Hendri Pelser
2 minute read
5 Nov 2013
6:00 am

Where to stick your fireworks

Hendri Pelser

She lies shivering and whimpering in the corner – blankets and towels piled up to offer some form of support.

Hendri Pelser

It does not help much.

Each time the loud bang reverberates through the night sky she jumps out of her skin. Neither comfort nor tranquilisers help the poor animal. We will just have to see the night through again until the fireworks stop and the dog calms down.

Every person has the right to follow whatever religion they choose – or don’t choose. But for the life of me I cannot understand why the white Christian family next door was setting off fireworks over Diwali.

The festival of lights is an ancient and incredibly important Hindu religious holiday. A Hindu religious festival. Not an excuse to light up the night sky with your illegally imported fireworks just so that you can see it go “boom”.

Hindus will light fireworks to chase away evil spirits. It is central to the festival and that is okay. The guy next door is most definitely not Hindu…

I think he might be a deacon in the Dutch Reformed Church.

Similarly, tonight we can expect another extended K-9 panic attack as Guy Fawkes is “celebrated”.

Once again, I am at a loss to explain how the Muslim family down the road can “celebrate” this English, Catholic treason plot to overthrow a Protestant king in 1604. They must “celebrate” the event if they set off fireworks on November 5, right? What other logical reason can there be?

Could it be that any frivolous excuse to blast illegal Chinese fireworks into the night sky is acceptable? Surely, it will make more sense if South Africans let off fireworks on Freedom Day? Last year – believe it or not – an Afrikaans neighbour let off his boom sticks on the 4th of July.

The poor fellow must have mistaken in his broken English that the American Independence Day celebrations had somehow been accepted as part of South African society. He must have made the same mistake on Eid when the rockets went whizzing overhead.

There is something primal in seeing fireworks explode that we humans love. It is an impressive display of chemistry.

But it needs to happen in a controlled environment.

And with respect to those around you. Not all pets can be conditioned to ignore the booms and the blasts.

Suburbia is littered with pets – that’s what we do in this country: buy a house and get a dog. Some people insist on parrots – they too are not too fond of fireworks.

Perhaps you should visit your nearest SPCA on New Year’s Day next year and take a close look at the animals that were maimed and hurt during the previous night’s fireworks frenzy.

By the way: The traffic lights at Albertina Sisulu and Commando Roads are still out two weeks later…