October, Halloween and Guy Fawkes

Posted on October 31, 2016

I don’t quite know how it happened but halloween seems to be one of those things that has crept on me (excuse the pun) and exploded into an event that if it keeps going along the same popularity curve, it will eclipse Christmas within a decade.

Maybe it is social media and seeing all the fantastic faces and outfits that have been all over Facebook this weekend but as I remember it, it was just dunking your head in a washing up bowl full of cooking apples that were so sour you would spend the next half an hour talking like a retard with one eye shut.

Anyway, I was talking to my son, George, and his friends the other day, and what I didn’t realise is how out of fashion Guy Fawkes has become. The rise of halloween has seen the demise of poor old Guido, who was something of a legend when I was young.

None of George’s friends had heard the term ‘Penny for the Guy‘ so it is basically now obsolete, even if we do have fireworks on just about every day from the 15th October to the 30th November, allowing the air to clear just in time for more of the bastard things at Christmas and New Years Eve…unlike Guido Fawkes, fireworks are doing very nicely.

This all reminded me of a great story from my youth when using feral ingenuity, my friends and I decided that to save time, instead of making a Guy, we would stuff my trousers and shirt with old newspapers, put a pair of my mother’s tights over my head, stick an old fishing hat on, and transport my good self around in a wheelbarrow. I looked great.

This went down a treat around the local neighborhood and we were soon raking in the cash as well as being congratulated on how eerily life like the Guy was, with one women even thinking she had seen it move move, which of course, she had.

Cashing in on our popularity, we went for the ultimate gamble by entering the public bar of The Cricketers Inn public house in Baughurst, a place that on a Friday, had a hearty and boisterous customer base.

We entered to raucous cheering as I did my utmost to remain still whilst my pals (Jimmy Witts, Mark Cunningham, Ian Fogarty and some I can’t recall) collected up the windfall; we were having an exceptionally entrepreneurial night out, far better than our £5:00 a week paper rounds.

Then, as we were about to leave, a chap known as ‘Pete the Feet’ decided, in his wisdom, that he would show off to his pals by hitting the Guy (me of course) with a pool cue…in the head. It is still not known who screamed louder, I, in pain, or Pete in shock, as a bruise on my forehead instantly attempted to burst through my mother’s tights.

Of course, the result was more cash as the jolly folk of The Cricketers had enjoyed one of the finest moments of spontaneous comedy the old place had ever witnessed.

Anyway, I hope you enjoyed that tale, and I hope you enjoyed October too, it was a wonderful month with very little rain and plenty of warm autumn sunshine. I have a feeling that when the statistics are compiled, it will be one of the warmest, or certainly the driest, Octobers in years.

As November arrives, so does the colder weather apparently, so the jackets may have to come out this week

The music on the October picture video is provided by I am Arrows with ‘Sun Comes up Again’. It is quite apt that the singer, Andy Burrows (formerly of Razorlight) comes from Stockbridge, in or around where many of these photos were taken.


2 Replies to "October, Halloween and Guy Fawkes"

  • Trevor Hickman
    October 31, 2016 (10:47 pm)

    Nice Guy Fawkes story 🙂

    With every passing year I seem to hate Halloween more and more. I know I’m swimming against the tide and inevitably like you suggest the whole shebang will become bigger than Christmas before long.

    I can’t figure out why I hate it so much. I know a lot is written about ‘Americanisation’ (or more probably ‘AmericaniZation’ and I think that’s true. Conversely though the people who dressed their kids up as zombies are fairly unlikely to eat Turkey for thanksgiving or wave the stars and stripes on 4th July so I don’t think it’s that that bothers me so much. I’m agnostic in my religious views so it’s not the demonic/witchcraft stuff that bothers me either. There’s also the ‘stranger danger’ argument, but even that doesn’t carry much weight with me.

    I’ve come to the conclusion though that the reason I hate Halloween is that’s it’s basically just a shit celebration. Dress up in crappy zombie stuff you’ve procured from a pound shop and then go and scrounge handfuls of boiled sweets from Aldi…… Great. Fun.

    Hopefully the sentiment such as the vigilantism against things like the stupid people dressed up as ‘scary’ clowns will grow and the kids dressed in white sheets begging sweets will just clear off back to where they came from as a result.

    I also hate that if you’re ‘anti-Halloween’ you’re labelled as ‘grumpy’. I just don’t buy that…I’m not going to celebrate May day by donning morris dancing costume and jingling around the May pole. That doesn’t make me grumpy – it just makes me eminently sensible and I’d argue the same was true about not taking part in Halloween.

    And I agree, it’s sad that Guy Fawkes has lost out. His is a story of real history. Someone who blew up the Houses of Parliament nowadays would be hailed a hero not a villain. In secondary school had a mate who fancied himself as a scientist and used to make his own fireworks – we had some real catastrophes there (he never made it as a scientist either). And there was nothing like chucking a banger at someone’s front door or cat or emptying an airbomb and making a ‘genie’ (and inevitably burning half your fingers as a result). Cold nights, wearing standard issue blue or green parkas running round the streets with your mates armed with a box of bangers and 10 B&H you’d bought from the paki shop. Those were the days.

    My kids asked me last night why I wouldn’t let them go and beg sweets along with their friends. I think I muttered something about them getting fat and having rotten teeth. I don’t think I even care much about that (apart from the dentist bills) I think it’s just that the whole Halloween thing, aside from being imported, pagan, trashy etc is just basically shit.

  • Gill Dixon
    November 4, 2016 (6:12 pm)

    Made oi laugh xx

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