Gunpowder, treason and plot
Indeed, this has become a fairly regular weekend event. No celebration, it seems, is too minor to merit a fusillade of gunpowder. Lady Bracknell suspects that these persons believe fireworks to be appropriate to such memorable and life-affirming events as "having successfully staggered home from the pub without vomiting in the gutter", or "having successfully managed to video-record Match of the Day rather than the arts documentary on the other channel". In fact, it can only be a matter of time before companies such as Hallmark begin to produce greetings cards for such events.
(One can, of course, ring a special police telephone number if fireworks are let off after midnight. However, this is not a great deal of use when one is unable to identify exactly which pokey back yard the nuisance is emanating from. Lady Bracknell recalls that it took her some considerable time to identify the number of the house at which she saw an entirely nude woman at the back bedroom window, a task she undertook on behalf of Messrs Marmite and Dude, both of whom had evinced a keen interest in forging an acquaintance with the female in question. For some time after the original sighting, the Dude had a tendency to stand like a man transfixed at the window of Lady Bracknell's kitchen and to gaze wistfully over the garden wall. But she was never seen again. Or, at least, not naked.)
Lady Bracknell is firmly of the belief that the blame for the tendency to add fireworks into the equation of even the most minor celebration can be placed firmly at the feet of the Millenium. Prior to the 31st of December 1999, the nuisance value of fireworks was (more or less) restricted to Bonfire Night itself. But since that fateful date, one can expect be startled out of one's peaceful slumbers at any point from October to February. And sometimes even during daylight hours. (This is where Lady Bracknell's parsimonious streak would take effect: should she ever be of a mind to set off fireworks herself, she would most certainly only do so against a dark night sky. She is given to understand that fireworks are far from cheap.)
All of the above is merely a preamble to Lady Bracknell voicing her opinion that fireworks ought not to be held out for sale to the general public at all. Quite apart from their nuisance value, they are inherently dangerous. No matter how many times the cheerful and anodyne presenters of such children's televisions programmes as Blue Peter issue Dark Warnings about the perils of treating fireworks with less than one hundred per cent respect, lives continue to be blighted every year by horrific burn injuries. Lady Bracknell is not so keen to welcome new disabled people into the fold as to wish facial disfigurement on to young children.
But it was this news story which really shocked Lady Bracknell to the core. (Readers of a sensitive disposition are warned that the story contains a graphic description of the brutal treatment of a small dog.) Lady Bracknell hopes that some of the people who have so far supported the continuing sale of fireworks to members of the general public might reconsider their views on the subject in the light of this deeply unpleasant and unpardonable incident.