“The S Hit the F, If You Know What I’m Sayin’ ”


Our Daily Correspondent

Grisly Guy Fawkes.

It’s a bit hard to celebrate Bonfire Night stateside. The authorities are likely to put the kibosh on any and all roaring bonfires and vigilante firework displays. Plus, effigies strung up from trees and set alight are apt to be misinterpreted, especially if you’re standing there cackling merrily as they burn. 

So what’s an expat or an Anglophile to do? One’s last recourse, it seems, is just to cue up V for Vendetta and eat a caramel apple in sullen, mildly rebellious solitude. (If you need a primer on the whole affair, here’s Guy Fawkes for American dummies, containing such accessible language as “The S hit the F, if you know what I’m sayin’.)

But wait. Instead, you could look at the deep cache of vintage images of bloodthirsty, adorable children carrying effigies to their doom in resigned-looking wheelbarrows, occasionally with the aid of a friendly dog! And if this really gets your blood up, watch this 1930s effigy get put in the cockpit of a fighter plane—presumably to die. Remember, remember!

Moribund Guy Fawkes.

Sadie Stein is contributing editor of The Paris Review, and the Daily’s correspondent.