn’t know why aerials have become so prevalent in recent years; like Jackie Gleason’s Sheriff Buford T. Justice, I thought “What we’re dealing with here is a complete lack of respect for the law.” I didn’t realize that governmental bumbling played such a great role in making the problem worse. Mahalo for the history lesson.

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