So you’ve decided to have a gender reveal party. They’re corny, to be sure, and kind of regressive, but ultimately mostly harmless.
Unless, that is, you are laboring under the delusion that you need an explosion of pink or blue for a good gender reveal party. Other options— lasagna, a dragon egg, a Justin Timberlake concert, and even an alligator—work just as well without the risk of injury, a lesson learned too late by two Iowa families.
On Sunday, a gender reveal party in Dallas County came to a startling conclusion when a storebought explosive gender reveal kit—how is this a thing???—malfunctioned, causing a larger than expected explosion that, thankfully, did not hurt any of the assembled guests.
That explosion came the day after a much worse incident on Saturday in Knoxville, another rural Iowa town. Pamela Kreimeyer was one of six members of her family who gathered to find out the sex of her daughter’s baby using a homemade device rigged up for the occasion.
It was made of a welded metal stand, gunpowder, wood, and tape, designed to shoot colored powder into the air upon ignition. Instead, the device essentially functioned as a pipe bomb, exploding outward, metal shrapnel hurtling in all directions, including at the family standing 45 feet away.
Kreimeyer was struck in the head, and she died on impact.
This tragedy comes just over a year after a Border Patrol agent inadvertently started a 47,000-acre brush fire with a chemical-filled balloon designed to reveal the sex of his baby upon popping.
In the best-case scenario, all of these calamities would have ended with cheers and a lot of hugging because the point of the party is to celebrate a new person coming into the world.
So if you are expecting and you want to do the whole gender reveal thing, just keep in mind that embarrassment should be the worst consequence of a gender reveal fail, something innocuous not dangerous to the friends and family who will support you as a new parent and your new kid as he (or she!) begins their life.