7/04/2009

Disposable Income Dept.


Driving the stretch of I-85 from Atlanta to Charlotte one could be forgiven, while looking out the window and tuning the radio, for thinking that South Carolina’s two major exports are broadcast interpretations of the word of God, and firecrackers.


On July 3rd, it is difficult to find a parking spot in the sloping lot in front of Shelton Fireworks in Fair Play, SC. A stream of gunpowder enthusiasts emerging from the triangular warehouse push shopping carts laden with rockets, bombs and other explosives toward their trucks and SUVs.


Inside, towering piles of cardboard artillery wrapped in cheap colorful paper form aisles of product, a destructive fantasy superimposed on a supermarket. The carefully piled stacks of identical packaging recall the dry goods at your local megacenter, but the brands and products are unfamiliar. Boxes of detergent, cans of coffee and jars of marmalade are here replaced with TNT wrapped in a lurid but predictable iconography. Superheroes and villains promise violence, flames, deafening booms, adrenaline, sparks and patriotism. Gangsters mingle with Martians, and Uncle Sam unleashes his wrath. The colorful labels and the cardboard bangers are manufactured thousands of miles away, in China, with July 4th in mind.


Fight the fight...

Nine shots of voodoo...

Hellfire barrage...

American valor™

Land of the free, Home of the brave®

6 comments:

Gladly Lerne, Gladly Teche said...

Pretty impressive, but this Shelton place can't hold a roman candle to Big Daddy's Fireworks, Interstate 24, at South Pittsburgh TN.

L. Harmon said...

or Mrs.Firecrackers.

Katie from the Ice said...

Um... I would like to think that the two fireworks stores I manage in Wisconsin rank high on the list of best fireworks stores in the US of A. The 90-hour work weeks, 18 employees, and hundreds of sales per day are exhausting. It is a crazy seasonal job for sure, and I am extremely happy that it is post-July 4th.

They say it's a cold world said...

OMG Katie! I had absolutely forgotten that you manage a fireworks store when not icebound! I promise to visit next time I am in Wisconsin. Nevertheless, there is something deep south about "Shelton Fireworks" that makes me believe they just might be the ultimate explosives superstore...

They say it's a cold world said...

Oh yeah, L. Harmon, uh, we didn't stop at "Mrs. Fireworks," so how would you know?

L. Harmon said...

maybe because I might have a life outside of ours. just saying. It's Mrs. Firecrackers, enough said.