The early hours of Thursday morning, about 1am. All is quiet in the house – even Rubin, for once. Suddenly, though, we are all jerked rudely out of sleep by…


“That better be war breaking out,” I said, turning to Terry, “and not just some asshole out setting off fireworks.”

But, of course, it was some asshole setting off fireworks. The residents of the ghetto had NOT just randomly decided to open fire on each other: instead they had obviously decided that it didn’t matter if they woke up everyone in town, as long as they were having fun setting off their stupid fireworks, that was all that mattered.

(Aside: I honestly don’t get why people want to set off fireworks like that anyway. Sure, an organised display is fantastic – especially if Disney had a hand in it – but the solitary bangers people seem to like to set off in the street at this time of year? Well, they’re pretty crap, aren’t they? Maybe I’m just a particularly joyless individual, but I don’t really see what’s “fun” about standing around at 1am on a Thursday morning, watching bangers go off in no particular pattern.)

The fireworks went on for what seemed like a long time, but was probably only about ten minutes. Ten minutes at 1am is much longer than ten minutes at, say, 3pm, though, so naturally, by the time it stopped, I was wide awake and fuming.  Thanks, assholes, for waking me up on a work night! Hell, I don’t need to sleep, anyway! I’ll just pass out at my desk the next day and feel good about it because at least some absolute jackass got to see a crappy firework go off!

I’m bracing myself for it happening again, now. Where my parents live, people have been setting off fireworks for a couple of weeks. Not for any particular reason, just because they can. And there is absolutely nothing we can do about it, either. During the “display” on Wednesday night, at the point when it seemed like it might go on forever, I did contemplate getting up and calling the police. But I knew there was no point, and I knew this because the LAST time we called the police to report middle-of-the-night-noise (someone several streets away was having the loudest house party of all time – it was so loud it even annoyed Terry), the police refused to come out unless we were able to give them the name, address, phone number, mother’s maiden name, and nicknames of the perpetrators. (Or, OK, just the address, but it had to be the EXACT address, they wouldn’t just take the street name) And, of course, it’s noise late at night: you can hear it, but you don’t know where exactly it’s coming from, unless you actually get up, go out, and look for it.

“Are you suggesting I get dressed and go and walk the streets to find out the address of this house?” Terry asked the police over the phone. “This house full of rowdy, drunk people, who will presumably not be all that pleased when I tell them I’m at their door taking down their address so I can give it to the police? And are you suggesting I do this at 3am on a Thursday night?”

“Could you?” said the policeman. “That’s the only way we’ll be able to do anything.”

Terry did suggest that they drive to the street and then follow the sound of the ear-bleeding noise to find the house, but apparently such detective work is far beyond our police force these days, so we spent the night wearing ear-plugs and praying for a power-cut to shut off their electricity and shut down their music.

And now, until the end of year, I will be praying for it to rain heavily every night so that people can’t set off loud fireworks at 1am in residential areas.  Great! Still, at least the Almost Ill seems to have gone now: that PLUS fireworks in the middle of the night would be just too much for Terry me to handle…

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