Monday 05 November 2012

Remember remember the something of Somevember

It’s a bit odd that Bonfire Night/Guy Fawkes’ Night/All Bonty’s Eve (whatever you call it) has the old ‘remember, remember’ song. If there’s one thing in a kid’s calendar it’s several dates that they aren’t going to forget: Birthday, Christmas, Bonfire Day and Third Wednesday after Pentecost – maybe local elections. By eight you tend to rope in the days you finish school for the summer holidays. You never understand when Easter is – it’s just something you find out about a few weeks before. I still don’t know how Easter is made – much like calculating how many runs a cricket team needs to avoid a follow-on in a four innings game, it has always remained a mystery to me.

Of all the initial dates I mentioned only this one has its own song*. The others are remembered though aren’t they? Who needs a song ro remember their birthday? OK I did, What is that date that my mother gave birth? Why are you asking, to create mirth? No I wish to stop the genth** of Shoe Pie***, Very well then: it was the tenth of July. But the tenth of July is a very hard date to remember, in my defence. It must still be because no-one ever remember my fucking birthday. Two cards this year. And I sent two of them.

Of course the song has heritage in the story of Guy Fawkes – I was joking, you shitty bastards. For those of you who don’t know, Guy Fawkes was the Johnny Rotten of his day. Only rather than sing sarcastically about saving the Queen Fawkes tried to blow up the whole fucking Houses of Parliament (it’s the House of Lords actually, fact fans) with some explosives. And why did he do it? He was part of a group of CATHOLICS trying to kill proddy King James. Remember that the next time you’re running about with a sparkler. You should be ashamed of yourself. Unless you’re a republican Catholic who is amused by small flames then you will probably be pretty bloody chuffed with yourself, especially if it’s one of them that does the different colours.

Do I avoid bonfires and fireworks because I hate catholics and love the monarchy. No (well..a bit) and no. I just don’t like intermittent loud noises (known as ‘bangs’) and groups of people. In addition to this I am indifferent to large fires (the absence of fire never started from a large fire – but The Big Fire of London and when they burned Rome almost certainly both started from a large fire) and the visual side of fireworks.

I do remember going to some bonfires – well I say that, half the time they aren’t really bonfires anymore are they? Just firework displays. I went to one at the Mellors’ house in Millbrook when I was about eight. I didn’t get why everyone had mushy peas – though I was enamoured with my sparkler. I didn’t realise the sectarian significance of it at the time or I would have used it to sketch a picture of the Pope in the night sky – and piss on it. I went to to a firework display at Didsbury Rugby Club a few years ago, a night I remember mainly for being the first time I attacked cider as a draught option. No, don’t really remember any more than that. No, wait, I do remember doing a sparkler in a relative’s kitchen once.

Community Message: Have you ever met someone damaged by a firework? Did you ever meet someone who said they went back to a firework that didn’t go off – and that it went off in their face? Did you ever meet someone who couldn’t cough because of swallowing a sparkler? No – do you know why? Because local authorities and Fire Brigades generally do a bloody good job promoting the messages of safety. Remember that next time you’re paying your taxes.

*(Where does it come from? Well history books only tell us so much when researching the rhyme’s origins. There seems to be a consensus in western scholars that that the 2005 film V for Vendetta may be the first place it was heard.)
**’genth’ was a slang term in Stalybridge and was used with particular reference to shoe pie.
*** ‘shoe pie’ was a slang term in Stalybridge and didn’t refer to a pie of any kind – let alone one that included shoes! It was simply something that was genthed.

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