Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Sparks will fly

I love fireworks. My Lovely Husband™ loves them even more. I don't know what happened for Guy Fawkes Night the first year that we were together, but for some reason, it didn't come up. However, the second year, it did. And then we realised that we were as bad as each other. We spent a fortune on the things. (I mean well over $100 each.)

Given its relative proximity to China, fireworks in NZ are imported in huge quantities and at very low prices. They can only be sold for a few days before the 5th of November. The rest of the year, you can't buy them. Also, some years ago, a ban was introduced on rockets. Something to do with bush fires, I think. November in NZ can be reasonably warm and dry, and rockets aren't nearly as "safe" as they are in the UK, which is pretty reliably cold and often wet at that time of year.

Last year, my Lovely Husband™ missed out on Guy Fawkes Night here, because he was still in the process of sorting out his visa. So this year, we've bought some rockets. Oh, how his little eyes shone when he saw them in the shops! And tonight, I splashed out on one extra large rocket just for him. I took a picture of it, intending to spice up this entry with it, but Blogger isn't playing ball with me.

Thing is, for some time now, I've been harbouring doubts. I love fireworks. But they are so bad in just about every way:
  • They put lots of nasty chemicals into the environment.
  • Expended rocket shells interfere with wildlife. Or children.
  • Modern rocket shells are made from non-biodegradable plastics.
  • They are freely available to would-be terrorists looking for a supply of explosives.
  • A lot of them are made in sweat shops. Probably.
I've lived in London long enough to have been here when Guy Fawkes Night fell on a Saturday. The stench the next day was amazingly bad. I felt like I was in one of those 70s public awareness cartoons about smog, where the big smog monster attacks peoples washing lines.

What we are supposed to do is go to a public display. Obviously, this isn't nearly as much fun, since you don't get to light the things yourself, and that's the big thrill. And even if everyone went to such displays, we'd still be putting a whole load of toxic junk into the atmosphere for no good reason, and at ridiculous cost.

It's the kind of thing that the amazing Mrs. Pritchard would get rid of, if she were in charge.


Inexplicable DeVice said...

Wheeeeeeee! You're back!

Another reason fireworks are bad: They make flying at night a bit of a 'mare. They're still pretty, though.

I hope you and your Lovely Husband™ have a fantastic display this year.

First Nations said...

You're back!
I promise I will never mention St. Augustine again.
starting now.

Da Nator said...

You forgot the part where you could blow parts of your own or the Lovely Husband's body off. Public displays are always more impressive, anyhow.

I only recently came to understand what Guy Fawkes night is and I have to say I find it a little odd teaching children to burn people in bonfires, even if they are the equivalent of modern terrorists. Then again, if the Bush administration gets their way, here in the U.S. we'll be burning effigies of "islamic fascists" in public bonfires soon, if not actual, live terrorist suspects.

Holidays are weird.

Tickersoid said...

Pontypool park, 7pm, Fireworks to music.

Can't top that at home.

First Nations said...'re right on all counts against, but dammit; it just isn't a proper holiday unless you get to set things on fire, blow things up and risk fatal injury.

why yes, I'm American. why do you ask?

Reluctant Nomad said...

Welcome back!!

Anonymous said...


Megan said...

I always have trouble doing fireworks.

BEAST said...

I am with First nations and Mr C on this one , its just not any fun unless you are burning or exploding exploding things