Collecting for the Bonfire.steemCreated with Sketch.

in funny •  19 days ago

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It was the start of October. The best month of the year. It was the month when we started collecting for the bonfire on Halloween night. This may seem a bit crazy that a group of boys between the age of 11 - 16 were obliged to organise the local bonfire. But it was the passage way into being an older boy. Someone that was looked up to. When I say “collecting” , it was more a case of stealing. Stealing old tyres and wooden pallets that would make the foundation of the bonfire.
It was a funny one. Normally all the estates had their waring factions of kids but when October came we all came together and joined forces and got on. The aim was to have a better bonfire than the other side of the town.
The bonfire was measured on its :
how many pallets do you have?
And how many tyres?
How high is your centre pole?

The 17 year olds would hand their expertise down to the next boys and so on . Normally to the craziest kid that would do anything for the bonfire. One cold wet Halloween night when they could not light the fire , one lad took off his clothes and set them alight to get the bonfire going. Lone behold this nutter was in charge the year after.

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So the basic strategy of collecting for the bonfire was to go out under cover of darkness and rob as many tyres and pallets as we could from wherever we could. Most of these pallets and tyres were junk anyway to hold down hay bales etc. Each person could rob 2 tyres or one pallet so we tended to travel in groups of 8. The lad in charge would often try carry 4 tyres or two pallets while smoking a cigarette. After we collected our haul we needed a place to stash it until the faithful night. Often we stashed ours down the banks of the railway tracks and covered them with branches. This is where it got complicated because the other group from town were actively looking for our stash and we were also in the hunt for theirs. There were ambushes , spies , double agents, and lots of fisty cuffs. I once got a tyre in the bulb.

One night we were in a place called the showgrounds. We heard there was a horse show being held and many pallets were lying idle at the opposite end of the field. It was pitch dark. There was a little car track around the perimeter of the field so we took that route to get to our prize as the field was subdivided into many sections. We stocked up and made our move to exit then all of a sudden we heard a siren.
It was the grounds security racing down the car track. We dropped everything and made a run through the field. There were 8 of us, all running in a line. The nutter leading the way. Then all of a sudden he disappeared. Then the next guy directly in front of me disappeared.
What the ...?

Then something struck me. Just above the chest under the neck . My legs went up in the air and I landed flat on the back. I looked left and could vaguely make out the nutter on his back also. The others all suffered a similar faith clotheslined by the metal wire. The siren were getting closer. We all got up at the same time and kept running. We were running in a line horizontally. After a few metres we were on our back again after another shock clothesline by another fence. If there was a night vision camera there that night it would of made for some watching as 8 kids were getting taken out by wire fences every 15 metres. It was like a hurdle race but we didn’t know where’s the hurdles were. After the 4th time I was taken off my feet, it became like a saving private Ryan montage. The nutter shouting
nearly there
taking a smaller kid by the back of his jacket and signalling me to a hole in wall. The nutter manned the hole while he made sure there was no one left behind. The last one bawled his way through the hole holding his neck. We were out. The next day we examined our marks from the clothesline’s. It was like we got whipped. One of the younger kids had marks on his neck.

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After many nights similar to the above the 31st October finally came around and we would spend the whole day putting up the centre pole which was a tree basically. Then we put the tyres in and built the pallets up .
The bonfire always took place in a green section by the railway track. It had an amphitheater feel and locals could look down on it from around the railway bridge. The nutter would be given the honour of lighting the bonfire by throwing petrol all over it and setting it up. In hindsight he could of been killed because petrol ended up all over him as well. When it lit , the whole place would light up like daylight and we would sit and admire our handy work. Hundreds of locals would come to watch with their little kids also which was nice to see.
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The funniest memory I’ve ever had was when we were just about to light the bonfire. One of the girls was bursting for the toilet. I remember her name to this day. It was Jennifer. There were no toilets where we were so one of the lads told Jennifer to just go under the railway bridge as it was pitch dark. Jennifer was in trouble so she hesitantly made her way under the bridge and into the blackness. At this stage there was a big crowd waiting for the bonfire to light. The nutter that year was used to lighting things up so when he made his way down and lit it up and the fire started immediately! Whoosh. The whole place lit up .
And there’s Jennifer in full daylight under the bridge having a poo!

Everyone in our neighbourhood saw Jennifer mid poo. From then on she was called “Jennifer shits” . A terrible nickname I know but she should have known better! We all thought she was off to make a wee.

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Nothing better than a big bonfire to p o the environmentalist folks. That wire can be a dangerous deal, I had a friend growing up the had that happen to him, he was running with his mouth open and it ended up he lost his two upper front teeth as those became the pivot point when his feet went out from under him and his full weight was pulling against the wire, his teeth let go before the wire did.

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😱😱😱😱. 😷😷😷. . Jesus . Sounds very very painful.

