There are a lot of days that are really good for having a slightly irresponsible father, but none that touch Guy Fawkes.
My dad could make everything more fun with with some white spirit and an open flame. Our patio said "we barbecue!" which we did - but more than that, what we did there was "burn shit!".
Even if all the shit you have is a flammable liquid base and a table spoon. My dad would light it, my brother and I would hoot and squeal and then when it was all done, none of us would really hurry inside, because we (at least I know I was) savouring the smell of After.
Needless to say, bonfire night with my dad was guaranteed to be good, mainly because he didn't poo-poo the small stuff. Yes, he wanted big explosions, but I never got ninny down-talking for my sparklers and tom-thumbs. If it hissed, it was alright by Dad. The word of the night was "another". I remember when a tom thumb went off in my face. I remember when the catherine wheels spun right off the garden fence and flew around our feet. I'm pretty sure we burnt some garden furniture by mistake.
I know I went to big displays at schools with fire marshals and teachers and rules, but I can't remember any of the particulars. I do however remember all of my dad's "shows", because you could never be 100% sure of your own safety. And that made them more fun. Obviously.
Despite the safety, this year's Bonfire night was good. Sally said "I can't believe this shit" referring to a perimeter around the bonfire that had been made by the red jump-suited fire-guard daddies from a local school. "We used to go right up to it and stick out candy floss in there"
Not all was lost though, there were some duds that started to shoot out of the bonfire in the direction of the dispersing crowd. Sally enjoyed that, as well as laughing at the retreating mumsies. I can't really blame them. I don't have the balls to have a regular kid, let alone a kid blinded in one eye by a spitting rocket.