Much ado about nothing?

19:38, Nov 05 2012

At what stage does an average every day bloke become a grumpy old man?

Guy Fawkes could have been my breaking point.

There were more bangs going on near my place last weekend than you'd find on a Friday night along and around Auckland's seedy K Rd.

And none of them were anywhere near as discreet.

The cat, half mad since birth, went completely insane as darkness descended and our backyard turned into a scene from the Russian front during World War Two.

I was equally shell shocked by the ongoing barrage of noise that was complemented by the clink of bottles and the demented laughter of those responsible.


It went on well into the wee hours as I contemplated my 5.30am start and wondered how I'd ever get to sleep.

"Loosen up Joe," I said to myself. "You're too young to be so old and bitter."

Which got me wondering even further.

When did this shift in thinking occur?

There was a not so distant time when I too was a half witted larrikin whose drunken Guy Fawkes antics left much to be desired.

Like the night a skyrocket left my hand at a great rate of knots and went straight though a bystander's afro during a drunken beach party at Matapouri in Northland.

Or the year a casually discarded cigarette set an entire bag of assorted explosives off at a similar event attended by hordes of like-minded idiots.

Just two of many booze fuelled ( and funny - but you had to be there) antics carried out during an annual celebration of caution-free excess now prohibited at most popular coastal resorts.

There was also a time when Guy Fawkes was seen through the eyes of a child - eagerly anticipated in the week prior with excitement and awe.

I was reminded of that again this year when, despite my earlier mutterings, I grabbed a box of crackers from The Warehouse and put on my own little show for the kids.

My son is old enough to help now and carefully adhered to every safety instruction known to man as he took the matches and did his thing - albeit with his dad on standby with a hose.

His smile took me back to a less complicated time when life seemed to be a collection of simple pleasures.

And for a moment I recaptured it.

So Maybe Guy Fawkes isn't so bad after all - which begs another question:

What should really be banned? Backyard fireworks or cantankerous aging bloggers?

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