SHIT

I'm Sick of Pretending: I Don't 'Get' Bonfire Night

Be honest with yourself: it is, actually, shit – for these eight simple reasons.
01 November 2018, 10:13am
bonfire night fireworks shit
A blessing. Photo: Rob Wilkinson / Alamy Stock Photo

Yes, OK, I'm a miserable bitch who hates joy, let's get that out the way. But honestly: I have never liked Bonfire Night, and I know I'm not the only one. My childhood memories of bonfires exclusively involve me standing inside, by myself, watching through a window because I was scared of the noises. In all honesty, not much has changed.

Here is a comprehensive breakdown of why Bonfire Night! Is! Shit!

YOU ONLY WANT TO GO TO A BONFIRE TO TAKE PHOTOS OF THE FIREWORKS, MAN, COME ON

You've paid your money and you're at the big park bonfire squashed between two sets of young parents, at least one of whom is wrestling an extremely vocal two-year-old into a pair of mittens. Someone very tall is standing right in front of you, you lost your mates in the queue for mulled wine (£8 a cup, even though it's just Sainsbury's Pinot Noir with orange peel in it, warmed up on a portable hob), and the signal is spotty. This is not a good situation to be in! It sucks! You actively don't like it! But you stay. Because the reason you have gone to the fireworks is the reason you do anything: for the 'gram.

I am not judging you. You are dealing here with someone who has actively enjoyed holidays less than I otherwise might have because I was busy doing Instagram; I am that bitch. But I am just asking you whether it is the fireworks and Bonfire Night themselves you love (and certainly, these people exist – see five headings below), or the sweet, sweet dopamine hit of likes. Also very aware that you could apply this to literally anything anyone documents on social media, which is a happy thought.

RELATED: THE FIREWORKS ALL LOOK THE SAME

If you have seen one Insta story of a firework or a Boomerang of a sparkler, you have fucking seen them all. Same as cats. Grow up.

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Photo: VICE

IT'S TOO LONG

I mean this in two senses. The first: not to be too Brexit about it (I'm being Brexit about it), but Bonfire Night means Bonfire Night. I understand that all the big park bonfires happen on the weekend before or after, and I will generously stretch to accepting those – I'm not a regular mum, I'm a cool mum – however, I would also argue that we have to draw a line when it is two weeks either side and the neighbour is setting fire to a second tree via Catherine wheel.

Secondly, though, I want you to consider this: how long is looking at fireworks really and actually enjoyable for? Be honest with yourself. How long do you give it before you stop watching and just, like, light a fag or go on Tinder or something? A colleague of mine estimated that fireworks are good "for the first five minutes", and I agree. Fireworks are decent craic for five minutes only, and then it's just loud banging, paying £7 for a hotdog from a tin and, to be frank with you, enabling pollution.

QUEUES

Honest to god, is there anything more miserable than being surrounded by coughing children; middle class mums sighing every six seconds because this is the most inconvenienced they've ever been; Bumble couples; and Australians taking group selfies, in a queue formation? There is not, and what I just described is the line for every public bonfire in London, and probably beyond, too. And you've paid like £20 to be there, you dickhead.

IT'S FUCKING COLD

Self-explanatory. Simply can't be arsed, I'm afraid. The period from mid-October to March is a strictly indoor-only vibe, unless a) I'm being paid for my presence, or b) I'm absolutely wankered! I don't make the rules! Except I literally do! And I don't want to go outside!

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Photo: Miguel Caycedo / Alamy Stock Photo

THE ONLY PEOPLE WHO GENUINELY LOVE FIREWORKS ARE WEIRDOS FROM YOUR YEAR AND *SOME* DADS

There are very few fundamental truths in this life, but here are the ones I know for sure: that you were born, that you will die, and that there was a boy called Craig or Luke or Richard at your school who was just absolutely obsessed with fireworks, to the point where – years later – it is the only thing anyone remembers about him.

These people (and the approximately 25 percent of dads who derive their only happiness from their yearly home garden bonfire, emanating pure joy as they fucking bomb it, giggling, down to the slabs after lighting a rocket) are the only ones who deserve to celebrate Bonfire Night. The rest of you are pretenders.

IT'S MEAN TO DOGS

In what we can all agree is a stunning display of rhetorical technique, I have saved the only point that I think will half-convince anyone of my argument until almost the end, for effect: dogs, mate.

We're all millennial, Gen Z types here, aren't we, and we all like dogs, don't we, because they’re nice and soft and silly, and they balm the wound of the fact that many of us will probably never be in the appropriate economic position to have our own children. Point is: dogs hate fireworks, and on a very basic level I just don’t think you want to be responsible for upsetting a dog.

WHAT IS THE POINT

But honestly, this was only ever going to end the way that basically all of my articles end, which is to say: death is coming. Go to a bonfire if you want, yeah, but also: is standing outside in the drizzle, filming underwhelming sparks in the sky, really how you want to spend your limited time on this rotting planet? Nope, nope. I know you, because you're just like me: you're a worm, and what you really want is to be eating chips, preferably while someone goes down on you. Bonfires are simply another state-sanctioned tool to distract us from the real aims.

@hiyalauren