Tuesday 2 November 2021

Fireworks and Rockets By Steve Way

We were living in France a few years ago (and actually live there again now) and were driving through the residential area of a French city in the evening on 5th November. Seemingly randomly distributed throughout each district we noticed small bonfires and firework displays in some of the gardens. It was easy that evening to work out where the expats lived! I couldn’t help wondering if their French neighbours knew they were celebrating the capture, torture and killing of catholic rebels. A difficult sell if they’d invited them around to play with a sparkler and eat a baked potato.

At other times when I was doing creative writing workshops with children as bonfire night approached, I would share some of the pieces below and then encourage them to create their own weird and wonderful fireworks or rockets. The children never failed to delight with their, appropriately, bright and colourful ideas. I hope you enjoy them and in particular, might find them useful should you also be working with children around this time of year.

Crazy Fireworks.  

The exploding purple passion fruit.

This firework looks like a tiny purple passion fruit. It looks too small to be an effective firework but when it goes off, it goes off with such a strong BOOM it could knock down a barn. Stand as far back as you can. In fact, stand further back than that. On second thoughts… the best place to stand would be on the other side of the Earth or, if you happen to own a spaceship, get in it and go and hide behind Mars.

The hedge firework.

This is a deviously clever firework. It looks just like a hedge. You can plant it in your garden a month or two before bonfire night. Hopefully no one will notice it doesn’t grow much. Actually, it doesn’t grow at all! On bonfire night, when that neighbour that you really hate walks past you set off the firework. Light flashes out of every leaf. Your neighbour will be scared to death and won’t come near your house again.

The reverse firework.

This firework looks just like a normal firework, except instead of shooting off into the sky and zooming around a lot before falling back to the Earth, it has an amazing effect. When it goes off, the firework stays where it is, but the Earth goes shooting off into space away from it, zooms around a lot and then falls back to the firework. Don’t let off too many of these at once otherwise;

1)   The Earth will get very confused and

2)  Everyone will get very dizzy.

The Totally Safe Firework.

This firework is really made of a spoon placed inside the neck of an empty milk bottle. You then place your superb totally safe firework in the centre of the garden and watch to see what happens. If anything does happen it will be an ABSOLUTE MIRACLE and you’ll have witnessed it!! If nothing whatsoever happens then at lest you can be comforted by the thought that you were in no danger whatsoever from your firework.

 The Revenge Banger.

This is a banger old ladies and pets can use to get back at the horrible people who set off bangers to frighten them. You slip them into the boxes in the shops and when someone horrible lets them off, the banger puts itself back together in mid-air. It then secretly follows the horrible person who set if off as that person goes home. It then hides in that person’s toilet. The next time they go to the toilet it goes off giving them the most frightening (and messy!) fright of their life!


The Whizz-Bang-Banana is such a special firework that it comes in a solid gold box six inches thick. It is in the shape of a mushroom with the blue touch paper sticking out the bottom. This means some people laugh at it and say it can’t be a firework as it looks so unlike a firework. Some joker is bound to say, “Cut it up and put it on a pizza!” If they do, tell them to do so. You might mention that if they do, they’ll soon be chopping up mushrooms on Mars. You see they’ll soon realise that the Whizz-Bang-Banana is an incredibly powerful firework. To begin with it goes off with a BANG which is likely to cause nearby trees to fall down. After that it shoots off into the sky and only returns after bouncing off the moon, a planet or a star. As it returns to the Earth it turns into a thousand bunches of bananas (hence its name) which all land in a neat pile on your lawn, which you can then share out to your delighted guests. (The bananas not the lawn silly!) 

 The Dull Sparkler.

The Dull Sparkler is a very inexpensive firework. Basically, it is made by collecting together all the used sparklers you find on the floor and putting them in a box marked “Dull Sparklers”.

You then organise a firework party for the nuttiest people in the county. When they arrive hand them all a “Dull Sparkler” and hold a match to the burnt-out end for a few moments. You then explain to your guest that the sparkler emits great fountains of invisible sparkles and that it emits more of these invisible sparkles if you wave it around.

Then stand back and watch the nutty people walking around waving bits of wire about. Thank God that you’re not as daft as them.

The Spaceship Rocket.

This is a very expensive rocket which only people like NASA can afford to make. These are only set off every two years or so from places like Florida. Often these are not even let off on or around 5th November, which is very annoying. However, an added advantage to the firework is that you can also use it to explore space with after setting it off.

