Guy Fawkes Night
Tonight, I am burning Robin Hood Airport in effigy.
There’s no need to call the police for reasons that should be obvious.
I applied a #TwitterJokeTrial hashtag mainly for the benefit of the many people down my way who have access to the internets, but may not be aware of Paul Chambers and the consequences of his joke Twitter message about Robin Hood Airport. I am not connected to the relevant campaign, but I will happily send them link love: Paul Chambers | Twitter Joke Fund | Donate! |
Cheers all. Have a safe Guy Fawkes night, and please try to avoid barbecuing any hedgehogs.
UPDATE (11pm) – Got some video for you, folks.
This year, I’d like to introduce you to ‘Johnson’:
As you can see, Johnson really hasn’t got a leg to stand on, and all that’s keeping him aloft is his over-inflated sense of importance.
There’s more to come, so watch this space for updates. Have a happy Guy Fawkes Day, (almost) everyone!
UPDATE (06 Nov) – See this? This camera (plus carriage that I built last night) weighs 346 grams:
The two lightweight tether wires that go with it each weigh 25g. Using MATHS and SCIENCE (in the pursuit or ART) I have determined that I will require roughly 50 helium-filled latex ballons (with short kite-string ties) to lift it all; perhaps a little more to get the tether(s) nice and taut.
Happily, the good people from Party Ark have kindly donated the helium and balloons required for this project (and there’s a strip-down plan for the camera/carriage should it prove to be overweight; this backup plan is entirely foolproof, because it involves the use of duct-tape).
If you take a look at what happened last year, you can probably work out the rest for yourself… and if you can’t, then you haven’t got long to wait.
More updates to follow. Watch this space.
UPDATE (07 Nov) – Yes, after capturing video footage inside the bonfire last year, this year we are attempting to capture video footage from ABOVE the bonfire.
Having done some further measurements this morning, I’ve decided to attempt video capture in two stages; initially some 9-10m above the ground (2-3m above the flames) and then 13m above the ground (which should capture the entire circumference of the bonfire). The 7m tether wire will be attached to the camera by a weak-point that is designed to burn or melt away once flames build to their expected peak. The camera and balloons are then expected to shoot up pretty quickly, so I have a double tether wire set to take this initial shock and keep it at the 13m height until the wire or fasteners finally give out (giving us a shot from the camera as it floats up, up, up away from the bonfire), or the balloons melt or burst in the thermal updraft (giving us a shot of the camera falling to its doom).
Our main enemy will most likely be wind (which will buffer the camera and/or put it off-centre), but nothing strong is predicted, and we’re relatively shielded in a valley position.
Keep your fingers crossed, and watch this space for further updates.
UPDATE (08 Nov) – Gah! Even with all that lovely helium (from the good people at Party Ark), we barely got off the ground. Even if we did manage to do more than knock helplessly against the bonfire, the winds and the thermal updraft from the bonfire would have finished us in seconds, but we did salvage some footage:
We have a developing plan for next year that doesn’t involving battling gravity. Until then, we return to our regular programming. Cheers all.
1. I’m in the Telegraph, me. (Yes, they asked before rehosting the video.)
2. I always get a kick out of breaking the language barrier.
3. I even entered the psychic zone at one stage.
4. Some nice comments over at Neatorama.
5. More at the relevant B3ta/links post, for those who missed it.
So who’s going on the bonfire this year?
That’s right; you, ya bastard.
You are going in the fire, and you are going to burn, and you are going to like it.
More below the fold.
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OK, the time has finally come for me to (almost) reveal what the plan is for Guy Fawkes Night this year, starting with a list of who is not going to be burned in effigy this year:
No, it’s not serial liar and fantasist Nadine Dorries or Sarah Palin or (as rumoured in seedier corners of the internets) both of them in a three-way forked-tongue-a-thon with Julie Moult. I have a reputation for hitting girls with sticks as it is.
Speaking of serial liars who deserve to be hit with sticks, no, it’s not Iain Dale, either. I did consider burning Ashcroft and popping Iain in the pocket until I realised that Iain would have to be in more intimate and out-of-sight location for the voodoo to work. Then I realised I’d have to stuff a certain nuisance-calling twat up the arse on an effigy that was already up the arse of another effigy, and the whole thing just got too damn Russian for me, so I scrapped the idea.
Speaking of Russian intrigue; no, it’s not Uzbek-born Russian billionaire Alisher Usmanov, much as I’d like to highlight the antics of that local landowner to a mob of torch-wielding villagers, I’d just as soon not see J Paul Getty’s old place going up in flames.
Speaking of morbidly obese outright bastards with a love for vodka, no it’s not Paul Staines (aka ‘Guido Fawkes’) either, because I’d have to pickle the bloody thing in alcohol to get the voodoo right on that one. Not a good idea anywhere near flaming torches and other naked flames, and not something I can afford, even with some of the ‘cheap booze’ specials advertised on Paul’s* low-rent banner advertising network.
(*Note – “Paul Staines is neither a shareholder, director or employee of MessageSpace and never has been.”)
And finally, no, it’s not a banker or a hedge-funder, because if I were to take a guy, make it suitably fat, stick in it a ‘city boy’ shirt, and put a screwed-up ball of grubby fivers where its heart should be, I’d be stuck with Paul Staines all over again.
So who (or what) is going on the bonfire this Saturday night?
Can you guess?
(No hints from the small group of people who already know, please.)
[For those who came in late: PROOF: Rebekah Wade is a guy!]
In the case of Tony Blair, my two eldest boys were a bit young to fully appreciate the implications of burning someone in effigy (a situation that led to the creation of The World According to Leo Blair), so the creation of that guy was very much a personal affair.
This year, however, it was very much a family affair…. which I thought fitting, given The Sun’s reputation as a family newspaper.
Anyway, the whole clan chipped in this year (even the very youngest crumpled a bit of newspaper), so we were free to enter the guy into the competition line-up under the ’9 years and over’ category.
Which. We. Won.
I was called in on spruiker duty at the last minute, so I missed the judging… and the burn… but I did get to enjoy a fair bit of back-patting as the torch-wielding villagers filed past the main gate on their way into the bonfire.
I’m pleased to report the following:
- The guys were arranged with slightly less care this year, but the end result was quite pleasing; Rebekah Wade appeared to have been cast aside like the trash she is.
- I also have reliable testimony of distinct toe-curling before Rebekah was consumed by fire (see the pre-burn report for why this is important).
I was, however, slightly disturbed to learn that the mock-up of the newspaper proved surprisingly resilient to flame, and survived well past the point where the heat of the fire made it impossible to get any more photos:
A clear indication, I would think, of the challenges to come.
The next morning, the boys and I returned to the site of the burning to complete the ceremony by collecting some ashes.
These ashes will be put to good use very shortly. Watch this space.