A statue in a fireplace prays for the return of fire

Prometheus was the Titan god who created man by moulding him from skin-like clay. Had he made woman instead he would’ve made a bloody fortune on Ebay. Prometheus thereafter took an almost parental interest in the development of his creation, which brought him into direct conflict with the head-god Zeus. Zeus even accused Prometheus of tricking him into accepting for the gods’ share, the bones and skin of sacrifices, instead of the more nutrient meat that was left instead for humans. Although others thought Prometheus was entirely innocent as it sounded like Zeus had attended one of Mrs Billingham’s barbecues in Downend.

In his anger Zeus withdrew fire from earth and kept it with the gods in Olympus. These were some of the effects the absence of fire had on Bristol:

  1.  The Avon Fire Brigade had to be put on a three-day week
  2. There was a dramatic rise in the amount of dragons applying for re-training courses.
  3. The idea to stage a Balloon Fiesta each August at Ashton Court failed to get off the ground.
  4. Insurance policies for Santa’s became cheaper as it was considered less risky to descend chimneys.
  5. Bingo Halls in Bristol became inundated with pensioners as they had to find some way to spend their winter fuel payment.
  6. People no longer believed in rumours because there was no longer any fire with which to create smoke.

By far the biggest problem caused by the absence of fire however, was the massive increase in the population of Guy Fawkes effigies. Prior to Zeus’ punishment, Guy Fawkes effigies created no difficulties as they were usually consumed by flames on November 5th each year. But now by November 6th, ALL the Guy Fawkes effigies still existed, to be joined the following year by yet more of them; and every year thereafter.

Professor Garfield Raggs of Bristol University set alarm bells ringing (a novelty in itself in the absence of fire) by forecasting that as Guy Fawkes effigies were now immortal, and man was not, and their number was increasing yearly, that by 2028 Guy Fawkes effigies would outnumber humans on the planet, and this could lead to the frightening prospect of a financial meltdown in the UK as the Guy Fawkes effigies used their numerical clout to demand the return off all the pennies ever collected in THEIR name.

Some people took to hiding their Guy Fawkes effigies in cupboards or other relatively secure places. Indeed, some of the effigies preferred to live in this concealed solitude rather than face the hostile reaction of humans. Many years elapsed before these Guy Fawkes felt it was ok to come out of the closet.

One idea that was attempted in order to stem the tide of Guy Fawkes effigies was to stuff them with grass so instead of being consumed by fire they could be consumed by sheep or goats. Unfortunately, this failed to meet with approval, because whereas in the days of fire a cheer went up when the Guy was set alight, now the consumption of his grass innards was greeted with tears by several of those in attendance, due to the release of the grass pollens.

Fortunately for humankind, Prometheus was from a rather nefarious family, his brother Atlas, for instance, was doing a stretch of community service having to hold up the sky for a misdemeanour that had upset Zeus, so Prometheus soon stole fire on a trip to Olympus and returned it to earth. Zeus was in a rage when he discovered Prometheus’ deceit and sentenced him to be chained to a rock for thousands of years and have his liver pecked out daily by an eagle, before his liver would be replenished each night.


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