A big bang ... or a damp squib?

Aasma Day

Aasma Day

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There are some things in life that seem so thrilling when you’re a youngster, but by the time you’ve become a grumpy grown-up, the magic has somehow been sucked out of them.

As a child, I loved Bonfire Night and was fascinated by fireworks fizzing across the sky psychedelically painting the darkness with a vivid array of colours and I listened with a mixture of fear and delight to the loud bangs and explosions.

We never actually had fireworks in our own garden nor did we go ever go to an organised public display but on November 5, we’d be spellbound just gazing out of the window.

And I can still remember the pure joy at gripping a sparkler in my gloved hand for the first time in a friend’s back garden and excitedly waving it around.

It wasn’t just the illuminating extravaganzas that enthralled us, but the Bonfire-themed sweet and sticky confectionary guaranteed to rot your teeth.

Chomping on teeth-breaking treacle toffee and rock hard toffee apples or destroying your gnashers more slowly with candy floss was all part of the fun of fireworks night.

As an adult, you often re-discover the allurement of enchanting experiences when you have children of your own and get to see things through a child’s eyes again.

This is true of so many things – the Tooth Fairy, the Easter Bunny and Father Christmas to name just a few. But I’m afraid as the years have gone by, Bonfire Night has turned into more and more of a damp squib.

One of the reasons is having too much of something makes it less of a novelty and rather boring.

There was a time you’d only ever saw fireworks shooting across the sky on the Fifth of November.

Then they became regular sights at New Year with many people wanting to celebrate the fresh year with a bang.

However now it seems fireworks pop up pretty much all year round with people using the slightest excuse to play with gunpowder.

Getting married? Why don’t you have a fireworks display? Is it your birthday? Why not light some fireworks? Throwing a party? Buy some bangers to make it go with a bang. “Oh it’s Tuesday today, let’s let off some rockets.”

Wizzard may have sung, “I Wish It Could Be Christmas Every Day” but in reality, we all know that would make life very tedious.

Someone should have recorded: “I Wish It Could Be Bonfire Night Every Day” as they would have found their wishes have come true.

Fireworks have become the norm and the magic has been lost.

At the risk of sounding like a party pooper or a November Scrooge, why does it seem like it’s been Bonfire Night every day for several weeks?

Some nights I’ve felt like I’ve been living in a war zone and the loud bangs terrify pets and young children.

Restricting fireworks to the one night would make them special again, but people have them so often even the most spectacular of displays raise little more than a few initial “oohs” and “aahs”.

In fact the only night you struggle to see fireworks is November 5 as people have usually got so used to hearing fireworks, they forget about Bonfire Night itself until the last minute when they panickedly start Googling to find their nearest display.

I am definitely more in favour of proper organised fireworks displays than people going to supermarkets to buy their mini-explosive devices.

As a child, I begged my parents to have our own fireworks in the garden, but as a grown-up, I realise it’s extremely 
dangerous.

Why is it that it’s always the men who seem to be the bright sparks who are allowed to light fireworks and bonfires?

It seems that just like barbecues, they simply won’t light for anyone with female reproductive organs.

I do think there’s a strong argument for banning fireworks being sold over the counter and leaving them for public displays only to prevent antisocial and downright dangerous behaviour with them.

Besides, they’re so expensive for just a few moments of pleasure that those who fork out for them must have money to burn.