What should we tell the children? By Emily Smart

It’s been a busy week in the Glasgow-Smart household as we’ve been ‘celebrating’ Halloween. Decisions and then more decisions. What costumes to wear? Which make-up? What size loot bags?  How many sweets required for trick or treaters calling at our house? We are now of course suffering the after effects. All round grumpiness due to staying up past 8pm and no doubt massive dental bills for the next 10 years as a result of the bucket loads of sugar the kids have been consuming morning, noon and night.

Halloween: it’s a strange business, for business is what it is. When I asked Uncle Matthew if he was hitting the streets this year, he said categorically ‘No, and I won’t be celebrating 4th July either’ Ooooh, someone’s in a moodie. But he does have a point. It’s essentially a time for shops to put pumpkins in windows, flog cheap tat from China and make money from an idea the US of A adopted and exploited to the max. For more on the history of Halloween, have a look at my mate’s blog http://onthecroadagain.com/2012/10/30/carve-it-up/

Is it wrong? Has Uncle Matthew got it right? I think my main issue with it is that we spend time talking to our kids about ‘stranger danger’ and telling them it’s never a good idea to take sweets from people you don’t know. Cue Halloween: here’s lots of strangers, go and knock on their door and take anything they give you, and don’t forget to say thank you.

Anyway, enough of the nay-saying Smart. My kids had a fabulous time, accompanied by their parents, who also made out like bandits when the small people went to bed by eating all their chocolate bars.

This leads me nicely onto Guy Fawkes Night. How often have you told your kids never to play with matches? Yet once a year, never mind the matches kids, here’s your very own sparkler for you to jig about with. Yes, it is alight. Yes, it could cause third degree burns, so just be careful. Has there ever been a year when you haven’t read or seen on the news that x number of kids have been hurt by fireworks, or a moggy has had a firework attached to its tail? I just found this online to support my theory:

“An Australian man was hospitalized after he suffered a bizarre explosion. The 23-year-old unidentified man suffered severe burns after reportedly putting fireworks between his buttocks and setting them off.

 The New Zealand Herald reports that paramedics near Darwin, Australia were called to the scene on Saturday night.

 However, the man had already taken himself to the hospital to be treated for injuries to his posterior and genital area.

 ‘What must have seemed to be a great idea at the time has backfired, resulting in the male receiving quite severe and very painful burns to his cheeks, back and private bits,’ Senior Sergeant Garry Smith said.

 Police believe alcohol could have been a factor in the incident.

 The man was later taken to a specialist burns unit at the Royal Adelaide Hospital.

‘Apparently [the firecrackers] are not designed for that particular placement,’ Smith said. (No shit Sherlock!)

 The man could also face fines because fireworks are illegal in the area, except on Territory Day on July 1.”

Guess it gives new meaning to the usual ‘ooohh’s and aaahhs’ on Bonfire Night. Now I can’t stop laughing. Hilarious; and he will probably get fined along with having a sore bum. You couldn’t make it up. Frankly, common sense should tell you that adults, alcohol, children and pyrotechnics are probably not the best mix. Still, we will be celebrating this coming Monday. I can only hope it won’t be me and my scorched arse on the front page of The Herald come Tuesday morning, though given the size of my derrière, better make that a double page spread!

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