Remember, Remember, the Fifth of November
When I was in grade 12, we had a really really strict English teacher come to our high school. He was actually from England, and seemed to have it in for all of us Canadian keeners who thought we knew his language. On the 5th of November that most hellish of years (from an English class perspective) he came in and asked us all if we were celebrating Guy Fawkes’ day. Of course, none of us had any clue what he was talking about, which delighted him to no end. He was the type of teacher (that I hope you never had) who seemed to live for those moments when he knew more than his students, and would then stand there grinning and cackling at us. I’m serious, he cackled.
After the “laughter” stopped, he explained that Guy Fawkes’ Day was November 5th, the day that a Catholic named Guy Fawkes’ tried to blow up the English Parliament, and King James the First.
When we asked why they would celebrate that, he said, “Because they caught him!” and cackled some more. It wasn’t for years that I learned it was more of an anti-Catholic holiday in its origins.
I sort of blocked the whole incident, I admit, until I went to see V for Vendetta, which was actually very enjoyable.
So here’s to you Guy Fawkes — teaching children via your plots and misfortunes, centuries later. And to that English teacher … bite me.