Yay! Fireworks!

Howdy, folks who somehow still read my blog!

It's been a while! Let me tell you: a whole lot has happened since we last spoke, and I hope to catch you up with all of it.

But first, it's the 4th of July. And you know what that means, right? Fireworks.

Some Make It Pretty Clear Exactly What the Chinese Designer Thinks America Is Like

Some of Them Seem to Have... "Additional Meanings"

Some Indicate the Designer Is Seriously Getting Hostile Towards the Consumer

Some Capitalize on the Hot Hot Internet Trend of 2008

What Could Be More Unforgettable Than Dollar Bill Albert Einstein

Finally, Let's Celebrate Our Freedom the Traditional Way: Babies on Tomatoes

Postscript: On Competition

When I was a kid, the mythical fireworks destination was spoken only in hushed tones behind the shadowiest of schoolyard simulated tugboat play-structures: Blackjack Fireworks. Located up in Vancouver, WA (where, like, anything is illegal, even, like, this firecracker that can blow up a medium-sized turkey, totally the same one that did you-know-what to Jimmy No-Pinky!), I'd always long to go every summer.

A couple years ago, an enterprising businessman had a great idea: "let's take that giant empty gravel lot across the street from Blackjack — the one they don't own — and open our own competing fireworks tent!" TNT on the left. Blackjack on the right.

And lo, the war of the fireworks stands began. Here's what it's like driving there today.


What do they do to you if you're just driving through to get to the Dairy Queen down the road?
Blogger Scopi 7/04/2008 7:11 PM  
Nice pics!
btw, I think they are not tomatoes with the babies, but peppers (or different kind, but mostly bell peppers).
Anonymous charles 7/04/2008 7:46 PM  
You screwed up - you should've gone right. We waited for you there for hours like jerks.

Throw your own surprise party next year, Cabel.
Anonymous Neven 7/04/2008 7:59 PM  
"Warm Greeting" is going to give me nightmares. Does it mean I'll pee my pants? What's with the tomatoes & babies???? AAAHHH!!!

Happy independence from one of our only allies in the Iraq war... Maybe we should just rename it "Happy blowin' up shit day."
Blogger Greg P 7/04/2008 8:13 PM  
I love the you must turn right sign. That's awesome.
OpenID samsoffes 7/04/2008 9:02 PM  
Cabel died on the way back to his home planet.
Anonymous japtor 7/05/2008 12:28 AM  
When we went today, one of them had a sign that said "right = claustrophobia".
Blogger Les 7/05/2008 12:33 AM  
japtor: What?! I'm Poochie?! :)

Incidentally, I have a sad end to report tonight: my "Warm Greeting" was officially confiscated by a fire marshall.

:( x 100
Blogger Cabel 7/05/2008 12:34 AM  
I'm pretty sure "Vivid Conception" is the best name for something i've heard in a long time. And yes, we all still read your blog, as it is the best blog.
Anonymous Brad 7/05/2008 2:09 AM  
Dude, some of those are really really weird :S

Hope you had a great 4th!
Anonymous Kyle Saric 7/05/2008 3:57 AM  
"Neighbor Hater" - Best name ever.
Blogger Foamcow 7/05/2008 4:08 AM  
I too dig the "Neighbor Hater". Best Name Ever.

Also I would have turned left, "MUST turn right"? I don't like being told what to do
Anonymous John Swaine 7/05/2008 7:25 AM  
"Cabel Sasser wins coveted Photojournalist of the Year Award, 2008"
Anonymous markm 7/05/2008 9:14 AM  
Best WTF moment in that video: The Outdoor Indoor Rock climbing wall. "I think I'll just run out and pick up some fireworks and climb a negative grade wall face. Man, honey, what did we ever do before they conveniently combined the two?"
Blogger vortech 7/05/2008 9:21 AM  
The scariest thing was how curious those names and packaging made me. I want to see what the neighbor hater does!
Blogger NameSugar 7/05/2008 9:32 AM  
I concur - "Neighbor Hater" pretty much says it all!
Blogger josh d 7/05/2008 10:20 AM  
I like how the "Warm Greeting" shoots flaming balls and reports.
Anonymous Andrew 7/05/2008 10:42 AM  
Yup, that Chinese designer definitely should've watched that video before creating those packages.
Anonymous Justin 7/05/2008 11:35 AM
Anonymous Anonymous 7/05/2008 11:54 AM  
The vehicle in the background from the first one is actually a benz from the 2nd Jurassic park movie.
Anonymous Anonymous 7/05/2008 6:32 PM  
To the video:
Holy crap. I'm amazed at how big of a competition that is. I love the

"DON'T BE LIED TO about parking!" sign.

And Cabel's Blog is the best blog. I've been addicted ever since the nintendo ds lite review.
Blogger Sohrab 7/05/2008 8:14 PM  
I thought the one we bought called "Sun Dream" was great because if you looked at it the right way it says "Sun Ream" - but I think you win.

I particularly love the graphics on Unforgettable - that's hysterical.
OpenID girlchild 7/05/2008 8:30 PM  
I love it! That is even better than from when it first started a couple years ago. (I am up in Bellingham, WA) now and I can't believe how big fireworks are in Vancouver because of Oregon being so close.

