If your only exposure to Guy Fawkes Day is the movie V for Vendetta, you might think that this evening’s bonfires and fireworks in Great Britain are in celebration of a hero. Actually, it’s a celebration of a traitor to the Crown being caught and the plot to blow up the House of Lords and King James foiled. Fawkes was actually a disgruntled Catholic (a bit redundant) who, along with his 12 fellow plotters, was hoping to replace the Protestant James with James’ daughter Elizabeth, who was apparently a good Catholic girl. Or something. I don’t know – I really don’t get all the religious bullshit, never mind the post-Magna Carta British monarchy. Anyhow, on November 5, 1605, Fawkes was discovered underneath Parliament, hanging around with a match and a few dozen barrels of gunpowder. At which point, I’m sure he said something to the effect of “Gunpowder? Nope, that’s not my gunpowder. Just watching it for a friend.”

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