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Saturday, November 05, 2005


Bright ideas

The combatants are at it again tonight and there’s no escape. My dog is a quivering mess in the corner and I’m not happy either. Poor animal doesn’t know which way to turn. Upstairs the bangs from fireworks get louder and there are three separate factions within a hundred metres of our front and back doors throwing money into space with ever louder bangs.

Some of you out there might think I’m exaggerating wildly about it sounding like a war zone out there tonight. Okay, most of you have never been in a war zone so I’ll just describe how it sounds to me right as it happens. There were a number of sharp cracks going off that sounded like aimed single shot rifle fire a few seconds ago, followed by one large ‘crump’ that shook my front windows a second later. Three other ‘crump’ noises about a hundred metres away followed by the distinctive whistle of a rocket. Then ten seconds later from the other direction, much further off, another two rockets. There is a hiatus of about a minute, then one large ‘boom’ noise about two hundred metres off, that must have cost a few pennies. Three heavy calibre, almost like the rounded bang of a 12 gauge shotgun from one side and then the other, followed by the flatter crack of a rifle-like report. Five rocket whistles from half way across town in rapid succession. Then there is another pause before it all starts up again, fire dopplering from one side of town to the other, now a rapid series of what sound like the distinctive bark of an AK47. Now the shotgun like sounds, like several gunmen shooting at each other from the opposite ends of a nearby street. A few moments for the protagonists to reload and it starts again further down the road. All of a sudden there’s one less than fifty metres away three AK rounds rapid fire. Another two loud ‘crump’ noises followed by a ‘boom’. Do people really enjoy this?

This is absolutely no bullshit. I just typed that down as I heard it with no embellishments whatsoever. No wonder the poor bloody dog looks so damn traumatised.

I know bonfire night only happens once a year, but how come they need to make the bangs so damn loud? As I posted last night, some of the fireworks sold nowadays have more explosive within them than some 19th century artillery munitions. I know this because antique firearms are a little bit of a hobby with me.

This still leaves me with no solution; the dog is a neurotic wreck who can’t lie still and I’m debating going over to the closest party with a fire extinguisher and a baseball bat for a little heart to heart with noisy neighbours. Wits end looms like an oncoming train and no solution in sight.

Suddenly brainwave! One quick trip to the bathroom later I dig out one of the girls’ facial cleansing pads and cut it in half. Grab hold of terrified mutt by the collar and gently insert half cotton pad in one ear, half in the other. Half an hour later, he only looks up when there is a really close near miss from a big one. He’s even come out when I offered him a dog treat. Still a bit wary, but a lot calmer. So no need to start World War 3 with inconsiderate neighbours.

Things seem to be dying down around now (21:45 GMT) as the firework money runs out, but I’m not letting my guard down. I’m sure there’s a bunch of twats who’ll come back from the pub, all brimful of beer and bullshit, to restart proceedings at eleven through to one in the morning. I know it’s the weekend guys but come on.

This fireworks business has got out of hand. Maybe we ought to impose extra import duty on fireworks and black powder based explosives, just to get the bang size reduced to more sociable levels. Better still, why don’t we remove the safety restrictions on them completely and let the daft buggers who like keeping their neighbours up all night blow themselves up altogether? They get killed; average human intelligence goes up by point one of a percent. Win-win. Unless you happen to be in the fire or ambulance services. Having said that, I’ve seen no new material from Tom Reynolds since Wednesday, so I can only guess at what he thinks of it all.

Still, with his makeshift earplugs in my dog is a lot calmer and is even stretching lazily after the odd snooze. As a result, I am feeling a lot more relaxed. The Sticker household is once more a tranquil haven. Until the kids get back. Can’t have everything I suppose.


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Location: British Columbia, Canada

Exasperated expatriate expostulations all the way from British Columbia, Canada. As if anyone really cared. Oh, I also watch Icelandic Volcanoes and seismic activity. Don't ask me why.

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