20091106

Spare a Penny for the Guy?

Guy waits for the inevitable.

I read an article yesterday mentioning that Guy Fawkes celebrations in Britain are down, mainly due to a shift in focus to Halloween...

http://www.reuters.com/article/lifestyleMolt/idUSTRE5A43XE20091105

I felt for the Gunpowder Plot conspirator, whose life ended with several days of torture, hanging, and being cut up into pieces. Or at least for the 400+ year old tradition (longer if you consider the practice is based on even older autumn bonfire traditions) of burning his effigy and setting off fireworks every 5th of November. So when I woke up today, I decided to keep the tradition alive here in California, where it actually isn't a tradition!

Alas, there are ordinances in my city against open fires and fireworks, so Guy would burn in my fireplace. I raided my woodpile and grabbed dead leaves from my neighbor's dracaena to bind twig arms and legs onto a log body. I stuck a printed picture of Guy's face onto the body, which I doused in charcoal lighting fluid for good measure.  The result (above) looks more like the Burning Man than any effigy of Guy Fawkes I've seen, but my building skills have never been good and I had work to do, so that was as good as it would get. A bit embarrassed at my handiwork, Guy went straight into the fireplace, rather than being paraded down the street.
This Guy's on Fire!

Later in the evening, I set a match to the kindling underneath, and WHOOSH, the whole pile burst into flames and shot up Guy's body, as the lighter fluid in it combusted!  I grabbed my camera and tried to snap a photo while he still had a face, but it was too late.  His face was vaporized, his body completely engulfed (right).

Who knew the lighter fluid would catch so quickly? It's been sitting in my yard for years, is missing its stopper, and has been rained on.

This burning of the Guy is in honor of Lobo, who is English, but never partook in these juvenile pursuits when he was a pup.