Tonight is Guy Fawkes night, also known as bonfire night, also known as burn the Catholics night. It commemorates the foiled attempt of Guy Fawkes, a republican Catholic, to blow up parliament with 36 barrels of gunpowder.
So basically, there are lots of fireworks displays followed by the burning of an effigy of Guy in a very big bonfire. This year, I was invited to watch the Wolfson College display which was also a charity fundraiser. I haven't been to a Guy Fawkes celebration since 2001 so I left the comforts of my lab to walk the 1000miles it takes to get to Wolfson.
It was a good display and when the last big firework exploded high in the air leaving a trail of smoke that is so not environmentally kosher, I led the chanting of "Burn the Catholics! Burn the Catholics!" The raucous crowd repeated the chant like the loyal army of some banana republic led by a despotic ruler with a bad haircut. Then I realised, Waitaminute....I haven't been excommunicated yet, hence I AM still a Catholic!
By then, the crowd could smell blood and the chanting grew louder. Hmmm, who else can we burn? So I changed the recipe to "Burn the midgets! Burn the midgets!" and so the mob chanted "Burn the midgets! Burn the midgets!" Then I realised, Waitaminute.....I AM also a fucking midget!
Dang, I had to think quickly as all eyes fell on me. I was the ONLY Catholic midget in attendance. Who else can we burn? The Jews? Nah, so last year. And the girl of my dreams is Jewish. The Buddhists? Nah they do that to themselves. Gloria Macapagal Arroyo? Nah, she's going to hell anyway. Gad, here was a big-ass bonfire and no one to burn....
Thankfully, one girl started passing marshmallows on a stick and everyone was content to just gather around the bonfire, under a glorious full moon, singing songs.
I left quickly lest the crowd change their mind and wanted to burn Catholic midgets after all...
Earlier in the morning, I was so bored out of my skull that I ended up getting a haircut, borrowing cd's from the library (got the new David Gilmour-wow, Primal Scream-nice, Pearl Jam-return to form!, Madeleine Peyroux-sweet! and Fiona Apple - depressing but mesmerising), and lingered at the Jericho coffee house and read their Hello magazine cover to cover. Potang enang shet, figure this out - you are a cocaine-addled rock star (Pete Doherty) who can barely sing and who got kicked out of your old band and yet you end up being engaged to a supermodel (Kate Moss) who, after being exposed on the tabloids snorting the Bolivian marching powder, is now worth $60M? Dammit, I wish I too had taken drugs.....
I also bought two books from Oxfam. I keep telling my parents to get a new cat to replace our dearly departed yellow tab named Benetton (we still miss him). So, I got my mother this book Yoga for Cats just in case they are ready to welcome another alpha-pet to keep them company. I also got this book of Unuseless Japanese Inventions for some creative inspiration.
The Chaturkonasana and the Akarna Dhanurasana poses. I'm pretty sure my cat could have easily done these. He's just so frigging lazy sometimes.
My cat's favourite yoga pose is that one on the bottom left.
Your camera doesn't have optical zoom? No problem, you need this 'Scenic Extender'. Also good for those narcissistic gits who love to take pictures of their faces up close and there's no one around to help them.
Annoyed that your flatmate's alarm clock keeps waking you up? Give her this alarm clock that's meant for one person only.
There are lots more amazingly funny inventions in the book, but if I posted them all, I'd be breaking copyright.......