An important (and hilarious) holiday message

On this Fourth of July holiday, remember that the country’s founding fathers didn’t risk life and liberty 232 years ago just so you could set off low-grade explosives in your backyard. They did it so you could watch a darkly, unintentionally hysterical little online movie of mannequins being demolished by misused fireworks.

This low-budget, slightly paranoid video was produced by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission to illustrate the many ways that fireworks can go wrong: A seemingly harmless sparkler sets your clothing on fire; an M-80 blows up your head. But when these dangers are repeatedly demonstrated on hapless mannequins (and the occasional hapless watermelon), the safety lesson becomes comedic — all that’s missing is the 1812 Overture, or maybe a saxophone playing the Benny Hill theme song. You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, you’ll want to make sure you still have all your digits. Happy Independence Day!

This post is from Observer Short List—an email of three favorite things from people you want to know. Sign up to receive OSL here.