Bonfire Night Spanking

06Nov15

bonfire 91978 bonfire nudesIf I was an American I would add the word ‘not’ after the heading, but then if I was an American I would probably have no idea what Bonfire Night is anyway. That’s the point really, Bonfire or Guy Fawkes Night is receding from British (English?) culture under the onslaught of Halloween (an even older British but now thoroughly Americanised pagan festival).

You will note that yesterday (on the day of Guy Fawkes Night itself) I published a late Halloween themed story and not a Bonfire one.

Bonfire Night, if you don’t know, ‘celebrates’ the capture of one Guido Fawkes, a terrorist caught in 1603 with a lit match next to a several tons of gunpowder under the Houses of Parliament in Westminster. He was a member of the Gunpowder Plot, which was a scheme to assassinate King James VI (First of England) and the entire political estate in the name of Roman Catholicism.

The plot, actually led by Robert Catesby, laboured under the delusion that if they could only kill a few lords and politicians the by then overwhelmingly Protestant nations of England, Scotland and Wales would rise up and reinstate the ‘True Faith.’

It never occurred to the plotters that what probably would have happened in the ensuing chaos is perhaps the greatest anti-catholic pogrom in history, so maybe that’s why my local Catholic Church has Bonfire Celebrations too.

To celebrate this lucky escape every year on November 5th people in Britain let off fireworks and burn effigies of Guy Fawkes.

Incidentally the plot gave us the English phrase ‘to blow-up’ meaning to explode when a rather vague note of warning was sent to King James containing this then unknown expression.

But what has this got to do with spanking? Well actually nothing, which is why I didn’t do a post yesterday.

Although I did find this anecdote.

“Yeah, when we were kids and old enough to buy our own fireworks we girls bought a batch and set them off in a rubbish bin to scare the boys. We found out that night that old enough to buy fireworks was not too old for a spanking.”

You have to be 18 to buy fireworks in the UK. So I thought about spinning it into a story, but I ran out of time.



One Response to “Bonfire Night Spanking”

  1. 1 ffaiirrm

    Shakespeare used the idea of an explosion “blowing” someone or something “up” just one year prior to this, twice in quick succession, “I will delue one yard belowe their mines, And blowe them at the Moone.” and “For tis the sport to haue the enginer Hoist with his owne petard”. He didn’t use the actual phrasing “blow up”, but Edwin Sandys did a few years prior to that. (Well, strictly speaking he used “blow uppe”, but then the act of parliament about the Gunpowder Plot used “blowuen up” so you have to allow for historical spelling changes in one if you allow the other).

    Shakespeare, Sandys and indeed the communique about the Gunpowder Plot all have in common that they mean an explosion having a vertical effect, and it’s not until the Great Fire that we have “blowing up” used of the less directional explosions of the deliberate blowing up of buildings to act as fire-breaks.

    The Gunpowder Plot no doubt has some bearing on this usage having become general in the intervening years, but so too Shakespeare’s Hamlet.


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