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The collected opinions of an august and aristocratic personage who, despite her body having succumbed to the ravages of time, yet retains the keen intellect, mordant wit and utter want of tact for which she was so universally lauded in her younger days. Being of a generation unequal to the mysterious demands of the computing device, Lady Bracknell relies on the good offices of her Editor for assistance with the technological aspects of her journal.

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Location: Bracknell Towers

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Gunpowder, treason and plot

Lady Bracknell and her feline companion have been doing their combined best to ignore the almost constant noise of fireworks for the last few evenings. Lady Bracknell was particularly displeased when vulgar persons in the street of shabby terraced houses whose back yards, but for the existence of a narrow, cobbled ginnel, back directly on to the back gardens of Bracknell Towers, set fireworks off outside her ladyship's bedchamber in the early hours of Saturday morning.

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.


Blogger The Goldfish said...

I wholeheartedly second her Ladyship's proposal to prohibit the sale of fireworks to private individuals. If folks were prepared to pool their resources (my beloved reports seeing a single rocket for £15 in the cheap shop in town) every town, village and Prince of Denmark could enjoy a single spectacular display. Much reduced danger, nuisance and expense for all involved.

Once when I was on the school bus waiting at some traffic lights I saw a naked man standing close to the window of the house opposite. I said, "Look! There's a naked man!" and everyone moved over to my side of the bus to look. The man disappeared from the window but then the front door opened and who should emerge from the house but our very own biology mistress...

9:49 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am appalled that these miniature explosives have caused my lady such distress. Until we get some commonsense amongst our 'friends' in Westminster and the public sale of fireworks is finally put to an end, it is something that we will have to endure for 6 months of the year. It has now become a trend for stupid people to buy fireworks for celebrations such as birthdays, death (in the case of Guy Fawkes) and even christenings. You are quite correct in that fireworks can be heard right throughout the year in some parts, something which this government appears to be doing little about. As for the monsters who 'blew up' the Yorkshire Terrier one feels that keys should be disposed of in the pit of forever once they have been used to lock them up. How very depressing. Thank heave we have The Perorations of Lady Bracknell, or otherwise one might feel that this life isn't really worth the stress. I thankyou my Lady.

10:34 pm  
Blogger marmiteboy said...

I too am of the opinion that fireworks should only be on sale to organised displays. At the age of about six I spent bonfire night in hospital (on account of a operation on my leg) and I can tell you the sight of badly burned children put me off for life.

I would also venture that the whole 'celebration' should be stopped. It is, in my opinion, anti-catholic in it's nature. In Lewes in Sussex for example it is celebrated as a Protestant triumph over the evils of Catholism (even though I'm no great fan of any religion I don't think crowing about hanging drawing and quatering someone shoild be celebrated).

8:37 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

At work one morning a female colleague arrived looking considerably discomfited. Questioned, she said that she had encountered a flasher on the way to work.

"Did you report it to the police? What did he look like?" we chorused.

She looked even more discomfited. "I didn't get a look at his face..."

This is a true story.

10:31 am  

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