Monday, November 05, 2007

Holy Fawkes!

Let me go on record as saying that I have been a fan of this whole Daylight Savings Time invention ever since I was a kid. It's such a consummate bit of Ben Franklin brilliance - set the clocks forward an hour every spring in order to preserve an hour of farming time, to conserve lamp oil and candle wax, and to provide even vaster expanses of time for teenagers to hang out in shopping malls. So inspired! As if I didn't have enough reasons to have a vaguely gay, vaguely necrophiliac crush on Ben Franklin already.

I may a little bit sore in the brain and body from the weekend's extra-hour-induced bacchanalia, to say nothing of lugging around my commemorative, 34-pound, cast iron clock necklace (with the double strand of exceedingly pinchy chain - ouch!). But nothing - and I mean nothing - could possibly derail my planned celebration of Guy Fawkes, the man who attempted to assassinate King James I in November 1605 because there was no daylight savings time. Is this year's timing a coincidence? I think not!

Accordingly, I put my extra hour yesterday to good use, repairing some of the stitching on my Bill Blass brand Guy Fawkes lace collar, dusting off those spilled packets of Splenda from my Guy Fawkes style tri-corner hat, and restoring my miniature replica of the British Parliament so that I can blow it up again in this year's celebratory hypothetical reenactment of the Gunpowder Plot, which I learned about during my childhood schooling in Northern Ireland, and not this morning from wikipedia.

Of course, in the real sequence of events, it's said that the torch was removed from Fawkes's hand just as he was about to light the fuse on almost a tonne of explosives. In my celebratory hypothetical reenactment, the plot to assassinate King James is actually successful, Daylight Savings Time is invented almost 200 years early, and Parliament is reduced to smithereens - smithereens which are a real pain in the ass to reassemble every year. Thank Ben Franklin himself that I had that extra hour the day before!

This year's reenactment will be held at Bryant Park at sunset (roughly 2:18 PM). We'll be simulating the torture of Fawkes and his conspirators with live volunteers, so stop by and bring the kids. And dust off your Guy Fawkes songbooks too! Here's a little chestnut for the uninitiated.
Remember, remember the Fifth of November,
When the afternoon sun is a dying ember,
The Gunpowder Treason and Plot,
I know of no reason
Why Gunpowder Treason
Or the glories of Daylight Savings season
Should ever be forgot.
Guy Fawkes, Guy Fawkes, t'was his intent
To blow up King and Parliament,
That's how his extra hour was spent.
Three-score barrels of powder below
To prove old England's overthrow
Once Daylight Savings Time did go;

By God's providence he was catch'd
With a dark lantern and burning match,
And a calendar too with today's date scratch'd.

Holloa boys, holloa boys, let the bells ring.
Holloa boys, holloa boys, God save the King!
Holloa boys, no more daylight saving!

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