13th October 2022

Light the blue touch paper, retire a safe distance and enjoy the resulting fireworks. We Brits are taught this mantra early, from our first interaction with gunpowder, a substance near and dear to our souls. The purpose is simple to enjoy explosivity without repercussions, power without danger or harm, control of the field afore our eyes.

A lesson not always listened to or heeded, interaction with the black powder is common enough, each of us bearing witness or scars from such over-proximity. Mine was merely the non-appreciation of the bite of a jumping jack, a fun little explosive meant to startle when aground cast amid crowds, a practice no doubt sagely banned in these more safety conscious times. The trick was always to keep the lit device concealed in the fingertips till the very last moment. On the occasion in mind my reactions were slightly belated, resultingly the first jump scorching my palm exceedingly painfully.

Lesson learned; I never played that particular form of Russian roulette again.

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