The Italian Almanac


Fireworks or Sex

Women around Naples are threatening their husbands with no sex if they let off their beloved fireworks in the holiday period when scores are maimed and some killed by illegal bangers each year. A group of women have taken up the idea launched by a local doctor, Vincenzo Sorrentino, who says ``we`ve tried everything to stop the mayhem caused by fireworks but we`ve never reached the results we hoped for. We decided to get women involved because they are more convincing and they always achieve their goals. This time women are our hope``.

The women have formed a committee led by Carolina Staiano, 42, a mother-of-two who has been forced to tend to a father seriously injured by a firework blast several years ago. ``So far we`ve had more than 30 women join up and we`re hoping for more,`` she said. ``We`re fed up with these stupid annual massacres. This time they`re just going to have to choose: sex or fireworks``. The average age of the wives or girlfriends is 25-45, she said. The initiative is being supported by the provincial government of Naples, which has also started sending residents the SMS message: ``Don`t Let Off, Make Love Instead``.

Naples each year records the highest number of injuries - and sometimes deaths - from the improper use of fireworks, mostly illegal ones and increasingly made in China. Local youths have delighted in giving heavy-duty fireworks scary or jokey names like The Bin Laden, The Maradona Bomb, Desert Storm, Red October and Turbo 3. Another recent favourite have been Budget Bombs, named after whopping government spending cuts.