Firework District burns with the cold hard truth: Kenny Be's Sign Language

The stretch of Federal Boulevard between West 52nd and 58th Avenues should be identified on maps as the Denver Firework District. Every street has a warehouse that is open year-round to make a pile of money in the one week before July 4th.

In mid-June, banners and flags are added at each location to compete for customers, but price is never mentioned. That's why I did a double take when I saw the the phrase "High Prices" flash on the variable message sign below the Black Cat at Pyro City...

The sign advertising "High Prices," seen to the left of the photo above, appealed to me for its cold hard truth. However, this image was just the unfortunate second sequence in the poorly separated phrase that read "Avoid... High Prices... Shop Here." If I were the sign's programmer, I would have used the phrase that read "Enjoy... Low Prices... Shop Here," just to avoid sending the wrong message to fast-passing motorists.

And another thing: Is Pyro City a good name for a fireworks business? It has the sound of a discount health care facility that provides service to price-conscious pyromaniacs. Of course, no sign in the Firework District can compare to the "Fireworks and Hobbies" clock, seen below:

Despite the pairing of the two words displayed on the old-timey clock, fireworks and hobbies don't seem like they go together. A hobby, like stamp collecting or scrapbooking, seems so sedate compared to the excitement of fireworks. That is, unless your hobbies are liquor, pinon nuts and frozen chili. And that's not all... Liquor, fireworks, used cardboard boxes and insurance seems like a dangerous shopping strip combination. But in the cold, hard light of a new day, it all starts to makes perfect sense. The truth is that these stores need each other to survive.

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