The United States loves their holidays – and the 4th of July is one of the biggest of them all. The weather is good, the food is overabundant, parades are everywhere, and the alcohol flows like the Colorado River rapids…fast and cool. Stupidity also runs rampant during this annual celebration of the United States independence.
Every year there are countless stories and warnings about injuries that individuals have sustained during their quest to pack as much fun into the 4th as possible. Fireworks are a big issue, because well people love to light shit on fire and somehow when an audience is there it is even better. In 2013 eight people died and 11,400 people were injured from fireworks (thanks DOD for the info). Most people are aware of the potential harm that fireworks can cause and hopefully are taking the necessary precautions.
I am here to ensure another under reported safety issue is heeded this all hollow of holidays…Adults and Slip & Slides. Yes, you read that right.
A few years ago my neighbor at the lake had a huge celebration for the 4th. Many of their friends, and their friend’s friends, traveled in from far off places to enjoy a weekend at their house. My neighbors are extremely hospitable and open their home to others all the time. They are just good people. So one of the friend’s of a friend was there and really enjoying himself more than a college kid at a frat party would. He was drinking beers as if prohibition was going into effect at 7 pm. All day the man was throwing them back, and unbeknownst to everyone, he was also having a few pulls on his vodka bottle he had stashed in his belongings when he used the facilities.
One of the attendees worked in a warehouse and brought along a huge plastic banner (like 100′ long) that was hung up for the workers – Ironically I believe it was a safety slogan. The idea was that this huge plastic runner would be laid down on the gently sloping hill in the empty lot next to my neighbors and the kids could have fun sliding down it with the aid of the hose. Sounds wonderful in a total hill billy kinda way…right? Wrong.
The kids enjoyed it but in true American ingenuity the adults (or one in particular) felt it could be better…but how? Ahhhh…dish soap! Yes! Soap would make the runner even more slick and man would that be fun. Enter the drunk friend of a friend.
This idiot stood at the top of the hill and poured dish soap all over himself. He rubbed it in as if he were applying sunscreen, he was a well oiled pig. He stepped towards the runner and slipped…landing on his back and slamming his head into the ground. Ambulances and life flights were involved and he spent the next 3 weeks in hospital trying to recover from his traumatic brain injury. He was unable to return to work in the same capacity that he had prior to his injury, I believe he was a truck driver, and now performs a different position. His family suffered emotionally and financially due to the stupidity of his actions.
So please this weekend drink responsibly, leave the fireworks up to the professionals, and stay the fuck away from slip and slides. Hopefully this can lead to no more stupid 4th of July injuries, though this is highly doubtful.