Sunday, July 01, 2007

money to burn

The down-the-street neighbors are playing with fireworks tonight. An article in the current Metro Pulse points out that Tennessee is one of only ten states that don't require a permit to shoot them off. As of today, you do have to be at least 16 years old to buy fireworks. My neighbors could have bought their mortar shells at any of the countless stands just outside the Knox county line. Or they could have picked them up from the merchant whose TV commercial I saw this morning.

Bimbo's sells fireworks year round from their location just off I-75 in Lenoir City. Their TV spots are of the "so-bad-its-good" variety. As I recall, the owner of Bimbo's (and star of the commercial) is on the Lenoir City council. I met him when I got the key to Lenoir City during a remote broadcast almost five years ago. Since they are running ads, the city must have resolved last year's discussion over whether Bimbo's should be able to sell fireworks and gasoline at the same location. Also last year, a blogger named Bay Loftis wrote about her excitement over buying and exploding fireworks from Bimbo's.

A few years ago I did a phone interview with Deborah Norville of "Inside Edition." I wanted to ask her about a comment she made on "The View." While she was describing her family's road trip from New York to Georgia. she said that Tennessee had the best bathrooms. When I asked Deborah about our local rest stops, she volunteered that she and her family had stopped at Bimbo's because she couldn't resist the name.

The owners of Bimbo's Fireworks must know what their name means to most people. I wonder if the makers of Bimbo snack cakes realize the connotation of the word in this country. Bimbo could turn up in Mexican marketing textbooks just like the Chevy Nova did in our books.

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