Fingal examines, critically, Lucille Kring’s sudden Jihad against Fireworks.




The great American tradition of fireworks is once again on the firing line as Anaheim city council woman known as “The Kring Who Stole Independence Day” threatens to get Anaheim’s pyrotechnic celebrations, popularly approved a mere three years ago, once more banned.

First of all, what’s gotten into Lucille since her “klepto” clique on the council (with Kris and Jordan) fought like mad to get legalization ONTO the ballot?  Well, as usual with this crowd money explains everything – they had started out with a plan wherein the sale of fireworks would enrich their chosen friends, but that was stymied by the Tait/contingent spreading the wealth – so now with the mercenary motive gone, Lucille feels free to let her true unpatriotic colors show.  (And you’ll notice the very unhealthy daily fireworks at Disneyland still have the green light from kleptoKring.)

I should mention, a lot of folks who NEVER agree with Lucille on ANYTHING are cheering her reversal – mostly folks with pets or PTSD or both.  And many folks who for some reason used to think highly of her are now screaming bloody murder.  She showed up uninvited at a WAND (West Anaheim Neighborhood) meeting a few weeks ago – a meeting that was SUPPOSED to be about parks and the homeless – and repeated her grand announcement, to mostly BOOS.  Then she went on and on about it until the West Anaheimers made her stop.  (On the way out, she protested that she REALLY cares about West Anaheim, and was eager to hear their meeting and concerns … ridiculously,  on the way OUT.)

In any case, this most popular tradition, harking back to the signatures on parchment by our forefathers, is marked by the graves of the brave men that fought for our great country over the last few hundred years and oughtta be celebrated in colossal style.

242 years ago on July 2nd our forefathers voted for independence, but it was July 4th that the Continental Congress formally adopted the  Declaration of Independence.  “July 2 or 4?”, raged the argument between our most famous first leaders.  After some screaming, throwing chairs and mock sword fights, the 4th won out.

So all this time we’ve celebrated this milestone – not just a milestone but one of the greatest moments in world history – with muskets, cannons, TNT, bombs and lots of deep fried greasy high calorie victuals, with booze and more booze for desert. In the last 100 years we mellowed out a bit: we just shoot off sparkly things that pop, eat too much, and drink ’til we cannot see.

Many people still hold the tradition true with some real fireworks but cannons are not allowed for sure, damn it!

On this momentous occasion the ground and sky should be lit up with the excitement as an aide memoire that this grand holiday is and will continue to be the reminder of the beginning of this incredible country. Would Lucille Kring have us hold up lit Cell phones in unison?!!

Facts documented by the secretary in attendance

“This moment will go down in history,” our forefathers (right) cheered in unison.  Then some stranger in the back cried out “From this moment on we will all eat barbecued chicken and hold up devices that sometimes double as telephones celebrate this historic occasion!”

“What’s a telephone?” was the stentorian retort.  “Too soon” came the reply from the unknown audience member in the weird sparkly white suit and dark glasses.

“Never,” they all shouted in unison, “will patriotic Americans just hold up some lighted thingie that doubles as a phone (whatever that is) to celebrate at concerts, special events and of course, the 4th of July!” And then patriotic Americans, REAL Americans, loaded their muskets, cannons and put long fuses on TNT to prepare for the greatest day in the countries history, THE 4th OF JULY!  (Ok we lost the concerts and special events to lighted thingies that sometimes can be used as phones, if you have 4 bars – but PLEASE not the 4th OF JULY!)

Today we celebrate with concerts, barbecues and fireworks, some crazy, some sane and by all standards a ridiculous amount of booze.  And the O’Flahertie clan of Merry Ireland was, for centuries before the advent of Nietzche, advocates of “What doesn’t kill you will make you stronger.”

My father himself was a 4th of July pyromaniac, and along with his buddies we would light up the ground and sky with pretty wild stuff.  Typically we’d head to TJ to stock up some months in advance with a fairly unlimited budget. Unlimited in the ‘60s was something like $100. 100s of packs of sky rockets packed the boxes along with the biggest most dangerous explosives legally available in a third world country. Bribes paid to lowly border guards got us across with the least amount of problems – $20 plus a pack of cigarettes and the guard
waved us through.

M-80s were a ¼ stick of Dynamite and we loaded up on those. Cherry bombs were concrete encased explosives with a water proof fuse perfect for blowing school toilets off the wall – you should have seen the water pour out the door! Problem was the bathroom was closed for a few weeks and we had to walk to the gym for the bathrooms. When you’re 14, heading for the toilet after putting it off too long, the bathrooms must be close at hand! So maybe we thought twice the next year about blowing the toilets off the walls. Not saying we ever did that though just a story here…

At 12, 13, 14 years old my friend and I would steal a few shots of whiskey out of my dads liquor cabinet and sneak at 12 am on a Saturday night with cherry bombs in tow. We would throw one and run like a mad man as the explosion lit up the street like a lightning strike. Whiskey, childhood, and explosives, seemed to go well together…if you survive.

