The Checkout

The CPSC Channels Gallagher

Annys Shin

So I was watching the Today Show this morning with the babe and the hub (the hub was watching it to catch a glimpse of a Redskins player who was a groomsman in a Today Show-sponsored wedding) and I was pleasantly surprised to catch a segment starring Consumer Product Safety Commission spokeswoman Julie Vallese and an exploding watermelon.

The soon-to-be-exploded watermelon. (Annys Shin)

With July Fourth around the corner, the CPSC is out with its annual "fireworks can blow your fingers off" message. And what better way to get the attention of the target teen audience, or rather their parents (cause the kids probably aren't watching) than some sample explosions?

To show how powerful these suckers are, the CPSC folks first put a firework under a watermelon. I think the technical term for what happened next is kerplooey!

A dummy demonstrates what NOT to do with fireworks. (Annys Shin)

They then exploded another firework in front of a dummy.

The dummy wore a freshly pressed blue polo and khakis and seemed a tad over dressed in my opinion considering it was only there to get blown to bits. I guess a naked dummy might have been indecent and Today is a family show, after all, as correspondent Natalie Morales reminded the Naked Cowboy during an earlier segment.

As luck would have it, the explosion that followed did not expose any dummy flesh but did blow off its hands and half of its head. I think Harvey Keitel was supposed to show up at that point but those party poopers Matt and Meredith cut to commercial.

The dummy post-explosion, missing half his head. (Annys Shin)

Actually, now that I think about it, moms packing lunches are a more appropriate audience for the watermelon stunt since no one born after 1990 is likely to feel a twinge of nostalgia at the sight of an exploding Citrullus lanatus. (If you have a better synonym for watermelon, I'd like to hear it.)

Since the CPSC didn't use a Sledge-O-Matic or make Julie don a striped shirt or suspenders, the agency will probably escape a lawsuit from Gallagher, who, as the rest of you Baby Boomer and Gen Xers probably recall, sued his own brother for copying his watermelon-smashing schtick.

I am now waiting for the CPSC to use a giant couch to demonstrate the new furniture flammability standard.

By Annys Shin |  June 25, 2008; 10:05 AM ET Annys Shin
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Annys, great post. Gallagher doesn't get enough appreciation. You also photo credits - did you take a picture of your TV this morning?

Posted by: atvman | June 27, 2008 12:06 AM

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