Tuesday, 6 November 2007

Big Bang

I don't like fireworks. Not because I have any particular objection to celebratory bangs and flashes (in moderation), but because the bloody things seem to be on sale for ages before Bonfire Night, and the local youfs love to use them as not-so-miniature hand grenades.

The resulting near-constant barrage of explosions in the run-up to November 5th terrifies my animals (and, I'm sure, many other animals, too), and generally gets on my nerves. Several times in the past few weeks I have speculated on exactly where I would like to shove one or more of those bloody rockets, if only I could get my hands on the little sods who keep letting them off.

Until tonight, however, it never occurred to me that there might be some local youfs so lacking in brains as to very nearly (oh, SO nearly) act out my speculations - on THEMSELVES. Earlier, I was sitting in my car outside the local late night supermarket, chatting on the phone and keeping half an eye on a couple of shadowy figures lurking in the mouth of an unlit alley adjoining the car park.

From their furtive movements, I assumed they were probably engaged in some nefarious activity that would, fairly shortly, oblige me to cut short my phone call and summon the constabulary. In the gloom it was difficult to make out any details, but the mental image I was assembling had room for young, walnut-brained, muscular and behoodied males, bristling with the implements of whatever crime they had in mind and a touting an unpleasant vocabulary slightly smaller than their shoe size.

As I watched, a match was struck and instantly went out. Another followed, and did the same. Clearly, they were not seasoned lighters of matches, or they would have known to turn their back to the howling wind, and, possibly, cup their hands around the flame. Eventually, our incompetent proto-arsonists managed to keep a match alight long enough for me to get a look at them.

Far from the vicious-looking male hoodies I was expecting, I caught sight of a couple of young girls, probably about 15 years old, reasonably well dressed in jeans, high-heeled boots and dark coats. They were huddling around something, to which the recently ignited match was applied. It, whatever it was, started to smoke and fizz, and I realised with mounting amazement that one of these fashionable but incredibly stupid young women was actually holding - yes, holding, in her actual hand - a fairly big firework, and that the fuse was burning.

How long does a fuse on these things burn for? 5 seconds? 10? I don't know, but the holder of same stood looking at the fizzing tube for what seemed like an awfully long time. Suddenly, the extent of her folly seemed to penetrate her air of terminal bimbohood. She squealled and, arms waving at shoulder height, boot heels clattering, she galloped off accross the car park.

Unfortunately, instead of doing something uncharacteristically sensible, like throwing the bloody firework as far away as possible (something her male counterparts seem to grasp without too much difficulty), she just dropped it. Right at her colleague's feet. Bimbo 2 seemed to be made of sterner - or at least thicker - stuff, and stood her ground. She looked, mesmerised, at the pretty fizzing tube by her foot for several more seconds before the herd instinct took over, and she joined her comparatively smart associate in a shrieking, arm-waving, boot clattering retreat.

To say she cut it fine is an understatement of gargantuan proportions. High-heeled boots are, I assume, not designed for running in, and this prime example of terminal stupidity was barely 5 feet from the firework when it began to spit forth red and green globules of fire. Mere seconds later, its short but violent life ended in a thunderous bang that showered my car with sparks and hot debris, and, I suspect, occasioned an unscheduled knicker change in both of its intellectually challenged former owners.

What kind of people would do something so unutterably dumb? It's not a matter of education, I'm sure. They cannot have failed to see thousands of fireworks doing their thing in the last few weeks, and it should be obvious that they pack a fair punch. They don't need to be TOLD these things are dangerous - it's bloody obvious. Bloody would certainly have been the operative word had these dopey bints waited even a few seconds longer before tottering away.

While I cannot imagine that their demise would have been any great loss to the human race, it seems unreasonable to expect the health service to work its magic, such as it is, on people who are just so plainly incompatible with a world where any degree of thought might reasonably be required. As it is, these two specimens are alive and well, and it is surely only a matter of time until, following an altogether different kind of bang, they are ushering their own offspring into the world.

It seems unlikely that the offspring will be any brighter than their parents, and, with such sparkling role models to follow, they seem doomed to follow in their bubble-headed, high-heeled footsteps. What hope can they have of a reasonable, or reasonably long, life when their mothers seem willing and able to blow themselves to kingdom come for a giggle? These girls, and the thousands like them, both male and female, who clutch fireworks in darkened alleys all over the country, are compelling arguments in favour of enforced sterilisation if ever I saw one.

Billy Seggars.

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