Sunday, 8 November 2009

In which our hero does a 180-degree u-turn

Two days. That's all it took.

On Thursday I'd wittered on intelligently argued against the use of fireworks. "A considered commentary on the latter-day ramifications of this ancient festival," the critics said.

Well, if I tell you they said it, and you don't ask for proof, no-one gets hurt. OK?

But then we went to see Liz and Kev last night. And that's when it all unravelled. The first words spoken to us as we walked through their door - "Did you remember to bring fireworks?"

"You wanted us to bring fireworks? We never knew."

"Well, we've got some left over from Thursday. We're going to have a little display in the back garden. But we haven't got any rockets. They might have some in Asda across the road though."

There was a pause. Katie looked at me. I looked at Katie. Katie sighed a well-rehearsed sigh and uttered the immortal words. "Go on then."

Like big kids Kev and I skipped over to the shop. Like overgrown children we surveyed the goodies on offer. Like superannuated toddlers we came back, tooled up with our own Weapons of Rather Localised Minor Destruction.

The next 50 minutes were spent hurtling back and forth along L & K's garden, brightly-coloured cardboard tubes in hand.

"Is it lit?"

"Dunno. It's difficult to tell."

"Ooh, hang on, the fuse is fizzing. Scarper!"

Then we'd run the 30 feet back to the house, turning to survey our handiwork. For We Are Men And We Make Fire.

Just for a brief moment, I actually was 8 again. And I was in another garden, miles away. And my biggest worry was whether the fireworks would last all night. And I was watching the stars bursting overhead. And I was smelling the cordite. And I was looking forward to Mom's baked potatoes and chili. And Dad was telling me and my brothers to watch out for the next one.

And I was remembering how he'd be even more excited than us kids.

I seem to be getting a lot of echoes this year.

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