Posts Tagged ‘mannequins’


In honor of Independence Day, I proudly present this patriotic column from 2002, in which I salute the brave mannequins who sacrificed various plastic body-parts to keep us safe on the 4th of July.

© 2002 Mark W. Mayfield

The 4th of July is one of my favorite holidays. I love celebrating our nation’s independence with my family and friends. I love listening to military bands play patriotic songs. I love displaying Old Glory on my front porch. I love reciting the Pledge of Allegiance, including the “under God” part. I love reflecting on the precious freedoms that all Americans enjoy. And I love watching dangerous fireworks severely injure innocent mannequins.

Before proceeding with today’s column, I must issue this important disclaimer: I do not promote, condone, encourage or recommend the use of dangerous fireworks. On the contrary, I strongly urge all readers to purchase only “Safe & Sane” fireworks from a reputable vendor. Do not purchase fireworks with these labels:
“Dangerous & Insane”
“Murderous & Paranoid”
“Treacherous & Psychotic”
“Sneaky & Subversive”
“Naughty & Unstable”
“Slightly Mischievous & A Little Wacky”
“Sweet & Sexy”

I realize that most readers don’t need that disclaimer, but my legal advisers made me include it for the ne’er-do-wells who twist, mangle and misinterpret my columns in a coordinated effort to destroy my reputation as a serious, respected journalist. (“Ne’er-do-wells” is a fancy word used by serious, respected journalists to describe people who have too much time on their hands.) Here are two examples of how the ne’er-do-wells operate. In a recent column about the hit TV show Fear Factor, I said that some executives at NBC are “greedy bigwigs.” Well, believe it or not, the ne’er-do-wells twisted, mangled and misinterpreted those words and then accused me of saying that some executives at NBC are “greedy bigwigs.” In another recent column, I said that my family’s miniature dachshund is “a stupid, worthless wiener dog.” The ne’er-do-wells took that harmless characterization and made it sound as if I had called my family’s miniature dachshund a “stupid, worthless wiener dog.” Just imagine what the ne’er-do-wells would do with this column, especially the part where I said, “And I love watching dangerous fireworks severely injure innocent mannequins.”

Now let’s return to today’s thought-provoking column about the dangers of fireworks.
Many July’s ago, when I was about twelve years old, the evening news aired a graphic film of a “cherry bomb” exploding in a mannequin’s hand. In a split second, several of the mannequin’s fingers disappeared. Because of his carelessness with dangerous fireworks, the mannequin instantly lost his ability to make a living by modeling snow gloves and wedding rings.

That graphic demonstration made a tremendous impression on me. It made me desperately want to illustrate the dangers of fireworks for my friends. Unfortunately, mannequins and cherry bombs were hard to come by, so I settled for a GI Joe and a firecracker. (I bought the firecracker from an older boy down the street. He sold it to me for only $18.00)

My demonstration was much more imaginative than the one on TV. I pretended that “sneaky Russian commies,” had booby-trapped GI Joe’s jeep with dynamite. As several neighborhood kids watched nervously, I ignited the fuse and jumped out of the way. Seconds before the firecracker exploded, I yelled, “WATCH OUT, JOE! SNEAKY RUSSIAN COMMIES BOOBY-TRAPPED YOUR JEEP!” (I intentionally waited too late to shout my warning because I didn’t really want GI Joe to escape the blast.)

The explosion propelled Joe’s little plastic body several yards to the right of the jeep, where he landed with a sickening thud. I then turned toward the stunned audience and gravely said, “That’s why you should never play with dangerous fireworks.” At that point, my mom, who was a ne’er-do-well at the time, ran outside and immediately began to misinterpret my demonstration.

Fortunately, GI Joe received immediate treatment for his injuries. A neighborhood girl quickly transported him to a nearby army hospital, where a beautiful Barbie nurse in a tight-fitting uniform repeatedly kissed him on the lips.

My legal advisers just suggested that I issue another important disclaimer: I do not promote, condone, encourage or recommend the willful mistreatment of plastic action figures. Furthermore, I firmly believe that GI Joe and Barbie shouldn’t kiss each other on the lips until they’ve dated a few times.

The main point of today’s column is this: If you play with dangerous fireworks, you may not be as lucky as GI Joe.

Happy 4th of July!