And Some Fireworks to End the Day!

If fireworks were sentient:

From Kilby, with a nod to Andréa and many other pet owners.

It took twenty years to find the solution in the cartoon world. But could this wizardry be commercialized?
By now, many of us have eaten our fill, perhaps of delicious sausages we know we probably shouldn’t be eating. Or maybe we have the FoxTrot Dad for a cook.

Is Andy Capp dissing The Boss?

Stay tuned to your news source for more exciting adventures of The American Experiment, 2022!


  1. Noiseless fireworks will NEVER become a thing, because testosterone demands NOISE. The louder the better. If not, why are there so many ‘fireworks’ that have ONLY noise, and no visuals?

  2. The Buni, with the anthropic fireworks, has that sort of depressive, almost tragic feel that the strip often goes for. Here there is the question, is it just that the father has to go to work, on this holiday when they all want to be together? Or is his work in fact fatal today?

  3. Apparently some places are replacing fireworks with drone laser shows. I say givin’ those durn robuts lasers is just a-aksing for trouble!

  4. We live where all fireworks – including sparklers are illegal. One would not know this.

    In normal times we are in Lancaster, PA for 7/4. Did not go past 2 years – no traveling, barely go out of the house, though do so more these days. Robert decided we were going to PA this year. We had moved our RV campground reservations from July 2020 to July 2021 to this July. He decided we needed to take the RV (don’t think like in the movies, it is a class B aka – Chevy van conversion, very “cozy” – we bought it after having bed bugs – which were probably NOT from traveling). We drove it out east and turned around and came home. Stopped on way home to fill gas tank. Gas was leaking out while being filled. This had happened after last trip out east to drive it, but it had been raining and puddle under it smelled vaguely of gas so we figured it was rain water dripping off bottom of RV – now we knew it wasn’t. Our car mechanic was able to fix it relatively quickly and not as expensive as Robert worried about. One problem with the RV is that when it was converted they had to move the gas intake to a different spot as where same is located on the van is behind the refrigerator in the RV which was not a safe place for the intake – so it was moved next to where the bed is on the inside.

    So this is the 3rd year in a row we were home for the holiday. This year was not as bad as last year. The illegal fireworks only started Saturday. On Friday night we heard fireworks but decided they were a professional show that the county was putting on at a park – about 4 miles away. I can’t imagine we were hearing it from that far – with buildings all the way along from there to here, but it matched the start and end times of the show. Last year was a war zone of fireworks – including people shooting off fireworks in 2 locations on the far side of our street which should have been professional exhibitions and two guys shooting off large firework in the middle of our street – a 4 lane main road – at a cross street and vehicles were driving through as they set them off. And these fireworks were set off close enough to our house that I was worried about landing on the roof and starting it on fire. We had decided that if they did the same this year we WOULD call the police.

    In Lancaster fireworks are legal. There is so much less of it being shot off than here that it is ridiculous.

    Tomorrow or Wednesday I have to call the RV park again. They can only book up to a year ahead so I had to change our reservations to August this year as they could not change them to when we would come in July next year and to avoid dealing with us getting/them mailing our deposit for this year if I just canceled the reservation they suggested I make a temporary reservation for this August and then call back, cancel that one and make the one I want. RV campgrounds do not function like hotels in regard to reservations.

  5. Hubby and I were discussing that yesterday . . . and yes, BIG shows are using drones, but the LITTLE people (you know, the ones who know it’s illegal, but do it anyway) won’t ever use those. The NOISE is the important part; the sparkles are just incidental.

  6. We saw all sorts of strange little ‘things’ on our screen house over the pool this a.m. Couldn’t figure out what they were – no plant is seeding right now. Turns out, they’re fireworks casings; cardboard, I assume. I hope.

  7. My Hot Dog Went Out, Can I Have Another? is the name of one of the FoxTrot compilation books.

    So were pets more resilient in the past or did people just not care about their welfare? Because it seems like the “pets are scared by fireworks” thing is fairly recent. What did dogs do on July 4 for the first 250 years of the country’s existence?

  8. It isn’t ‘what did pets do’, it’s ‘what can their parents now do, like complain on social media about it’.

  9. I understand the point Powers is making. One possibility is that personal fireworks have become more advanced (as in loud) and/or people just assume their neighbors will be grateful to see a professional display from their home. Fortunately, our dog doesn’t seem to have a problem with it. But it’s not just pets. We had our almost one year old granddaughter staying with us for the weekend. She slept through it. I have no idea how, but I have to think there are others not as lucky. I would not have been happy if I had to calm a tired baby down.

  10. It’s not even The Boss or Bob who is being dissed- Born In The USA falls into the “America is not so great for everyone” category.

  11. Dan, that question came up for me too. But I’m pretty sure it is British, and the question is why are they celebrating the American holiday. Maybe just taking any good excuse to hold a bash.

  12. Andy Capp is British. But Americans celebrate St. Patrick’s Day, and Cinco de Mayo, and Octoberfest … and really any way a bar can think of to get people in the door. So, why shouldn’t the British do it?

  13. I know that the dogs we had when I was living at home hated the fireworks. Our first dog used to go into my parents’ walk-in closet to hide.

  14. I guess this answers the Idiot Test question: Do they have the Fourth of July in England?

  15. MikeP, I might better have left it at “sentient”, which was how zbicyclist put it in the editorial remark at the top. But that term didn’t occur to me, and I got tired before completing anthropomorphic or anthropomorphicised.

