Sunday, July 09, 2006

Firework Wars

Fourth of July will always remind me of Alaska. July is prime salmon fishing, so at every opportunity we would drive out to Wasilla, and that's where you would see the Firework Kings.

There were two of them, and naturally they set up shop directly opposite eachother. It was so much more convenient that way; you could count up your rival's customers and make fun of their displays (disparaging comments on the size of rockets was probably going too far).

Marketing was the thing - direct, bloodthirsty marketing. This wasn't subtle stuff, it was no-holds-barred grab 'em by the throat advertisement. There was no time for finicky comments about quality or aesthetic value. The message was - fireworks here HERE HERE HERE!!! cheap and pleantiful.

One guy did this with a car - stripped down and luridly painted then poised to catch the eye. The other guy went for the more discerning crowd - he had someone dressed up in a gorilla suit.

It never seemed to make any difference - the crowds lined up eagerly at both places and bought sparklers and fountains and roman candles by the thousands.

Which is funny when you think about it, because in Alaska in July it doesn't actually get that dark.

Still. I'll bet the noise was fun. Us? We just went fishing.

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