We ventured into the village yesterday to get the traditional New Year’s delicacies, olieballen and glühwein, essential ingredients for a gezellig evening by the log fire. On every street corner stood gangs of slouching and sullen yoof, sniggering and swigging beers, SMSing with a mobile in each hand, while at the same time lighting bangers from their cigarettes and tossing them into the road (that’s multitasking for you.). Some of the fireworks they threw were so loud that you couldn’t hear anything for a couple of seconds after the explosion. Amazingly, our three-month-old slept through it in her pram.
When we passed the sole shop in the village licensed to sell fireworks (actually a bathroom fittings store), we were amused to see a couple wrestling a huge cardboard box of fireworks into a tiny car that seemed to be held together by rust. It reminded me that the lower, or more “popular”, the neighbourhood, the louder and more frequent the explosions, in other words, household income is inversely proportional to expenditure on fireworks.
After a couple of glasses of glühwein, I came up with the following formula:
x is the household income
y is the quantity of fireworks bought
a is the number of “bangers”
b is the number of “sissy”, decorative fireworks
z is the decibel level
n is the number of males in the household
c is the number of crates of beer consumed
f is the number of fingers left on 1 January
… I know. Blame it on the glühwein