  16. One problem is that “sentient” really means something along the lines of “able to perceive and showing a degree of consciousness”. Unfortunately, especially in Science Fiction, it is frequently used where “sapient” might be more appropriate.

    There was a recent UK declaration of some sort that referenced lobsters and some others as being sentient. Which many people took to mean that it was saying that they are intelligent. Basically it was saying that animal welfare regulations applied to certain invertebrates.

  17. Properly speaking, “sentient” means “feeling” and “sapient” means “wise” or “prudent”. Neither means “thinking” (there’s a bunch of other words for that…) Furthermore, like we do in English, the Romans used it figuratively to mean “have an opinion”, as in “I feel like that’s going to be a bad idea”.

    And while we ultimately don’t understand spit about consciousness, it reasonably seems more closely connected to feeling than thinking.

    So, as a descriptor for alien species that ought to be accorded civil rights, it’s not at all inappropriate.

  18. At a sci-fi convention, Larry Niven once conducted a public argument with a lobster, resulting in his nickname “Speaker to Seafood” (a reference to “Speaker to Animals” in “Ringworld”). The incident was later recounted in “Footfall”, attached there to a character who was a thinly disguised self-portrait.

  19. The big, legal fireworks show in the county park – towards the end of the show something went wrong and a fire was started!

  20. This one from Adult Children (and not featuring any of their usual characters or settings?) brings to mind the Buni in this post. A bit of a CIDU for me at the end, as I can guess what a “floating day off” is for staff scheduling, but not how “fallen” would fit.

  21. Sort of as though this was planned for the 4th but they didn’t get to use it for some reason.

  22. Brian: No, whatever UK agency was involved in that should have figured out how to use terminology everyone else understands.

  23. It was already using the terminology. There are number of discussions the use of “sentient”. Here’s a bit from Wikipedia (usual caveats):

    Sentience is the capacity to experience feelings and sensations. The word was first coined by philosophers in the 1630s for the concept of an ability to feel, derived from Latin sentientem, to distinguish it from the ability to think.

    I just don’t think your contention is well-supported, but the UK regulations are.

  24. Do you think a lobster experiences feelings and sensations, or reacts to them? The latter is a prerequisite for the former, but they aren’t equivalent, and as far as I understand it without raking up articles, the UK agency meant the latter. Which is a perfectly reasonable basis for animal cruelty laws.

    Meanwhile, the only people who really seriously talk about non-humans that subjectively experience the world are science fiction writers, and as you’ve noticed there’s something of a consensus there.

  25. And I might add that (as far as I can tell, anyway) that consensus is neither arbitrary nor uninformed by what the word means; it reflects a sense that consciousness is the important ingredient in humanity and thus in any peers we may run into, not necessarily the ability to string logical propositions together or any of the other bits associated with “intelligence”.

  26. Did you miss the bit about “thinking”? I don’t disputed that the word “sentient” has acquired expanded meaning, but that doesn’t mean that the original use is now wrong, which is what you seem to be saying.

  27. To return the sentience debate to the realm of comics, Andréa has sent us a couple of relevant cartoons.

    First, this Non Sequitur:

  28. My mom is 94 and living in a nursing home. She complains to me that she can’t remember anything. I have tried to help her feel better. I told her about some of the things I do to remember what to do.

    The obvious is my assorted cell phones (one is real phone to call on – others are old ones I like better, have no service but I have found various purposes for them – such as Palm Centro has better calendar/to do software and I sync it with Lotus Organizer in a virtual XP machine in my Windows 7 computer. I can also use the Lotus Organizer with this laptop – Windows 10 – using a virtual XP machine – but have not figured out how to attach the Palm to this computer for it to sync with the Organizer). Last Android camera will actually transfer photos to computer. Blackberry was feeling lonesome, so I keep it sit on the month calendar so with one touch of its button I have same for reference. I use the assortment only in the house. So I tell her about how the cell phones ring when I have to do things – start shutting down to cook dinner, do the laundry, change the towels/bed linens and so on.

    Or I change the hand towels in our 2 bathrooms on Mondays and Thursdays (bath towels taken as needed). I change the kitchen towels on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Friday. For the upstairs bathroom I have 2 sets of blue hand towels, a set of light blue and a set of yellow. On Mondays I put out the dark blue ones, on Thursday I put out whichever of the other two is waiting to be put out (not in the laundry). For the downstairs bathroom I have 2 sets of green towels, one of off white, and one of pink. On Mondays a set of the green towels go out and on Thursdays whichever one of the other two is waiting to be put out. In the kitchen I have towels which came in light beige, medium beige, and medium beige striped with blue (set of dozen towels). On Mondays the light beige go out, Wednesday the medium beige, and on Friday the striped. If I look at one of my cell phones and the color towels do not match the day it is – I did not change when I should have.

    Robert and I have taken to texting to each other to avoid – “No, you told me that you wanted hot dogs for dinner – not meatballs!” type arguments – no matter which one of is right. Along with this – for years he has had me cook hot dogs in a cast iron frying pan. About 3 months ago he decided that he wants them boiled instead. First couple of times I forgot. Now the frying pan I used to cook them in has a note sitting in it – “BOIL the hot dogs.” so I don’t forget. Note is removed and put back each time the frying pan for something else.

    For some reason it did not seem to make her feel better – then again – she insists she does not what a “van” is (we have a Chevy Astro van) and says she has never has known so. i will have to bring pictures of our van and our Class B RV (I was trying to explain the difference to the two – RV is converted Chevy van) when next we go with her to a doctor in a couple of weeks to resolve this.

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