But - - you can skip out on all that stuff and craziness and just go to an Indian reservation...

God Bless Washington fireworks!
Blogger Aaron Potter 7/06/2008 2:55 AM  
Damn, I haven't been to Blackjack in years ... definitely before TNT showed up. That's crazy. Hah.
OpenID Peat 7/06/2008 1:22 PM  
So, I work for TNT, right. This is absolute A) awesome, and B) an embarassing moment.

Umm.. really, that's about all I can say.
Blogger Derek Reiff 7/06/2008 9:06 PM  
woah! It's really interesting to see how the images portrayed on the fireworks reflect on America. Almost all of those were violent (I mean, they're fireworks, so go figure, but still...) and the "neighbor hater" one is just crazy. Wow. Thanks for this post. I work at a packaging company ( and I just shared this post with my boss too. We both found it really interesting.

Also: I'm glad to turned left. They put a lot of work into getting you to turn left before you got there. haha.
Blogger Sunrise Packaging 7/07/2008 7:16 AM  
I can't believe they let you have fireworks with all of those trees. I live in California (a desert wasteland) and most cities have banned them outright.
Blogger spunk 7/07/2008 7:35 AM  
Am I the only one who finds the funnies thing about the packages is that they all have the same warning label that says: "WARNING: SHOOTS FLAMING BALLS!"
Anonymous KurtMac 7/07/2008 8:51 AM  
KurtMac: I thought so too.
Blogger Ryos 7/07/2008 10:48 AM  
One of ours this year was named "Golden Shower".
Blogger Chaz Larson 7/07/2008 11:03 AM  
Growing up in Portland, I too always longed to go up to Blackjack to get the "good stuff". Such great memories!
Anonymous Tom Watson 7/07/2008 11:33 AM  

"This is the good stuff. Snakes and sparklers."
- Kicking Wing
Blogger NameSugar 7/07/2008 11:52 AM  
Here is one I found at the local "Big Bang" firework tent last year:

Puppy love

The clip-art pictures show dogs and people playing with dogs.

Anyone who knows or owns dogs will realize that this is a cruel, cruel joke of a firework. Nearly all dogs are utterly terrified of fireworks.
Anonymous Stefan Jones 7/07/2008 4:36 PM  
I love the Comin @ You one... So up to date with the pictures of Nigel Mansell in the 1988 Williams F1 car..!
Anonymous GadgetGav 7/07/2008 6:16 PM  
I used to live near Tacoma, and so there was always the contrast between the legal "safe and sane" fireworks and the stuff you could buy on the Puyallup reservation ("unsafe and insane" as my cousin called it).

Then there was the year there was a fire at the fireworks stand on the was impressive, to say the least.
Blogger Christopher Davis 7/07/2008 7:45 PM  
"Neighbor Hater" - Great name - Under delivers.
Anonymous Anonymous 7/08/2008 8:33 AM  
The babies on the warm greetings...if you've ever changed a diaper, you know what warm greetings are. And isn't a traditional prank to put a flaming bag of poo on a doorstep? - Warm greetings. lol
Anonymous Anonymous 7/08/2008 10:38 AM  
Great comments. It's especially impressive that Stefan Jones linked to a photo and used "fancy zoom" to enhance the experience.
Anonymous Anonymous 7/09/2008 10:50 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous 7/09/2008 1:46 PM  
Cabel, you need to devote far less time to Panic and more to your fans. When I switched from using David Cross to you, I expected more entertainment out of the deal. Come on, man!
Anonymous Anonymous 7/09/2008 5:37 PM  
This is totally off the subject. I need to know the song you use in your Video "Nintendo DS Lite Third Look". For the life of us, my BF and I can not figure it outl We have a bet going on it. Thanks bunches.
Anonymous Raelynna 7/13/2008 9:26 PM  
Ah, it's nice to see one of the dark corners of The Couv being given an airing on the internet.

I worked near Blackjack for a summer. Getting there involved driving (and sometimes doing a "Good Morning" powerslide) across that gravel lot.

The folks waving signs thought I was a complete idiot and would almost jump in front of my car when I turned left. This happened every day for the entire fireworks season. Middle fingers quickly ensued.
Blogger tor 7/15/2008 8:59 PM  
"Palm Party" made me laugh and laugh and laugh! Thanks for the update...great stuff. Wheee!
Anonymous Daniel 7/15/2008 10:46 PM  
Man, those screeching morons would make me want to turn right back around from where I came and never think of buying fireworks again.

Besides, how cheap can they be, if their price has to cover paying braying idiots at the side of the road?
Blogger John Eje Thelin 7/25/2008 11:23 PM  
I LIVE around there. (We went to TNT, but all told spent $9.) The people waving around are members of the different sports teams, charity groups, etc., that will each get a minuscule cut of the profits if they work their asses off. Anyhow, it was great. Out by the road the TNT stand had guys dancing. Amazingly. :DD
Anonymous Anonymous 8/08/2008 6:01 PM  
That was absolutely hilarious.
Anonymous Dan Lewis 9/19/2008 11:23 AM  

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Name:Cabel Maxfield Sasser
Job:Co-Founder, Panic Inc.
Location:Portland, OR