Saturday, November 03, 2007

Remember, Remember

No Guy Fawkes here of course. So no bonfires and fireworks to look forward to. Actually it's pretty hard to buy fireworks here in the US - guns, no problem; fireworks, big problem.

In most states, fireworks that leave the ground are illegal. This doesn't stop people driving across state lines to get them if the neighbouring state doesn't have such a law. When you enter such a state, you usually start to see huge firework selling places right after the Welcome Station. In the days when I was a 2 or 3 week visitor to these shores, I never knew the significance of the large billboards advertising fireworks as if the place was something special. Now I know it is.

Halloween here in sleepy Buttonwood Bay came and went without much of a 'to-do'. We had the street party which had to go indoors and that was a sort of Halloween thing. But we got no trick or treaters as the park is a fair distance south of the town and anyway, the sign out by the road classes this as 'an active 55+ community' and this would probably put kids off visiting for treats.
Most of the residents would be getting ready for bed at trick time !!

I'm only joking. The park is a hive of activity up to about 9pm.

Many of the houses did have Halloween type decorations in the days leading up to the end of October and I spotted several ghostly ghouls and scary skeletons dangling from tree branches as I rode around the park roads. Either that or some residents had picked a bad time to commit suicide. I'll have another look as I take my bike ride today and if I spot a skeleton still dangling, I'll inform the front office........and the coroner !

Next comes Thanksgiving and those of us who are into decorations, will have inflatable turkeys, cornucopias and pumpkins all over the place. All these variations of the Thanksgiving theme sure makes rides around the park much more interesting for me as we don't have it back in the UK. Maybe we should. We have things to be thankful for, don't we ?

You can make up your own list cause I'm not going there.

After those decorations come down, it'll be Christmas time and the park will really go crazy. They put up so many lights on their houses that the park can be seen from the Space Station. If all the strings of lights were laid end to end........well it'd make it so much easier to use them the following year.

That was just my little joke about things being laid end to end. It's always wound me up. I mean when describing how many bricks were used to build something, they'll tell you if they were laid end to end they'd reach the moon and back. How helpful is THAT ? Not a lot if you don't know the distance to the moon. If all the rivets used in the Eiffel Tower were laid end to end, they'd go 3 times around the earth. ( I suspect the tower would collapse too ) And that impresses me.....why ? I just can't visualise that at all. For a start I've no idea of that particular distance and anyway, my brain can't deal with a distance more than the 3 miles to my local Sainsburys.

If all the times the words 'laid end to end' were laid end to end, well it'd be a whole lot of times indeed. There. I've wanted to get that particular annoyance off my chest for years and now I have. If all the times I've wanted................damn it's addictive.

So back to the fireworks.

Thanksgiving and Christmas and any other cultural high jinks at this time of year, come under the verbal umbrella of 'holidays' here. "Happy Holidays" you'll hear in greeting. "And Happy Holidays to you too, me old cock sparra, me old china, mate, pal, me duck" I cheerily reply. That confuses the hell out of them.

"Did that m-f just call me a duck ?"

"Oi, who you calling a m-f, ya chutney ferret"

Such witty banter would just never happen if they used "Merry Christmas".

I enjoyed going to organised fireworks displays back home. They did a great job in Roundhay Park for 5th November with the huge bonfire and the awesome 'ohhhhh' and 'ahhhhhs' fireworks. The 'ahhhhhs' would come from me when the fireworks exploded into a zillion colours up in the cold, dark, autumnal sky and the 'ohhhh' would come from me when some mom pushing a 3 baby pram would be looking skywards and so run over my toes. Thank you Guy Fawkes.

So there you have it, or not. No bonfires here this weekend - well unless Blanche mistakes the toaster oven for the tumble dryer again and her unmentionables go up in a blaze of polka dot flames.

That might be the closest we get to fireworks too.

1 comment:

Daphne said...

It's taken me years to understand that Americans say "Happy Holidays" to each other: I thought it was just a song title. And Thanksgiving moves about, doesn't it? Fourth something in November? And no Bonfire Night? By 'eck, lad, tha's in a foreign land.

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