Good news to my damaged ears today, as I find out that a petition has been set up to ban public use of fireworks, and it’s already got more than 2,000 signatures. It’ll need 10,000 to get a response from the government, and 100,000 to be brought up in parliament. Here’s the title of said petition:
Change the laws governing the use of fireworks to include a ban on public use
And here’s why it’s been proposed:
“Fireworks cause alarm, distress and anxiety to many people and animals. We call on the Secretary of State to make appropriate provision to secure that the risk of public use is the MINIMUM that is compatible with fireworks being used, as stated in Fireworks Act 2003 sect 2.”
Of course, I have zero clue what the Fireworks Act 2003, sect 2 says, but I’m pleased there’s people out there that hate fireworks as much as me. They’re terrible, right, and I don’t know why they’re still a thing. Here is a shockingly accurate timeline of any normal person’s relationship with fireworks:
First time seeing fireworks: Oh wow, these are fun - explosions in the sky! What a laugh we’re all having! Ooooooooh, aaaaaaaaaah etc.
Second time seeing fireworks: Huh, bit like the last ones I saw, but that was a year ago, so this is still relatively novel - I am, remember, a small and easily-pleased child.
Third time seeing fireworks: THESE ARE SHITE
Of course, to talk of any human’s relationship with fireworks would be to neglect, say, a dog’s stance on the whole matter:
Dog’s first time seeing fireworks: OH MY DOG IT’S THE END OF THE WORLD
Dog’s second time seeing fireworks: (see above) WHY DO MY OWNERS HATE ME
This current petition has been set up with animals specifically in mind, and yeah, fair enough, they don’t like the loud noises and flashing lights, but I say: just get rid of them because they’re boring as all heck. They are dogshit, and they also make the dog shit.
I may come across as a fun-hating curmudgeon here, and I hate to spoil the people’s idea of a good time, but the thing is, they’re not a good time. I’m at least 97% sure that the majority of punters at any given fireworks display around the world are not really enjoying it. The bods running the event probably don’t like fireworks either, but they’ve succumbed to this false memory, this absolute misconception that everyone likes them. If you’re throwing a bash and it goes on into the night, there does not have to be a fireworks display to elevate it to ‘good time’ status.
Have you ever - think about this - ever been to a party without fireworks and said: “Yes, it was good, but I wish there were fireworks”? No, you have not done this, because nobody has ever done this; unless perhaps the party was advertised as having fireworks and you went specifically because of this fact. Again though, even a lack of fireworks at a specifically-advertised fireworks party wouldn’t bother me that much.
It is simply a case of this: once you have seen one fireworks display, you have seen them all. There are certain one-time novelty exceptions like when you first see a catherine wheel, or when they spell something like **HAPPY BONFI E NI HT** out of fire - but if you see all those things on your first go, you’ve completed fireworks on hard, no cheats. There’s nowhere to go now.
Yes, there’s something to be said about the charm of a private, close-quarters backyard display - there’s an element of immediate and quite terrifying danger for example (I have attended at least one which descended into ducking, diving chaos), but again, once you’ve done it once, that’s about your quota used up. And your dog is resolutely not enjoying it either.
Fireworks are bad, and also - and this is important - enjoyed by mean arseholes. Their capacity for causing pain puts them high up on the list of things-that-aren’t-weapons-but-can-be-used-by-mean-arseholes-as-deadly-instruments-of-pain-and-death. Tying them to cats or firing them into the house on your grandma’s 98th birthday - these are the actions of young, obnoxious thrill-seekers, and actually, a ban would probably sort that out. I mean, they’d simply find another way to propel a British shorthair over a fence, but still.
Either way, I won’t be signing the petition - I don’t care about anything enough to waste time on a baby’s charter, but you can if you want, right here. Besides, it won’t do anything - a similar petition reached 168,160 signatures last year and failed to make any difference. Oh well, the sentiment is there.
Also, quick disclaimer: despite saying all of this, sparklers are entirely exempt because they’re so fucking sick that anyone saying otherwise is going to get one right down their big mouth, make no mistake.
(Image: Nicolas Tissot)