As a certified Ranty Grumpy Curmudgeon, I find the trend of gender reveal parties to be more of a “Y’all come look at us and make us feel good!” deal more than anything else.
Some folks enjoy having a party. Some want family and friends involved in their pregnancy. And others are just vain youngsters who think the world revolves around them; less politely, they’d be called attention whores or drama queens.
I guess that covers things fairly well. Told you I was a curmudgeon.
An off-duty U.S. Border Patrol agent in Arizona got into the act with the gender reveal party in April 2017. But his big bang instead left more than 47,000 acres of scorched earth as a reminder. After packing a target with colored powder and some explosive Tannerite, his rifle shot into the target revealed not only the gender but also a flash that started a wildfire.
No doubt there were more than a few shouts of, “Oh! Oh! Oh!” after the climactic explosion.
The Washington Post reported that the fire quickly spread through the dry brush, spurred on by unusually high winds and lower-than-average rainfall. By the time it was fully contained over a week later, the fire had done $8 million worth of damage.
Dickey immediately turned himself into U.S. Forest Service authorities and admitted he started the fire. He pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor of causing a fire without a permit. Dickey apologized in court in late September 2018, saying he felt terrible about the situation. He was given five years probation and agreed to pay restitution of more than $8.1 million, although that’s unlikely. The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Arizona said he has paid $100,000 already and will pay $500 a month for 20 years.
Tannerite promotes the use of its product for these gender reveal parties. You can order a box with colored tannerite to tell your happy party guests whether the bundle of joy will be a boy or girl. Or maybe mix the colors together if you’re going to have twins.
Or, y’know, you can pass out cigars and tell everyone after the baby’s born if you have a son or daughter like we did in the olden days. Harrumph, harrumph.
Dickey’s formal sentencing is Oct. 9 in U.S. District Court in Tucson.
Featured image: Sawmill Fire, www.azcentral.com