Then I got me a miniature cannon! Yes they were there, they were crazy and they were FUN. Using an explosive chemical and flint you had your own parent’s nightmare and my dad bought it for me!  Modify it a little and you could shoot army men out of it!

Bicycle battles with Roman Candles were all the rage in our family, serious as a noogy! This was/is not hidden insanity by 14 year olds at midnight but the whole family together on the 4 th . Garbage can lids were your shield as you ride at each other shooting the Roman Candles with deadly effect. But no one has died…yet. Grandma still cheers on the battle as the flames roar closer and closer to her least favorite son – Goggles and shields have been forgotten as we grow older, and crazier?

The problem with the mortars many years ago were the unstable platforms and weak plastic tubes. We learned that when one exploded spraying all of us with the burning flames of hell. Luckily there were only a few minor burns that were not serious and no eyes were lost. The newer mortars have very stable double thick tubes that seem to be great for the giant explosive bombs we load in them, firing 4 at a time for effect. 4 people lighting 4 fuses with 4 lighters hopefully working in unison or you could get caught in the launch zone. LOOK OUT, RUN.

Today we are much more sophisticated as we use laser guided projectiles – my friend uses a laser pointer to mark a spot on in the sky and we fire uncontrollable mortar rounds at it.  The most sophisticated aiming system in our family is FLIR “Fling it Laterally Intentionally without Remorse.”  Illegal and legal fireworks are MUCH safer today unless you are crazy or stupid enough to shoot them at each other! A long way from muskets, cannons and TNT, but some people are still injured by fireworks. Take into consideration though –

An estimated 7,600 fireworks-related injuries


Sports injuries per year –

Most sports injuries occur in children ages five to 14. More than 775,000 children in this age group end up in the emergency room every year from a sports related injury.

Sports are 100 times more dangerous than fireworks – do we take this fun away from every kid!!!

ALSO consider there is one killer out there, one that can not be legislated out of existence by making fireworks illegal  (We tried that once.) One that cannot be controlled or contained as people just want to have fun!


Independence Day data: the celebratory, and the scary Some 34.4 million Americans are expected to travel by car this Independence Day weekend, and there’s probably a BBQ at the end of many of their trips. Last Fourth of July, Americans had around 74 million BBQs, grilled an estimated 155 million hot dogs, and cracked open about 68 million cases of beer. In fact, more beer is sold on Uncle Sam’s birthday than on any other holiday (including St. Patrick’s Day and New Year’s Eve).

Unfortunately, all those comings and goings, combined with well-stocked coolers, means more drunk drivers on the road. In fact, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety tells us the Fourth of July is the worst day of the year for fatal car crashes. And, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Association, 40 percent of all highway deaths between 2007 and 2011 were caused by drunk driving over the Fourth of July weekend.

If we are to talk FUN and stupidity just go outside and drive around a bit:

  • Check out the skate boarders launching themselves off the steps and sliding down the 30’ banister – if and when he falls his balls are found up between his ears. Parks for these antics are constructed all over town!
  • If you ever saw a motorcyclist riding on one wheel while cutting traffic in 1973, know it was me.
  • The mountains are only a few hours away where you can ski down an unclimbable mountain slope at break neck speeds and hopefully not break your neck.
  • Recall that we are living in the pinche town that currently calls itself BREW CITY; AND
  • And furthermore, recall that Councilwoman Kring’s one non-political claim to fame is running a wine shop called “Pop the Cork.”

Look guys and gals, Fun is Fun and it cannot be legislated out of existence.

SOMETHING-score and a several years ago, our forefathers set forth in awe-inspiring courage and thoughtfulness to create this great nation.  They declared independence and on July 4th the Continental Congress formally adopted Jefferson’s stirring Declaration.  We should be able to celebrate this in a traditional way with exuberant fanfare including multitudes of alcohol, deadly dripping fat embalmed barbecue victuals and also light up the ground and the sky with sparkling firework displays!

And tonight we should proclaim to Anaheim city council member Lucille Kring “On the 4th of July we will NOT  be reduced to holding up our little devices that also double for a phone, sometimes, if you have 4 bars.”

So, you tell me – The Kring Who Stole Independence Day, or the Wicked Witch of the West?  Either way, bring a bucket of water in case we need to melt her.

“Fire Off Fireworks!”


About Fingal O'Flahertie

Fingal is an Orange County resident/entrepreneur, sometimes world traveler and man about the house.