Bonfire of the vanity units.
The Anti-Barney reminds us that it’s that time again. As the occupants of the big house, we have to let the village use the field for their ethnic rituals. This has always been a problem for us Maroons. Like all the best Scotch Families we are now probably 2/5 Irish and I don’t mean planters either. The Family, as Scotch as the bonnie purrrple heather, is riddled with Irish Sinn Fienners and American Fenians like worms in a cheese. We were forfeited in 47 and have never since bent the knee to the king, well not to them German-Hanover-Battenburg ones anyway.
Old Guido was probably a relative as well, on the distaff side, and to complicate matters considerably, my father still insists we celebrate St Andrew’s Night on the 30th with even more fireworks, gusto and extravagance - to “show them”.
So, when all the other kids were waving sparklers, putting jumping-jacks in peoples pockets, bangers in prams, and chanting Burn the Papists! like any other village across the country, I was forced to eat cold gruel and learn my Latin declensions, or so it seemed. My mother eventually allowed me to join in when I was 10 or 11, so long as I didn’t actually touch the grimy village kids, and kept my fingers crossed at the anti-catholic bits.
Back then, as the fire died down at about 11:30, we would throw in some potatoes, let them burn for 10 minutes then eat them, a grand end to a social evening. At highly organised events, like the scouts or whatever, if you got crisps and Irn Bru, you thought you were at a pretty sophisticated, flash bonfire.
TODAY, we as landlords, are expected to provide Bovril, baked tatties in foil with fillings no less, and maybe a nip for the dads with sugar free, organic fruit smoothies for the little Jocastas and Justins. The same, who are allowed to hold a sparkler if they’re wearing welding mitts, safety glasses and are standing in the sand pit.
And another thing, it was held on the FIFTH until midnight, no matter what fucking weekday it happened to fall on. “Fuck the school, I’m going out to the bonfire!” was what we muttered under our breaths.
Remember Remember, yeah well we fucking will. Garn!