I often wonder how many people actually remember why we have bonfire night or realise that it’s effectively a prolongation of the anti-Catholicism of sixteenth and seventeenth century England. In Lewes, they actually burn an effigy of Pope Paul V, or at least, I assume they still do.
Not that I’m for banning Bonfire Night on the grounds of religious intolerance. 99.999% of people lighting a banger tonight won’t be screaming ‘papist’ or shaking their hot dogs towards a burning cardigan and slacks topped with a Jimmy Savile wig. Bonfire night has become the one night of the year when the health and safety police are forced to cower behind their sofas as the rest of us express our personal freedom to stick a couple of sparklers down our underpants and wear a Catherine wheel as a hat. Not that I advocate sticking a couple of sparklers down your underpants or wearing a Catherine wheel as a hat. In fact, I’d probably recommend that you don’t do either. Leave that to the experts, as they say, or at least the guy who lives at the end of your road and has a glass eye due to a previous year’s larking about with incendiaries. As for myself, I’ll be indoors. I’ve not actually bought fireworks since I was a kid. ‘A fool and their money are easily parted,’ is a phrase I associate with November the fifth. All through my formative years I’d hear it muttered every time a particularly loud explosion shook the house.
I suppose the only reason we should ban Bonfire night is because of the injuries caused to innocent victims by local yokel types suddenly excited to rediscover fire. Tomorrow the news will no doubt have the usual reports. ‘Somebody thought it funny to set off a roman candle in a phone box but it took out the entire street…’ ‘He threw petrol on the bonfire but it set his trousers alight…’ ‘They tired bangers to the dog but it ran in the house and ignited the curtains…’
However, here’s a cartoon I drew last night whilst rewatching ‘God Bless America’ but with the commentary track enabled (highly recommended). If I’d had time today, I might have redrawn the kid and the parent but I don’t have the time.