Every year more than 65,000 of your closest friends, neighbors and countryfolk gather near the airport in Springfield, Mo., for Firefall, a big fireworks show. Every year one of the local television stations airs the "Concert in the Sky" and discovers that fireworks don't make for good television.
But Firefall '06 did. Not because of the fireworks, but because people do the damndest things.
Precious moments during the broadcast on KOLR, the local CBS affiliate:
•A little girl, hands covering her ears, looking very uncomfortable at the explosions.
•Another little kid, this one tugging at the Mom, asking to go home. Or to the bathroom; our lip-reading skills aren't what they used to be.
•Lots of blah-blah-blah from Ron Spigelman, musical director of the Springfield Symphony. We're Firefall purists; we expect the conductor to conduct, not make chit-chat.
•An especially bad performance by the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band.
•Lots of expressionless faces. You know, when people are paying attention to something -- in this case, fireworks -- they usually don't make for good TV.
KOLR's anchor, David Oliver, made for the worst TV of all. He and co-anchor Joy Robertson were wearing shorts for the broadcast. She can pull it off. He cannot. Oliver's sin was in keeping a notebook in his lap for most of the broadcast, so it looked like he was naked below the waist.
But man, that Tom Trtan can sing. Somebody ought to hire him to front the Dirt Band.