The Daily Jocks ad for the 4th, featuring their very own patriotic underwear, worn by a decidely worried-looking model (with my caption):

Hank was always
Up for the
Hot-dog eating
Contest, but he was
Anxious about exploding
Fireworks in his pants

The DJ ad copy:

Show your patriotic side with these special edition USA undies. Featuring a soft waistband with a bold logo and printed flag, whilst the cotton/spandex blend will keep you feeling comfortable and looking great!

(Hank’s patriotic side seems to be right out in front.)

The caption introduces the ambiguous nominal exploding fireworks, just like the famous textbook nominal visiting relatives (ambiguous Visiting relatives can be dangerous, unambiguous Visiting relatives is dangerous vs. Visiting relatives are dangerous): Vprp+ Npl, with two interpretations:

(a) as a sg nominal, with N understood as the direct object of V

(b) as a pl nominal, with N understood as the subject of V

For Hank’s purposes in the caption, there’s not much to choose between his exploding fireworks in his pants (interpretation (a)) and (his having) fireworks exploding in his pants, perhaps spontaneously (interpretation (b)); either possibility is alarming — unless, of course, the fireworks are metaphorical, as we should all hope they are.

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