TORONTO – If you crossed a Monty Python skit, Sarah Connor’s apocalyptic dream from Terminator 2, and the display window of a Macy’s…you’d have something like this.
A new video put out by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission aims to show the dangers of improper firework use ahead of the upcoming 4th of July weekend.
And how does it go about doing this, exactly? Mostly by blowing up a wide variety of department store mannequins in a video that straddles the line between unintentionally creepy and unintentionally hilarious.
One demonstration aims to portray the dangers of common sparklers, a staple at any good fireworks display. Of course, the video shows one “little girl” mannequin holding a lit sparkler against another “little girl” mannequin’s chest for so long, we wonder if she’s torturing her for the location of her hidden rebel base.
Another demonstration shows what can happen if you improperly aim a bottle rocket.
Of course, in this case, “improperly aim” means firing along a guided wire directly into another mannequin’s face. As a nice added touch, his eyeball has been replaced with an egg, causing an explosion of yolky goodness after the “accidental” launch.
The remaining demonstrations follow a similar theme: mannequins meeting a gruesome end, thanks to fireworks-related accidents. Sometimes, the cause of these accidents isn’t exactly clear: in one example of “illegally manufacturing fireworks,” a mannequin is seen sitting at a desk before he is blown to kingdom come, seemingly for no reason.
Since being posted to YouTube the video has gone viral, with several news outlets reporting on the raft of unintentional comedy contained therein.
Of course, that raises the question of whether or not that was exactly the intention of the video in the first place. After all, a cut-and-dry government PSA might not have the reach of an “accidental” viral video hit.
And it’s important to remember the seriousness of the subject being discussed: according to the U.S. National Fire Protection Association, hospital emergency rooms treated an estimated 11,400 people for fireworks-related injuries in 2013 alone.
What’s more, more fires are reported on July 4th in the U.S. than on any other day, with fireworks being the leading cause of those fires.
So remember, if you’re lighting up a few firecrackers this 4th of July weekend (or if you saved your Canada Day display for the weekend) to be safe – after all, it’s only funny when it’s mannequins exploding and not people.