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Friday, November 04, 2005


War Zone

Bonfire. Interesting word, and not strictly speaking of English derivation. To delve into the etymology for a moment, ‘bon’, meaning good in French and fire derived from ‘feu’. Literally a ‘good fire’. Would that it were always so.

Every late October and early November it’s the same old story. The neighbourhood show-offs decide to have a bonfire party in every street on every night. My dog doesn’t like it at all. He and most of the animals in our street hate the mini artillery barrage and small arms fire that is as I write being exchanged between two rival factions on the big new posh housing on one side, and the early 20th century part of suburbia on the other. He has been hiding under my desk every night of the last week or so, cute little paws over his terrified soulful brown trusting eyes, and will be there for the next two weeks.

For myself I’m not too fussed, it’s their money, why should I care. Sure, bonfire night is one of those things which are for the kids. No problem there mate, your kids need a childhood, and bonfire night is an important event in that calendar. Yep, let them watch their Dad light the fuse of something with enough gunpowder in it to leave a foot wide crater in the patio if it all goes pear shaped. Let them laugh hysterically as he’s carted off to casualty with second degree burns after going back to light a dud with his fag. This is all part of the rich, sweet fabric of which 21st century childhood is made.

Now if you think I’m turning this into an anti fireworks rant I’m not. I like fireworks in their place. That place is up until ten pm at night after which all hostilities should cease. This lets me and all the other pet owners allow their captive tame predators outside to give the nocturnal rodent population a hard time, or wander round with tails wagging; sniffing at the odour of burned gunpowder and being able to void their bowels. All I ask is to be able to walk my dog after ten o’clock without risk of the odd stray round detonating nearby and causing immediate constipation, much to my chagrin when the terror fades around four in the morning and I’m greeted by a little brown present in the back room at half past six.

One thing though; is it my imagination or have fireworks become much bigger? I was passing through Tesco’s the other night having done a little late night shopping for Mrs Sticker, who was at a residents association meeting, and I saw several items that dwarfed my childhood recollection by a factor of ten. I’d hate to be anyone of Middle Eastern appearance who gets collared carrying one of those, the firearms boys would not muck about I’m sure. Bang-bang. “Er, Sarge, I don’t think wasn’t he was a suicide bomber.”
“How do you know that constable?”
“It says ‘Standard Fireworks’ on the box Sarge.”

I need a drink.

I am Rabies. Grrrrrrrr!
Which Horrible Affliction are you?
A Rum and Monkey disease.


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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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E-mail address : billsticker at gmail dot com


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