Thursday, October 5

Bonfires and Exploding Shoes

The annual O'Donnell family firework party is in the embryonic stages of planning at the moment. It's going to be the biggest one yet, and Dad's thinking of having an actual BONFIRE in the garden this year. This is exciting because usually we just chuck a load of old twigs in the chiminea.

And, this year, we're having twice the normal amounts of guests, so therefore TWICE THE AMOUNT OF FIREWORKS!!

This all got me thinking about Guy Fawkes, every year everyone in England celebrates a failed attempt at terrorism by setting off miniature explosive devices and burning effigies. When you consider it, all this is in very poor taste, but it's so far back in history that nobody really cares.

Scarier than Al Queda?

So what failed terrorist plots then, will people celebrate in years to come, when we're all clothed in silver space suits and driving flying cars? I've come up with some suggestions for future events, think far into the future... like 500 years or more:

21 July 2005 - Failed London Bombings. (When four attempted bomb attacks disrupted part of London's public transport system two weeks after the 7 July 2005 London bombings. Metropolitan Police later said the intention was to cause large-scale loss of life, but only the detonators of the bombs exploded, probably causing the popping sounds reported by witnesses, and only one minor injury was reported.)

Suggested future celebrations:
- Catherine wheels on the hubcaps of flying buses
- Bonfires in underground stations
- Popcorn to be sold on street corners

7 July 2006 - Hudson River Bombing Plot. (The FBI announced that they had foiled a plot that was in its "talking phase" by foreign militants to detonate explosives in tunnels connecting New Jersey with Manhattan and drown the New York financial district with a torrent of water. This was unfeasible because the tunnel is embedded in bedrock, and the target is above sea level. The report, however, made international news.)

Suggested future celebrations:
- Giant 'Water Parties' where people squirt each other with hoses, ride down giant tunnely water slides and play in wave machines
- Big public gatherings around rivers and lakes to watch official organisers set off huge jets of decorative water
- Tossing of FBI agent effigies into nearest river/lake

22 December 2001 - American Airlines 63/The Shoe Bomber. (During this American Airlines flight, as it was flying over the Atlantic Ocean, Richard Reid — an Islamic fundamentalist from the United Kingdom, and alleged/self-proclaimed Al Qaeda operative — carried shoes that were packed with two types of explosives. He didn't set the explosives off. He is in prison now.)

Suggested future celebrations:
- Jumbo jet flyovers in all towns
- Firecrackers in soles of shoes
- Moccassin-shaped exploding candy for kids

We shall never know if all this catches on, of course, because by then we'll be long gone. One thing we must never do, now or in the future, if burn giant effigies of Al Queda terrorists. That will cause more trouble than it's worth.

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