Monday, 31 October 2011

"Happy Hallowe'en"? I don't think so

I will not be at home this evening. So when your children come knocking, the door will not be answered. I have now learned by bitter experience that this will be an excuse for the "trick" bit of "trick or treat". Last year the front of the house was comprehensively "egged". I just hope the damage they do this year will be no worse.

I learned this weekend of a day care that now has no toys for their children to play with when outdoors. Some idiot - armed with hallowe'en fireworks - set them alight. They were stored in a locked, fenced compound, so it was an easy matter to poke a firework through the mesh. They would, of course, claim ignorance that a propane cylinder was also stored there. The subsequent fire must have been especially gratifying for their pyromaniac tendency. The damage to adjacent buildings was significant.

The CBC attempted to deter by running a fire department demo of fire crackers - and video of a boy displaying what was left of his fingers after an incident last year. They followed up with the very useful information that legal fireworks - bear deterrents - are sold to anyone by outdoor outfitters. This also included video of how these devices work. They are, of course, explosives.

It seems to me foolish in the extreme to allow the sale of fireworks to the general public, in light of the record in recent years. Quite why fireworks and hallowe'en got associated in the first place baffles me. But then I do not see why we need "celebrate" this odd jumble of old superstitions. It is a bit like getting alarmed by potential zombie invasions. But if there must be fireworks, why not confine them to properly regulated public displays?

For the last couple of nights my sleep has been disturbed. The new generation of firecrackers seem to me to be not only louder but also designed to mimic the firing of automatic weapons. Sadly, this is something we are becoming familiar with here, as the gang wars move into populated areas and even busy streets in broad daylight. Why anyone thinks letting off fireworks past midnight in an urban park is "fun" also defeats me.

On the news tonight there will be yet more reports of the increased load on fire departments and emergency rooms. There will probably also be accounts of property damage - and quite possibly other malfeasances committed under the cover of the "festivities"

We love the scary bits of Hallowe'en. The dreadful warnings of the tainted "treats" are greatly over done. Much more to the point would be the damage that the untainted candies will do, but that of course would offend those who profit so greatly from this over consumption of confectionary.

No comments: