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Hey, remember The Fourth of July, 2003? We don't, but found this in our archives:

Fourth of July Fourthiness.

Independence is on the march, patriots.

& Recently . . .

Kurt Cobain's Ghost with an Invitation to a Fourth of July Picnic and Fireworks by Angela Genusa

"B.L.T.": A Review by Will Layman

Ten Tiny Poems by Brian Beatty

Angry Words from a Gnome Who to This Day Continues to Think the Human Genome Project Was Actually The Human Gnome Project by David Ng

Key Party, N.Y.C., Circa Always by William K. Burnette

A Day on the Phone with Mythological Norse Firewarrior, Bringer of Storms by Aaron Belz

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(slightly smaller than New Mexico)

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Friday, April 22, 2005   |    Fiction

Airbag Warnings

by Angela Genusa

Never sit less than 10 inches from the steering wheel because if the airbag inflates, you may be injured, up to, and including, decapitation. The air bag is not a pillow, or a toy, and must be kept out of the hands of small children, who may be suffocated by it. Children should be placed in child safety seats in the rear passenger seat, facing backwards, otherwise if they are placed in the front seat, they may become tiny guided projectiles if the airbags deploy. Frontal inflators contain sodium azide and reach temperatures in excess of 1,200 degrees Fahrenheit. Should the airbag deploy, you may be burned—sorry, burned to a crisp. Osteoporosis? Do not sit less than 30 inches from the steering wheel, because if you are hit head-on, your neck may snap like a toothpick if the airbag deploys. Avoid putting objects between yourself and the airbag. O.K.: Hamburgers or foot-long coneys. Iffy: Cell phones. Do not practice the drum solo in “Wipeout” with drumsticks at red lights, because if the airbag is punctured, both ends of the airbag and the drumsticks may become projectiles. Under no circumstances should you read while driving. While this is always a bad idea because it will piss off the drivers following you, if an accident should occur and the airbags deploy, a thousand tiny bits of paper could explode into your face like confetti, leaving permanent scars. It is important to treat all un-deployed airbags with the same respect as an active airbag. Do not operate heavy machinery until you know what effect the airbag might have on you. Do not twist the airbag into entertaining shapes, such as poodles or cats, for children. Do not inhale from the airbag in an attempt to speak in a high-pitched, funny voice or get high. Do not sit on telephone books or booster seats while driving. If the airbag becomes distended or enlarged, call your car dealer’s repair shop immediately. Avoid using sharp objects, such as pens or pencils, to write on the airbag to take down some babe’s home phone number, because during an accidental deployment, there would be no control of the force and hot gases released, and anyone in the path of the release could be seriously injured. Never position your bare buttocks through an open side window, because, should a deployment occur, accidental or otherwise, this could result in serious injury to your buttocks, genitalia and/or other body parts. Do not place your breasts between the horn and the airbag while in bumper-to-bumper traffic because, should a fender bender occur, your nipples may be blown away. Never practice emergency veterinarian medicine, such as delivering a calf, as the airbag deploys. Do not use the airbag to store sick bags, in-flight magazines, or emergency instructions. Airbags may not be used as a flotation device in the event of submersion in a body of water. Do not allow your girlfriend to give you a hummer while you are driving; should the airbag deploy, she may be decapitated and you may lose your genitals. Never rest your feet on the airbag as you are about to ejaculate. It is a violation of federal law to use this product in a manner inconsistent with its labeling. Never touch deployed airbags with your bare hands or skin. Never stand while the airbag is in motion. Before rescuers cut through any post in your vehicle, it is imperative that they remove the interior plastic covering and visualize what the cutter is going to shear through. Cutting a hybrid inflator can cause it to fragment like a grenade. This product may contain sodium axide, argon, helium, jelled ethyl alcohol, rubbing alcohol, nitrous oxide, carbon monoxide, nicotine, crack cocaine, raspberry preserves, methane, methylparaben, refried beans, hot wings, Vienna sausages, guaifenesin, guar, benzyl alcohol, wheat germ oil, water, cetyl alcohol, psyllobin , dimethicone, propylene glycol, butane, citric acid, Vitamin C, FD&C Green No. 3, DHA, psilocybin mushrooms, and fragrance. Videotapes of actual accidents show how the airbag assembly, in part or in whole became projectiles. Some units were propelled through the roofs of vehicles. In one incident, inflator fragments tore a gaping 3-5 inch hole through the metal roof of one vehicle during a vehicle fire. Investigators discovered the remains of the driver’s inflator approximately 100 feet away from the vehicle. In other incidents, other parts have been found such as rivets, whole and partial remains of the airbag assembly, the airbag, testicles, eyeballs and other assorted body parts. If you feel the urge to hurt yourself or others with an airbag, or if an emergency medical situation arises, please call 911.

Angela Genusa is a writer of experimental fiction, poetry, and humor. A real smartass, she once asked her new creative writing teacher, Steve Barthelme, “Any relation to Donald?” Oops, her bad. Some of her work can be found on the Web in McSweeney’s Internet Tendency, Über, The Black Table, and Opium Magazine, among others. She weaves burlap and gold into the fabric of our lives.