Hey. How was the day off?Nothing worse than getting knocked off your feet by a wire fence. It would have been funny to watch though. Your a short shit so I am surprised you couldn't just run under it.

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Good . Got lots done around the house. I missed a couple of the higher ones alright 😀

Loool poor Jennifer

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Ah she’s alright. She actually became a model ! 😂😂

I am amazed. You have not lost your writing skills, even with the hardfork thing.

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I’m am amazed also 😀😀

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Thanks very much. Hahaha.
Yeah it's been a while.
How have you been, How are you doing Bro.

Oh, poor Jennifer Shits...That's got to be a tough name to live with for the rest of forever.

Great story though! #steemitbloggers

We are SO proud to have you as a member of our
FANTABULOUS @steemitbloggers family!
uvoted and resteemed!

❤ MWAH!!! ❤

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This, on a loop, is pretty much how I felt reading this...


via TENOR

Brilliant storytelling, @blanchy!

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😂😂 thank you

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You're very welcome. Oh, and...


via GIPHY

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😂😂😂😂

Hi @blanchy!

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sir blanchy! haha! you guys were all a little nuts but I think that's healthy! And this took discipline, creativity, planning, nerve, hard work and teamwork.
Is that still going on or did the environmentalists stop it?

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its Much more secretive now adays but still done .

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and do you go and watch the bonfires sir blanchy?
oh and that delegation, that was my mistake, I was reading it wrong, no one gave me that lol.
dang I was hoping someone liked me but I'm used to rejection. Hey but when I get big I'm going
to surprise people like that!
find someone struggling and boom! just bless their socks off! lol.

Congratulations @blanchy! This post was selected by the @steemitbloggers community as today's Member Boost Post :) It will also receive a complimentary upvote from @Appreciator throughout the course of the day!

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Oh I love this. Did this all actually happen? Is it genuinely a tradition, and still happening today? It sounds awfully fun to grow up in a small Irish town.

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Yeah it actually happened . It is a tradition . Yeah it was nice to grow up in rural Ireland. Many an adventure was had. I wrote about this story today when I found out Jennifer had a little baby boy. One of my friends met me on the street . “Guess who had a little shit” ? Hahah.

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Haha! That poor girl.

Oh my the wire incident. Thank God you were all okay. What a thing to keep in your growing up. Hahah just curious, don't the tyres stink when they burn?

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Yeah ! Big time! We would smell for days of burning rubber ! 😂😂😂

When I was young I had to go in search of bonfires in other poeple's yards

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A bonfire bounty hunter. Was the pay good ?

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I was kind of invisible and would look on from a distance

Now this is a great story. Love the ending omg
I had a clothes line incident. Running in grandma's back yard as a kid. I did not see the line. Across my neck it went and flipped me down.

I never really thought about clotheslines as dangerous until reading this.

Do you ever see Jennifer Shits.. so funny .. she is scarred for life. This needs to be written into a screen play.

Well I think someone should use it.

Sorry for all the typos. :) lazy this morning

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I’m the kign of typos . See what I did there 😜! Jennifer shits is fine . Married a rich guy from Dublin. The nicknames stuck but Jennifer was well able for it. Many would die but Jennifer didn’t care. He’s a lucky guy because she’s a stunner but noone from our town would bring her home to “mammy “ after that

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What a story?!
You boys survived the hurdles to tell the tale haha
And poor Jennifer... I hope she's not on Steemit hahaha

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Jennifer doesn’t know what google is . Steemit would be way over her head .

Hey @blanchy you reminded me of my childhood doing similar stuff...during Holi festival. Holi is festival of colour but a day prior to Holi we celebrate Holika dahan....to mark the win of good over evil.
Itis kind of bonfire using old trees, tyres..wooden blocks, dried cow dung and everythings possbile to make a big stack of all...we use to complete with every other street guys....as whose stack is more..we too try to pull out anyrhing or everythin possible from each other houses or even steal.To make the day.
Seems you kind enjoy all the day during halloween with the bonfire....not so popular in India though...hope you gonna have a fantastic time around

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Dried cow dung? We didn’t go that far @steemflow! 😂😂😂. But I get you . It sounds similar .

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You not aware of it....ok let me make a good post on cow shits 😛

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It is my 1st time knowing this - collecting for bonfire as in stealing. And I have never celebrated Halloween before.

Anyway, it is fun to get knowledge about what others are doing, something that I don't do in my mediocre life. Thank you so much for sharing this. My knowledge increases again. :)

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I will get the boys to include you in their gang next time Madeline! You can bring a go pro to record events 😀

Man good times huh? That sounds like a great experience - very formaive for you and all the rest of those kids you grew up with I'm sure.

The crazy Dutch around here do this bonfire at the New Year celebrations... poor Jennifer, I wonder if that became a defining moment in their life....

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