Catherine Wheel.

This is made using the horrible snotty-nosed goody-goody called Catherine who lives three doors down. You cover her in all the wheels or tyres you can get off old cars, bicycles, tractors and lorries. You bury her so deeply she can’t come to your firework display and be snotty-nosed and go around being a goody-goody for example by insisting that you follow the Firework Code properly. After all, if you want to blow yourself up by being stupid or careless, it's up to you, isn't it?

Silent Banger.

This is a banger that demands that you show great acting skill. You can see why when it goes off because it sends out a bright streak of light, but it doesn’t make any noise whatsoever. So you and your friends have to act as if it’s so loud that you have to cover your ears. Anyone watching will think they’ve suddenly gone deaf or that you’re all mad. Well, you are if you buy this banger, aren’t you?

Famous very silly rockets. 

The cheese rocket.

This very silly rocket was invented by the nutty inventor Professor Nitty von Nutty. He was mad about rockets but also about cheese. One night he woke up with an idea about a brilliant way of making a rocket in his mind. He wanted to make it immediately while he could remember what it was like. He didn’t have anything suitable in his workshop, so he made it out of the one thing he did have loads of – slices of cheese in his fridge. It took him all night to build his cheese model of a rocket and it was brilliant. By the time it was morning he was exhausted and so he went to bed. Unfortunately, he left his brilliant cheese rocket model by the window of his workshop, and it was a very hot sunny day. By the time Professor Nitty von Nutty woke up his rocket had melted all over his desk and some of it was dripping down onto his floor. Professor Nitty von Nutty could never remember the design of his rocket he’d made out of cheese.

The giraffe rocket.

This was never really a rocket. It was always a giraffe. On holiday in Africa the mad hypnotist Albert Slapbang noticed how incredibly tall giraffes were, just like rockets. The stupid man got it into his head that giraffes were like living rockets, which hadn’t realised it yet because no one had bothered to tell them. He tried to hypnotise one into believing it was a rocket. His idea failed completely, except ever after there was a giraffe that jumped about higher than the other giraffes.

The teacher rocket.

This was never really a rocket either. It was a teacher. But one day her class were so naughty, and she got so annoyed with them, steam started coming out of her ears. Then because the class were being so naughty, they didn’t even notice they had a teacher with steam coming out of her ears, she got even more annoyed, and steam began coming out of her nose! But still her naughty class didn’t notice what was going on and then steam began coming out of her eyes! Even though the teacher now looked like her head was on fire the naughty class still didn’t notice her. Then, as she opened her mouth to scream at them, steam came out of her mouth and then all of a sudden, she took off like a rocket! She crashed straight through the roof of the classroom, she zoomed around the playground at lightning speed and then crashed back into the classroom through another part of the ceiling.

But her class still didn’t notice what had happened and carried on being naughty. After that her class missed more playtimes than any other class in history.

The pocket rocket.

This is a rocket so small it would fit inside your pocket. It is built by the tiniest types of elves, the thumbnail elves, who are the size of your thumbnail. They also happen to be the elves whose job it is to crawl inside your ear at night-time and whisper you dreams to you. But when bunk beds were invented, they found they were too high to climb at night-time to get inside the ear of whoever was sleeping on the top bunk. So, they use the rockets to help them get there.

If you sleep on the top bunk of a bunk bed listen closely because this is what happens at night-time so you can have dreams. When they know you’re asleep, they crawl out from under your bed – where they hide during the day – and then set up their tiny rocket. An elf gets into it (it’s only big enough for one) and then ten other elves pull on a strong elastic band which twangs the rocket up to the top bunk. The elf then lands the rocket on your cheek. He or she then crawls over your cheek and into your ear for the night. When the elf has finished whispering dreams to you, he or she crawls out of your ear and across your cheek back to its rocket. The elf then shoves the rocket up your nose, gets into it and waits. Sooner or later, with a rocket shoved up your nose, you sneeze and blow the rocket back down to the floor again, just in time for the other elves to hide it away before you wake up. Phew!

The rock rocket.

This rocket was made by the brilliant builder but useless scientist, Professor Von Bob the Builder. It was made wonderfully from rocks, stones and bricks. It was perfectly pointed but would have needed 10 000 tons of fuel to get it off the ground.


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