That is how English children asked for money to purchase fireworks for Guy Fawkes' Day, each November 5th. That day was so-named after the principal participant in the Gunpowder Plot where he contrived to blow up Parliament in 1605. Anyway, Guy Fawkes failed, and he was tortured and executed.
Guy Fawkes is sometimes toasted as "the last man to enter Parliament with honest intentions."
Seeing that it occurs in close proximity to Election Day, maybe Americans can adopt this day in our already swollen number of days to celebrate in some way, like Arbor Day and Confederate Memorial Day. It can be an occasion to express one's dissatisfaction with whomever gets elected, as long as it doesn't go so far as to be actual violence! Anyway, I recommend the Alabama Solution for dealing with undesired politicians:
Actually, adopting another day of celebration is likely to catch on if the proponents follow Rule 129, also known as eViL pOp TaRt's Law:
"A day is likely to be widely adopted as an occasion for celebration if it provides an excuse to drink alcoholic beverages and kiss strangers indiscriminatively." Think of St. Patrick's Day, New Year's Eve, and Cinco de Mayo.
Now in the original Guy Fawkes' Day festivities, English kids made dummies from straw, used clothing, and other scrap materials to burn in a bonfire. These were referred to as "guys." Over time the work guy came to refer to an oddly-clad man. Later on, it carried a general, pejorative term. However, Americans used it loosely to refer to any male. [Youse Guys.] And lately, to my annoyance, the word guys is used collectively to refer to any group of people, whether single-sex or both sexes. Is this a triumph or a defeat for feminism? Or is it a subtle message that one needs better make-up or even a boob job. I don't know.
Anyway, I'm used to being a "guy," and do not any longer assume that I'm sexually misidentified or suspected of having designs to blow up Parliament. And I never wear those stupid masks like the Occupy people do!
But there's more to the Guy Fawkes tale. He also once fought for the Spanish in the Low Countries, and used the name Guido Fawkes. Imagine this: if he continued that name back in England, perhaps later people would be referred to as "guidos." And they wouldn't have to be from New Jersey!*
So, have a safe and sane Guy Fawkes Day. Shoot off fireworks during the early evening so as to not awaken sleepers, and kiss willing participants!
*Whew! That would have made me a guidette!
|Guy Fawkes was a sharp dressing dude.|