05.11.2005 05:59 - Guy Fawkes, where are you when you're needed?
It is that time of year again, November the 5th, where my countrymen celebrate the overthrowing of a terrorist plot to blow the Palace of Westminster sky-high, and return the country to a Catholic majority, by terrifying the neighbourhood dogs, and sticking bangers up cat's bottoms.
At this time, it is worth having a look at differences in the attitude to fireworks between Germany and England.
The typical British firework night is characterised thus : The family, wrapped in several layers of clothes to keep the cold out, will gather round a small fire at the end of the garden, upon which, a poorly-constructed effigy of Guy Fawkes will be placed, only to fizzle out due to the torrential downpour. During this orgy of State-approved arsonism, Father, dressed in thick flame-proof gauntlets and a welding mask, will occasionally take out one a firework from the massive, inch-thick explosion-proof steel safe they are stored in, place it in a pile of sand, and standing well back, light it with a metre-long taper. The firework, a typical British product engineered solely for sale to the Proles (For the real fireworks are only sold to Professional Firework Exhibitions, organised by ex-members of the SAS, who have long diplomas and have sat many exams on things that go "bang!"), will politely and discreetly combust, letting out a single green spark with quiet pop, lest it upset any cats, dogs or nearby writers of letters to "The Times".
Should the firework fail to go off, the neighbourhood is immediately cordoned off and the neighbouring houses evacuated, whilst the local Fire-Brigade encases the unexploded firework in reinforced concrete ten feet thick, leaving it for at least 25 years, until everyone's sure its absolutely safe.
It should come as some surprise, then, to the average Englishman, that Germany, the land blamed for suffocating EEC safety directives designed to prevent the more moronic offspring from improving the gene-pool by eliminating themselves from it, should seem to lack similar directives.
New Year's Eve is typically the time when most Germans invest in fireworks. None of your Brock's rubbish carefully engineered to be incapable of blowing off a sparrow's kneecap, (an act that I condemn and deplore with all the force of a rentaquote politician on amphetamines) In fact, your average German will quite often be found nonchalantly chain-smoking whilst making his way toward the Severinsbrücke in Cologne, clutching a bottle of Sekt (German champagne) in one hand, and in the other, a scaled-down V2 rocket, wrapped up in a nice flammable plastic shopping bag. Promptly, at 12.00, (because the Germans are a very punctual people), the sekt will be drunk and the bottle plonked down in the middle of the bridge. The rocket will be placed into this, and lit with the cigarrette. If he's lucky, the resulting explosion will throw him and several other bystanders, who have been showered with burning magnesium, directly into the cold waters of the river Rhine, where they will swim ashore, refreshed and invigorated by the cold water, yelling "Frohe Sylvester!" at each other, and then queue at the waiting ambulance, laughing and joking, whilst they wait for their third-degree burns to be treated.
So, this year, why not all gang up and take all the fireworks you have bought, travel down to London, and stuff them under the Houses of Parliament, and give the Nanny State a message it won't forget.