It’s November 5, which means it’s Guy Fawkes’ Day! He’s most famous for being part of the failed “Gunpowder Plot” in 1605, which was an attempt to kill King James and replace him with Princess Elizabeth (aka the “Winter Queen”), whom was third in succession to the throne. Long story short, this plot failed, and Guy Fawkes and his co-conspirators were tortured and executed. Some folks in England like to celebrate the day (well, night specifically) by burning Guy Fawkes in effigy.
A Guy Fawkes’ Night party
He’s become sort of a folk hero to some. James Sharpe, professor of history at the University of York, has described how Guy Fawkes came to be toasted as “the last man to enter Parliament with honest intentions.”
I was joking a while back about how if I owned my own store, I would have semi-annual Guy Fawkes’ Day sales. I’d have one on…let’s say Cinco de Mayo – and one on November 5. Yes, you read that right…semi-annual! There would be TWO annual Guy Fawkes’ Day sales! Hey…this is MY flight of fancy…hear me out! And I would decree, as owner of my store, that NO Christmas/holiday decorations will be allowed to adorn the store until AFTER the Guy Fawkes’ Day sale in November. Preferably WELL after that. Just imagine it…adorable little cloaked, masked figurines all over the store, some of them holding itty-bitty bombs. Special sales on Guy Fawkes’ accessories too! Spend $50 or more, get a FREE Guy Fawkes mask ! V for Vendetta graphic novels would be available at a discount…and the 2005 movie of the same name would show on all TV screens. And don’t forget about the Guy Fawkes look-alike contest! Fun for the whole family!
Hugo Weaving in V for Vendetta, which grossed $70.5M at the U.S. box office ($132.5M worldwide)
And this, my friends, is why I will NEVER be allowed to be in charge of anything! 😦
Given the fact that my fantasy I just mentioned will never, ever, ever come to pass? How can YOU – as an American – celebrate the memory of Guy Fawkes? Your neighbors will most likely call the cops on you if you try hosting your own Guy Fawkes’ Night celebration in your neighborhood and burn Guy Fawkes figures in effigy! If you live in Michigan, nobody will even bat an eye if you light off fireworks (they are legal in this state)! Sure, your neighbors who have pets may whine and complain (boy WILL they…you have NO idea…), but you live in MICHIGAN! Celebrate EVERYTHING by lighting off the noisiest, most colorful fireworks you can get your hands on (thank the Chinese every time you light one off)! Remember, there may be noise ordinances in force, though!
Be very, very careful! People in this country are very, very…shall we say – “touchy” about terrorism – or anything resembling it right now. Plus, Tuesday is Election Day. So if you had plans to wear a Guy Fawkes mask anywhere NEAR a government building, you might want to think again! There may actually be people smart enough to make a connection between your Guy Fawkes mask and terrorism (you never know). Or if you’re lucky, maybe someone will think you’re just celebrating Halloween a few days late!
This is MY Guy Fawkes’ mask! Funny story…I ordered a red corset belt for a Halloween costume five years ago, and the company sent this Guy Fawkes mask instead! My novelty belt arrived in time for Halloween, and I never bothered sending the mask back (call it my own little Guy Fawkes-inspired rebellion)! Interesting that the belt was part of a costume I wore as the character Silhouette, whom was a character in Alan Moore’s Watchmen. She was not in the film very long. Alan Moore also penned the V for Vendetta graphic novel, in which one of the characters wore a Guy Fawkes mask.
Totally Harmless Things To Do On Guy Fawkes’ Day That Have Absolutely Nothing To Do With Terrorism:
- Read the V for Vendetta graphic novel by Alan Moore
- Watch V For Vendetta (Wachowski Brothers film, 2005)
- Wear a Guy Fawkes mask around the house (hopefully you planned ahead and actually bought a Guy Fawkes Day mask first or got one for free by mistake a few years ago like I did)
- Answer the door while wearing a Guy Fawkes mask
- Wear a Guy Fawkes mask while having sex
- Wear a Guy Fawkes mask to scare your children (try to fake a British accent while wearing it)
- Re-enact the torture and execution of Fawkes and his co-conspirators using Legos or any action figures (Barbie dolls, GI Joes, Transformers, My Little Pony dolls, Elf on a Shelf, etc.). Make sure you have a gallows and you’re able to simulate the drawing and quartering sequence. When you get to the drawing and quartering sequence, make sure you exclaim, “Let that be a lesson to any other traitors out there.”
- Call in sick at work
- Call off a regularly scheduled trivia night (you rebel, you)! Or if you don’t normally play trivia on Mondays, go out and play in the vain hopes that at least one question will involve Guy Fawkes Day
- Take a selfie while wearing a Guy Fawkes mask and post in a social media outlet
- Read the Wikipedia article about Guy Fawkes
- Find out who is currently third in line for the British throne and pretend you’re Guy Fawkes and you want to…I am SO not finishing this sentence!
In case you wondered…this is what my Silhouette costume looked like with the belt that I almost didn’t get on time:
Mothman (aka Brad), Silhouette (aka me – in a wig) and Rohrshach (aka Mike sans mask) as part of our 2013 Watchmen Halloween get-up. I was probably pretty…lit by that point!
What are you waiting for? Go out and celebrate Guy Fawkes’ Day already!