Wednesday, June 27, 2012

When Laws Collide!

Indiana is in a drought. I don't know where you live -- if northwest or southeast, my words may smack of fantasy, but this state is so dry that most of the hardy weeds I cultivate in place of grass are bleached to tan, dormant if not dead, We haven't had measurable rain all month and we were well behind pace in May.

...With an eye to this, and mindful of the fires in Colorado and elsewhere, the majority of Indiana counties have some kind of burn ban in place and most of them are telling residents that includes fireworks.

:( I has a sad. But it beats a grassfire!

But wait: it turns out the law can't ban fireworks! Yes, Indiana has preemption, at least between 29 June and 9 July, during which time state law says local law may not prevent you from setting off fireworks even if there's an open-burn ban in place.

Me, I still hope you won't give little Tommy-Sue and Jenny-Fred a handful of sparklers and Ohio Blue Tips* and lock them outta the house 'til they've used 'em up, without even a bucket of water to toss 'em in, but you're on your own. The Law ain't gonna make you behave responsibly. --Which may be just as well, 'cos enforcing a ban on fireworks on Independence Day would be a whole lot more Sisyphean than upholding the Volstead Act ever was -- and just as futile.

The Glorious Fourth is coming (and never you mind the real date is the Second). Please don't burn anything down.
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* Good old Blue Tips, I don't think you can get; but despite rumors to the contrary, strike-anywhere matches are still with us. Play responsibly -- don't set your britches on fire!

17 comments:

Julie said...

Now that is seriously awesome ...

og said...

In our neighborhood we hose down the grass and the bushes prior to fireworks.

Fuzzy Curmudgeon said...

But Og, you and yours have common sense.

Dave H said...

My daughter actually watches her kids play with the sparklers. Er, well, she would if they were legal in New York. (grin) They can have one or two at a time, and they can't have any more until they bring the spent wires back and drop them in the bucket of water she keeps nearby. She also has a large tip-resistant candle for the kids to light up with. Um, hypothetically.

(Her husband is a firefighter, so he knows about these things.)

I thought strike-anywhere matches had been banned because I never saw them at the stores where I usually shopped, but it turns out the dollar store has Diamond brand in 3-packs. That was a happy day when I found those. Those matches, coated with clear nail polish, were a staple in every Scout's survival kit.

perlhaqr said...

Dave: Man, Even New Mexico doesn't ban sparklers.

Bobbi: I advise watering your roof around dusk. It's what we do around here. Of course, most NM houses have flat roofs, so, maybe it won't work as well there.

Anonymous said...

The last pack of strike-anywheres I got were gov-regulated back to the point where you could only strike them on the striker anyway, and when you did, the tip separated from the match and flew off into the very dry grass. I gave up and switched over to safety matches.

A good test would be to toss a wooden match -- full force from about a foot away -- straight at a hunk of sidewalk. It should light as a result of the impact. Anything less and you've got something significantly less.

(I can see how the real deal could be somewhat hazardous to ship)

When I was a boy sprout, we were taught to paint the head with nail polish to make them waterproof. Wax worked somewhat less. You can strike the match right through the nail polish to ignite them.

-SM

-SM

Robert Fowler said...

Looks like the hunt is on. I haven't seen strike anywhere matches in a store in a while. Maybe the old hardware store that's been in business 100 years will have some.

Be safe and keep a water hose handy.

Wayne Conrad said...

I recall reading (on the internet, so it must be true) that blanket fireworks bans increase fires. Apparently, people are going to light off fireworks anyhow--in the presence of a ban, they go out to the boonies to do it, where they won't be seen, and where the fireworks are more likely to start an uncontrolled fire.

DirtCrashr said...

We're always in a drought - California is a desert populated by an island archipelago of rainy-spots.

BobG said...

The drought you're in sounds like a normal spring and summer around here; many years we don't seen any rain beween middle June and the end of October.

Anonymous said...

In the very good ol days strike anywhere matches were the rule rather than the exception and they had to be kept in a rat proof container..more than one house went up in smoke because rats or mice started chewing on the match heads which would ignite when exposed to air.

RX (r) said...

Anon 2:07: "Safety matches," which do not contain white phosphporous and don't ignite on exposure to the air, are over a hundred years old. Nope, Mr. Rat could set them off just like you can, by friction on his front teeth.

Many stores will not sell strike-anywhere matches; it's a liability issue. I don't know if the "Greentip" version is any better than the plain ones -- but the plain ones aren't what they used to be, and can't hold a candle to Ohio Blue Tips.

Fuzzy Curmudgeon said...

Hmm. I guess I'd better put the six boxes of Ohio Blue-Tip strike-anywhere's I've been hoarding since my Boy Scout leader days in the safe.

If I, like, actually had any strike-anywhere matches hoarded away. Not that I'm saying I do. You know.

Fuzzy Curmudgeon said...

Oh fer.

http://www.amazon.com/gp/offer-listing/B000WR82QK/ref=dp_olp_0?ie=UTF8&condition=all

$46 for a single box of 250? "NEAR EXTINCT." Yeah. Shine on, you crazy Amazon affiliate.

Joseph said...

Your words smack not of fantasy. I live in San Antonio. While we have had more rain so far than we had all of last year, we haven't had any for weeks. I am afraid the cracks in the back yard may swallow up one of my chihuahuas.

Able said...

Drought? I don't know this word!

Here in Old Blighty we've had a wonderful summer of sunshine and pleasant breezes (that was last Tuesday between 10 and 12, and as such more than we usually get).

http://lh4.ggpht.com/-WRtORxR9-2M/T9sFY6YJfSI/AAAAAAAADUU/_7CFH0tl31s/s1600-h/ark%25255B4%25255D.jpg

So true!

Roberta X said...

While Indiana isn't quite "that green and pleasant land," we do have a small reputation that way -- even zombie singers know. But not this year. Alan Titchmarsh and Charlie Dimmock would probably faint dead away at the prospect of making-over a Hoosier garden.