RESEARCH DEPARTMENT of The History Maintenance Commission, NYC.
WHAT IF GUY FAWKES WAS MADE TO FOLLOW THE FIREWORKS CODE?
As part of the research into Guy Fawkes the Omphalos programme speculates, as a matter of course with all subjects, the sort of correspondence Fawkes would have received had he engaged the services of a showbiz agent. Here is a selection:
1605, November 6.
Your stock has risen tremendously after your recent capture while trying to blow up Parliament. A masterstroke. Although had you succeeded several of my politician clients would’ve been on the rise too until eventually landing in the suburbs somewhere with a bump. On the back of this I have negotiated a great deal for you to blow up Parliament. This time it’s an inflatable model of the building made from beached whale skin. It will be a tremendous draw although you won’t be with the ladies for a while afterwards due to the effect of this exercise upon your breath. Plus your interrogators in The Tower are likely to torture you all the more as whenever you make an utterance they will sense that something fishy is going on.
Your Loving Agent
November 8th, 1605.
Intelligence has reached me that you are being tortured on the rack at The Tower. Don’t despair Guy, this new aspect opens up a host of possibilities to, if you excuse this choice of word, expand your personal wealth and your wonderful agent is on the case. Already I have obtained a deal for you with a major clothes retailer to model outfits in their forthcoming Spring and Summer Catalogue 1606 that have been ruined by over mangling to the extent that the arms and legs are twice as long as they should be. This is to be called their Waste Not Want Not Range. I have also negotiated a deal for you to pick bananas in the Dominican Republic with a bonus triggered each time you hit a certain target which should be easy to accomplish as you have the advantage of just being able to stretch out an arm to locate a bunch rather than climb the trees themselves. So hang on in there Guy.
Your Obedient and Loyal Agent
November 10th, 1605.
We have hastily produced a book based on your life. A lot of it has been taken from the secret transcripts of your torture that has been leaked to me for a price. There’s had to be a lot of padding involved. (I expect you wish your captors applied this to their implements of torture too.) So there are quite a few pages containing just your screams, exhortations to the Almighty and heartrending appeals to your torturers not to take up the offer of overtime they’ve been offered. I have even managed to get you a book signing session for December 18th at a store in Shoreditch. The beauty of this is in your new state you will be able to remain in your cell at the Tower and reach through the bars to Shoreditch.
Incidentally, Swan Vesta are going to use a picture of you on the rack in a massive poster campaign confessing to the fact that you wish you’d chosen Swan Vesta matches instead of the damp Bryant and May ones as you wouldn’t be in this mess then. All funds gratefully received.
Your Money Making Servant
December 18th, 1605.
Had an offer from a quartet of theatre impresarios to cast you in adaptations of four traditional pantomimes those being Peter Bang, A Loud Din, Treason-Puss In Boots and Jack And The Blast-Stalk. I have signed you up to play in all four simultaneously. The fact you are set to be hung drawn and quartered will help tremendously in this objective.
Of course, if you win your appeal you will be free to select which pantomime takes your fancy, though we will be 75% down on the deal. I am not that confident of you overturning your conviction. The forensics test done in the immediate wake of your arrest to see if you had any explosives residue present on your fingers was pretty damning. The result that you had evidence of 93 barrels of gunpowder on your hands will be difficult to dismiss.
Your Festive Agent
January 26th, 1606.
Just five days remain until you are hung drawn and quartered. If you speak nicely to them they might lance that boil on your backside while they’re at it. A friendly word of advice from your agent, you might get farther in life if you didn’t have such a short fuse….The exception being November 5th last year, of course, where had you had a much shorter fuse things would’ve been a whole lot different.
Thank you Guy for the recent signing over to my agency of your image rights. Already a mask is being designed to be ready for mass production to fit over effigies of you to be burned atop bonfires throughout the land on November 5th to the accompaniment of fireworks and mass revelry. Thank you for entrusting my agency with this sensitive issue and I trust you will consider my actions to be respectful to your life and legacy. Regarding the mask, could you please ensure your torturers aren’t applying the thumbscrew on the next visit of our artist. The wracked with pain look is difficult to convey in a mask and the lines of anguish cost extra to reproduce.
Your Caring Agent